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Jews & Christians, White & Negro Seen United in Civil Rights March

August 28, 1963
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Tomorrow’s March on Washington has brought the country’s three major religious faiths closer than any issue in the nation’s peacetime history, observers noted today. A survey of participation in the demonstration by organized religious bodies indicates that hundreds of local Protestant, Catholic and Jewish groups around the country have responded to calls by their national leaders to take active roles in the march, and are working in intimate cooperation to make the march a success.

Among the ten founding chairmen of the march–the men who will see President Kennedy and address the throng to be gathered before the Lincoln Memorial tomorrow–will be three religious spokesmen–the Rev. Eugene Carson Blake, representing the Protestant National Council of Churches; Matthew Ahmann, executive director of the National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice; and Rabbi Joachim Prine, president of the American Jewish Congress.

Their organizations have worked closely with the six Negro civil rights groups in planning the march, working on the myriad plans for physical arrangements, drawing up the list of demands to be presented at the demonstration, and getting the member of their faiths in all sections of the country to join the March on Washington. Along with leaders of the six largest Negro civil rights groups, and the spokesman for organized labor, United Auto Workers president Walter Reuther, the three religious leaders are part of the “big ten” directing the march.


An estimated 1,500 American Jewish Congress members will participate in the march, aboard chartered buses coming from New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Newark and other major cities. Among other Jewish organizations that have endorsed the march are the American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Farband-Labor Zionist Order, Jewish Labor Committee, Jewish War Veterans of the U.S., National Council of Jewish Women, Rabbinical Council of America, Rabbinical Assembly, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, United Hebrew Trades, United Synagogue of America, and the Workmen’s Circle. Dr. Max Nussbaum of Hollywood, Calif., president of the ZOA, also announced that the ZOA, both on a national level and through its District Chapter in Washington, will participate with an official delegation in the march.

A delegation of survivors of Nazi concentration camps, their banners in both English and Yiddish, will join a large number of Jewish cultural and labor leaders as part of the Jewish Labor Committee’s contingent.

Locally, the Adas Israel Synagogue here endorsed the march, and announced its facilities will be available “for those who may find themselves in Washington without accommodations.”

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