Governor Paul B. Johnson of Mississippi and Governor-elect John Bell Williams denounced today the bombing last night which virtually wrecked the home of Rabbi Perry E, Nussbaum of Temple Beth Israel of Jackson and nearly cost the rabbi his life. Mayor Allen Thompson announced that the city had increased its reward for the arrest and conviction of the bombers from $5,000 to $25,000.
The explosion, which shattered Rabbi Nussbaum’s home shortly after 11:00 p.m.,, was the second act of violence in recent months against the rabbi who has been active in the civil rights movement. Last September 18, hit-and-run bombers blasted Temple Beth Israel.
American Jewish organizations quickly demanded Federal protection for the rabbi and for others whose lives and property were threatened by racist violence. The Union of American Hebrew Congregations in New York, congregational organization of Reform Judaism, sent a telegram to Federal officials asking them to take firm action to end the “reign of violence, terror and intimidation” in Mississippi. Adolph Held, president of the Jewish Labor Committee, telegraphed U.S. Attorney General Ramsay Clark expressing “shock” that after the bombing of Rabbi Nussbaum’s synagogue, “no adequate protection” was given to the rabbi who “has been made the target of violent terrorism in violation of his own civil rights.” Mr, Held urged “immediate Federal intervention and protection in this case.”
Rabbi Nussbaum, who is searching for new living quarters, hit out today against the Ku Klux Klan and the segregationist “Americans for the Preservation of the White Race.” He said that while he had no proof that either of these organizations were implicated in the bombings, they had helped create the kind of “climate” that permitted “this present reign of terror.” Governor Johnson urged all Mississippians to cooperate with law enforcement officials in apprehending “these depraved bombers.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.