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Jewish Groups in San Francisco Alert on Anti-semitic Terrorism Case

October 26, 1961
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Jewish community relations organizations were on the alert today over a campaign of anti-Jewish terrorism against a Jewish couple which spurred police to provide a 24-hour guard at the residence of the couple.

Police ordered the around-the-clock watch after a renewal of anti-Semitic telephone calls and attacks on the automobile and home of Mr. and Mrs. William Bowman who previously had been the victims of a similar campaign over a 15-month period.

The Jewish Community Relations Council and the local office of the Anti-Defamation League issued a joint statement assuring San Francisco Jewry that they and other Jewish agencies were active in the case. In the statement, the two organizations rejected demands from outraged Jewish individuals for “vague, undefined and ill-tempered ‘action’ motivated by resentment.” They warned that such demands “can only confuse the issues and impair the functioning of public and private agencies working on these problems.”

“The Jewish Community Relations Council, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Labor Committee, and the American Jewish Congress–all with offices in San Francisco–are doing the most useful thing: Using the Bowman case, and other less-publicized outrages, to convince educators and youth leaders that they have an urgent responsibility in fighting anti-Semitism with all the tools, books, and like educational materials which these agencies offer,” the joint statement asserted.

The attacks against the Bowmans, who conduct a furniture business in their home, were ended briefly several weeks ago when police sprung a trap and arrested 12 youths, two of them juveniles. The two juveniles had their case heard first. The judge denounced their actions and placed them on probation. The renewal of the violence followed the hearing of the two boys and the appearance of the 10 older youths indicted for conspiracy and now awaiting trial before Superior Judge Harry Neubarth.

The new police watch was aimed both at protecting the Bowmans and at apprehending a number of youths who have been congregating at the Bowman home. They smashed the windshield of the Bowman car, which had been set afire in the initial attacks, and have hurled rocks through windows of the Bowman home. Mr. Bowman said that the abuse was resumed soon after the court action and that gangs of boys and girls had staged “victory parades” almost nightly since the court hearing of the two juveniles.

Mrs. Bowman said that she and her husband, during the 15 months of harassment, had set a trap which disclosed the identity of some anti-Semitic elements in their neighborhood. She said they had worked in collusion with the gang of 12 who had terrorized them. The names of the anti-Semitic neighbors would be revealed in the trial of the 10 indicted youths, she said.

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