The State Commission Against Discrimination has ruled, after an “exhaustive” study, that the phrase “churches nearby” in advertisements of vacation resorts is not intended to produce religious discrimination.
The commission found that in a majority of the cases, there were churches less than five miles from the advertised resort while, in a majority of cases, synagogues were more than 10 miles distant.
Commissioner J.Edward Conway, who conducted the investigation, which took 56 staff days, and brought commission investigators to 35 resorts, said that the phrases are not generally understood by Jewish persons to mean their patronage is unwelcome and that the statement, as used, was an “objective, accurate” claim.
The American Jewish Congress which had brought charges against 37 resorts praised the commission survey and agreed that the “term or its equivalent is not, in and out of itself, an illegal device to discourage Jewish patronage. “
The AJC said that it would withdraw its complaints against 20 of the resorts, but would continue its “own investigation during the next resort season of the remaining 17.”
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.