A broad program of investigation, research, conferences, and intergroup education in public, private and parochial schools, to deal with the underlying causes of religious and racial prejudice in America, was called for by the National Community Relations Advisory Council in a report issued today.
The report incorporates a review and evaluation of the rash of anti-Semitic incidents that occurred in the United States during the month of January. The evaluation concludes that there is no cause for alarm in the American Jewish community, since there is no evidence of an anti-Semitic plot or conspiracy in the United States and, in reacting to the incident, Americans have given a fresh demonstration of their practically universal abhorrence of anti-Semitism.
There is, however, evidence of an undercurrent of latent anti-Semitism, the report finds, and an effective concerted attack on the underlying social causes of anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred is required to assure against future outbreaks. In this connection, the report puts forward the following proposals:
1. That the U.S. Civil Rights Commission or another federal agency specially created for that purpose systematically and continually gather information about anti-Semitic and other hate manifestations and that municipal and state commissions undertake similar programs.
2. That the U.S. support a pending U.N. resolution calling for a worldwide survey of such manifestations.
3. That human relations commissions call community-wide conferences “under the broadest community auspices” to evaluate local situations and project coordinated programs of action.
4. That intergroup education programs be expanded, including the incorporation in social studies classes of material that would lead young people to understand “the significance of the swastika as a symbol of hatred and tyranny that destroyed millions of lives and threatened the freedom of the whole world.”
5. That a national conference of educators be convened by the U.S. Office of Education to consider how school programs can best introduce intercultural education methods and curricula.
6. That a national conference of educators and religious leaders similarly be held to study means of introducing such methods and materials in church-connected schools and to review textbooks used in such schools and in religious education generally “to assure that such books do not inadvertently tend to instill unfavorable attitudes toward those of other religious faiths.”
7. That the youngsters arrested for acts of desecration and defacement be studied to see what can be learned about their “personalities, background and motivations.”
The recommendations stem from an analysis made by the NCRAC of 189 incidents reported from 88 cities during the period January 1-22. Concluding from this analysis that there is “no evidence of central planning or direction of the incidents,” the NCRAC observed in its report that the acts cannot be regarded as mere prank or fads like the hoola hoops or goldfish-swallowing crase.
The National Community Relations Advisory Council is the national coordinating body for community relations plans and programs of its constituent national and local agencies. It is composed of representatives of the American Jewish Congress, Jewish Labor Committee. Jewish War Veterans of the U.S., Union of American Hebrew Congregations; Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, United Synagogue of America–and 51 local Jewish community relations councils throughout the United States.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.