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Joint Anti-poverty Body Established by Jews, Protestants, Catholics

January 19, 1966
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Jewish, Protestant and Catholic groups today formally established a united front in the war against poverty by forming an Interreligious Committee Against Poverty at a closed meeting here attended by top-level leaders. Joining in the creation of the 45-member committee were the Synagogue Council of America in cooperation with other Jewish groups, the National Council of Churches and the National Catholic Welfare Conference.

Louis Stern of Essex County, N. J., past president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, and Rabbi Seymour Cohen of Chicago, president of the Synagogue Council of America, are among the co-chairmen of the committee. They said combined efforts of both voluntary and governmental agencies are required to help eradicate poverty which they called “morally indefensible amid our national affluence.”

The committee will not be a programming agency but will encourage, evaluate and coordinate efforts in the anti-poverty war, Mr. Stern and Rabbi Cohen declared. The Synagogue Council of America and cooperating Jewish bodies represent the organized Jewish community’s coordinated anti-poverty program. Jewish groups have been extremely active in community action programs against poverty since the Economic Opportunity Act was passed in 1964. The committee will meet at regular intervals and will have headquarters here.

Leaders serving on the committee include Moses I. Feuerstein, president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations; Rabbi Maurice N. Eisendrath, president, Union of American Hebrew Congregations; Aaron Goldman, chairman, National Community Relations Advisory Council. Philip Klutznick, former president of B’nai B’rit; Rabbi Israel Miller, president, Rabbinical Council of America; George Maislen, past president, United Synagogue of America.

Also: Max J. Routtenberg, president of the Rabbinical Assembly; Rabbi Jacob J. Weinstein, president, Central Conference of American Rabbis. Mrs. Joseph Willen, president, National Council of Jewish Women; Jacob Blaustein, honorary president, American Jewish Committee. Milton Waldor, national commander, Jewish War Veterans of the U. S.A.; and Rabbi Joachim Prinz, president, American Jewish Congress; as well as Mr. Stern and Rabbi Cohen.

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