THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 91
Chapter 3: The Jewish Establishment
 
 
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The Jewish Establishment 91

bI was convinced that JDL was an idea whose time had bcome and was determined to create the movement. One bSabbath afternoon in May 1968 I asked two members of the bsynagogue in which I prayed, the Young Israel of Laurelton b(a quiet, peaceful Queens, New York, neighborhood which bhas since seen a mass exodus of most Jews and whites) to bmeet with me at the synagogue. There I sat with Bert bZweibon, an attorney with a good grasp of the situation and ba natural leaning to activism, and with Morty Dolinsky, bwhom I had known years ago when we were both members bof the Zionist militant youth movement, Betar. (Indeed, I bhad first been arrested at the age of sixteen when, with other bmembers of Betar, we had violently demonstrated against bthe arrival in the United States of the anti-Semitic British bforeign Minister, Ernest Bevin.) I spoke of the problem and bthe solution that I envisioned. Both Zweibon and Dolinsky bagreed that the JDL should be formed.

bThe following week I placed an advertisement in the bJewish Press, using the name the Jewish Defense Corps b(After reconsideration, it was agreed that, given the present bJewish knee-jerk fear of anything sounding militant, the bword “League” would be more suitable.) The response was bexcellent and the first meeting of the new movement was bheld on June 18th. Using a Jewish Press post office box bnumber, the brief letter of invitation to the meeting was sent bto those who had replied to the ad. It read:

bDear Friend,

bAn information and briefing meeting of the Jewish De- bfense League (Corps) will be held Tuesday evening, June b18, at 8:30 PM at the West Side Jewish Center, 347 West b34th Street, New York City.

bThe Jewish Defense League was launched. Its first mod- best activity involved John F. Hatchett.

bIn November 1967 John Hatchett was a teacher at Public bSchool 68 in New York City’s school system. As Black racism band Jew-hatred grew bolder, he wrote an article in the bNovember-December 1967 issue of Forum, the official pub- blication of the African-American Teachers (ATA) organiza- btion, which represented Black teachers in the city’s public b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 91
Chapter 3: The Jewish Establishment