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Jews in Chicago Area Barred from Buying Houses, a D. L. Survey Shows

August 9, 1965
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Housing discrimination against Jews in Chicago North Shore communities is being kept alive by realtor-initiated restrictions “often practiced without the acquiescence or knowledge of home owners,” according to a survey made public today by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.

The League found that more than 13 percent of approximately 2,100 homes offered for sale through multiple listings of the Evanston-North Shore Real Estate Board barred Jews by printed instructions — which more than half the home-owners queried by the League had not requested. The Board serves hundreds of real estate brokers and salesmen in the area.

The letters “ORTR” — an abbreviation for “owner reserves the right to refuse or reject any and all offers” — was used in the mimeographed listings to convey a “No Jews” restriction, according to the ADL. In 1959, when an initial ADL survey was made, 20 percent of the Board’s listings contained the “ORTR’ qualification.

The new survey revealed that “unauthorized social engineering” was carried out in many cases by real estate brokers with no particular bias against Jews who followed restrictive policies they thought were profitable or wanted. In individual North Shore communities, restrictions against Jews ran as high as 60 percent of the homes listed in Kenilworth; 32 percent of those in Lake Bliuff; 24 percent; Wilmette, 21 percent; Glenview 18 percent; Evanston, 16 percent; Northbrook, 10 percent; Deerfield, 7 percent; Glencoe 5 percent and Skokie, 4 percent.

The League announced it has placed its evidence before the Illinois Division of Registration and Education, which licenses realtors, charging that many of the North Shore firms are guilty of misrepresenting the conditions of sale, thus violating the regulations under which they are licensed.

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