THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 219
Chapter 6: Jewish Power: Is It Good for Jews?
 
 
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Jewish Power 219

bpromised that we would try to help them. And indeed the bJDL patrols in Boston were the best and most efficient we bhad, but the damage was irrevocable. It included the incred- bible collapse to militant blackmail which saw the Boston bJewish Council pressure the New England Hebrew bAcademy into selling a magnificent building to a Black ex- btremist named Elma Lewis for one dollar! As the more bfortunate Jews fled to Brookline and Newton, the “others” bremained behind and their story is typified by that of 73- byear-old Charles Shumrack, who one day in March attended bthe small prayer quorum near his home and bstopped to chat with Rabbi Samuel Korff, who assured him bthat the synagogue would be kept open “as long as you are balive and come.” That night Charles Shumrack was found bdead in his apartment, the victim of a burglar and mur- bderer.

bOn the morning of June 20, 1971, the delegates to the bConference of Oppressed Jewish Neighborhoods met. bThey were ordinary people, little Jews from Coney Island band Brighton; Crown Heights and Williamsburg; Boro bPark and East Flatbush; Manhattan’s Lower East Side and bRochdale Village, Queens; and from the Bronx, where, in bthe modest Congregation Adath Jeshurun, in the rapidly bchanging area near Yankee Stadium, the conference was bheld. These were not the fancy Jews whom Leonard Bern- bstein knew or the ones that took part in national conventions bof the American Jewish Committee. There were no famous bnames here, and no illustrious careers. These were the “JDL bpeople,” these were the ordinary, frightened and oppressed bJews. They were the ones I knew from my former bsynagogue, in Rochdale Village, a huge cooperative that bhad been built in the heart of Jamaica’s Black ghetto. bRochdale Village, which was fully integrated, whose resi- bdents were either elderly pensioners or struggling civil ser- bvants, lower-middle-class and upper-lower-class workers. bRochdale Village, where my synagogue’s brand new build- bing had been built without windows for admirably practical breasons. Rochdale Village, where elderly Jews were regu- blarly mugged and where 25-year-old Vietnam veteran b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 219
Chapter 6: Jewish Power: Is It Good for Jews?