Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Jewish Congress Asks Presidential Candidates to Act on Desegregation

October 1, 1956
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Presidential candidates of both parties were urged today by the American Jewish Congress to provide “affirmative leadership” in the public school desegregation effort by “asserting and reasserting their support of the Supreme Court decision, their intention to bring about prompt compliance with its terms and their repudiation and condemnation of all efforts to nullify the decision and oppress those who assert their constitutional rights.”

The call to the leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties was issued in the form of a resolution adopted by the members of the American Jewish Congress executive committee, at an all-day meeting held here.

The meeting commended the U. S. National Commission for UNESCO on its recent adoption of a resolution condemning the anti-Jewish visa policies of the Arab states. They called upon Secretary of State John Foster Dulles to instruct the American delegation to the forthcoming UNESCO conference at New Delhi to “take the lead in making plain UNESCO’s rejection of any limitation of travel on racial or religious grounds, whether applicable to UNESCO personnel or to any person traveling for educational, scientific or cultural purposes.”

Dr. Israel Goldstein, AJC president, addressing the executive committee last night, appealed to the United States Government to insist during the coming debate on the Suez Canal at the United Nations Security Council on the right of passage for Israel. The U.S., he recommended, should insist on the “absolute right” of the shipping of all nations to pass through the cut.

The AJC leader declared that Egypt’s nationalization of the canal company was attributable in large part to the acquiescence of the world powers in Egypt’s denial of the canal to Israel. The powers, he charged, had disregarded Egypt’s “flagrant violation of its international obligation” when it prohibited passage of Israeli flag ships or vessels of other nations carrying goods to or from Israel.


Rabbi Emanuel Rackman, president of the N. Y. Board of Rabbis, who headed the rabbinical delegations of the Board and also of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis to the Soviet Union last Summer, reported that “the sentiment of Jewish loyalty is still very much alive in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of Jews there. There could be a religious and cultural revival if only the Soviet government could be pressured by world public opinion to change its attitude and grant that equality to Jews which it so often boasts it has already achieved.”

Dr. Joachim Prinz, vice-president of the American Jewish Congress, reported on his visit to West Germany, where he preached in the Berlin congregation from which he was expelled by the Nazis. “Jewish life in Germany has not risen from the ashes,” he declared. “Germany’s 22, 000 Jews live in complete social isolation.” The German population has grown used to the fact that “in reality, Germany is a country without Jews.

“The few Jews who live there, “Dr. Prinz said, “are not seen nor are they felt in the economic, cultural or political life of the country. The majority of them are over-aged and will die within the next 10 years. The number of Jewish students in German universities, including foreign Jewish students, has been estimated at 120. The new synagogues are often a strange architectural combination of synagogues and homes for the aged.”

Dr. Maurice Perlzweig, director of the World Jewish Congress’ International Affairs Department, who has just returned from conferences with leaders abroad, reported that emigration of Jews from Morocco remains “the most immediately pressing problem before us.” Immigration to Israel from Tunisia, however, “is continuing without interruption or interference.”

He said that when the Moroccan Government last Summer halted all collective emigration of Jews, there were more than 6,000 emigrants assembled in a camp ready to leave. “Through the efforts of the World Jewish Congress, the Moroccan Government was persuaded to lift its ban to the extent of permitting the emigration of those Jews assembled. Several thousands have already been moved and it is anticipated that the remainder will go within the next few weeks,” Dr. Perlzweig reported.

Preparations are now in train, he concluded, for the reopening of negotiations with the Moroccan Government to resume collective emigration “in appropriate form and under mutually acceptable direction.” The WJC is “not underestimating the difficulties; nevertheless, we have refused to accept defeat and there is enough statesmanship and understanding in Morocco to encourage the hope that a new cooperative arrangement will be reached.”

Recommended from JTA