Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Westport Intellectual Colony’s Club Bars Jews from Membership

September 8, 1929
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

If You Are Pleased with the “Jewish Daily Bulletin,” Tell Your Friends to Subscribe.

The summer colony here, long a rendezvous for artists, musicians, authors and poets, is now threatened with a split due to racial discrimination practiced by the Long Shore Beach and Country Club.

The club, organized early in the spring, after extending invitations to members of the Westport colony, refused all the Jewish applicants for membership.

Among the Jews who are understood to have received invitations, and who were later rejected, were Franklin P. Adams, columnist, Rube Goldberg, cartoonist, Montague Glass, writer, Maurice Cooper, Newman Levy, poet, and Henry Souvaine, composer.

The action of the board of directors in excluding Jews has aroused the ire of some of the more liberal members of the club, with the result that a fight against the action is being led by Sigmund Spacth, composer, John Held. Jr., artist, and Richard Connell, humorist.

Heywood Broun, columnist, commenting on the situation in his column in the “New York Telegram,” declared:

“The American community has expressed horror and indignation about the murderous depredations of the Arabs, and that same community tolerates and even encourages a hundred snide slights against the Jews.

“It may be said that it is one thing to knife a man and another to insist that he shall not become a member of your club, and yet I think it is easier to make a case for the Arabs than for Jew-baiting Americans. The bloody tribesmen of Palestine are driven on by those twin devils, national feeling and religion. It may be that the Arab sees the hand of British imperialism in the mandate for the Holy Land. To his primitive mind, the Jewish settler may seem a threat against his culture and territory. Murder can become confused in a muddled way with the self-determination of small states.

“But what can be said for the apartment house owner, the summer resort proprietor, the employer of the college president, who sets up barriers against his fellow citizens? Americans who do these things can hardly contend they are fighting to preserve their religion or their national origins. Organized Christianity would not be likely to crumble if Semitic slices propelled golf balls into the woods which fringe the exclusive courses of Long Island. American ideals would not suffer if education in schools and colleges were offered freely to all comers, upon no other basis than intellectual merit.”

If You Are Pleased with the “Jewish Daily Bulletin,” Tell Your Friends to Subscribe.

Recommended from JTA