THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 71
Chapter 3: The Jewish Establishment
 
 
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The Jewish Establishment 71

bprovide massive aid to Negroes in the same way as Jewish aid bis provided for Israel.

bThe curse of the Jew in America was his leadership that bdid not live in the crisis-ridden neighborhoods, that did not bwork in the crisis-ridden jobs or stores, that was not im- bmediately threatened by Jew-hatred and that did not feel bthe pain of the Jew who did suffer. As I once wrote:

b“The failure of prestigious Jewish leadership and organi- bzations to deal with critical Jewish problems and an almost bunfeeling attitude to Jews in distress has been the subject of bmuch criticism here and elsewhere. The question is: why?

b“We must understand that our Jewish Establishment has blong since outgrown its narrow Jewish role and would much brather act on general national problems. These are far more bimportant and prestigious.

b“Why should an important Jewish organization waste its btalents and efforts on unimportant and non-headline- bmaking problems like Jewish poverty in Brownsville or Wil- bliamsburg when the action on the national scene is with civil brights causes and the like? A pronouncement on the Viet- bnam War or on abortion or South Africa may not be part of bthe original framework of its raison d’être nor may it have banything to do with Jews, but surely when an Establishment bJewish group makes it, it is far more exciting and far more blikely to receive non-Jewish network coverage than a simple bpress conference on crime in Jewish neighborhoods or the bproblem of Syrian and Iraqi Jews.

b“How much more exciting to be involved with the na- btional issues and to meet regularly with national leaders and bbe spoken about by national citizens, than to remain a nar- brow, provincial, chauvinistic Jewish organization or leader.

b“And so, if one wishes to understand why the Federation bof Jewish Philanthropies of New York is absorbed with gen- beral social objectives rather than with Jewish problems, the breason is not difficult to diagnose. When it concentrates on bnonsectarian “Jewish” hospitals and nonsectarian “Jewish” bcamps and is part of the whole national social services scene, bFederation has escaped the confining strictures of narrow b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 71
Chapter 3: The Jewish Establishment