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June 25, 1971 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1971-06-25

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Jewish Affluence in U.S. Revealed as Myth;
Study Shows Nearly Million at Poverty Level

(Continued from Page 1)
facing the elderly poor is housing
and deteriorating neighborhoods
from which they are unable to
escape and which increases their
loneliness, isolation and emotional
and physical insecurity.
"But there are significant num-
bers of poor who are not old folk
and I think it is important to ex-
plode the myth that the Jewish
poor are the Jewish old," Mrs.
Wolfe said. "This other group-
30-35 per cent of our poverty group
—is made up of single, unrelated
people or families, many with
young children, some headed by
one parent. There are Jewish fami-
lies receiving Aid to Dependent
Children (welfare)—a fact that is
usually greeted with disbelief.
In New York City alone, it is
estimated . . . that 250,000 Jews
subsist below a level of $3,000 a
year, and another 150,000 live at
near poverty on income lower
than $4,500," Mrs. Wolfe said.
She observed that a large pro-
portion of the non-elderly Jewish
poor in big cities are Orthodox and
Hasidic Jews. "There are 80,000
Hasidic Jews in New York City
and this group is the third largest

poverty group in New York," Mrs.
Wolfe said. Foreign born Jews also
account for a large percentage of
Jewish poverty.
A Columbia University survey
showed that 10 per cent of the
New York Jewish population earns
$3,000 a year or less but the figure
for foreign born Jews is 15.7 per
cent, fairly similar to the Puerto
Rican community where 16.3 per
cent are living on under $3,000 a
year, according to Mrs. Wolfe. Her
study embraced the Jewish poverty
situation in other American cities,
notably Miami and Los Angeles
which are attractive to elderly
people because of their mild cli-
mate, and Philadelphia.
A study of the files of the Los
Angeles . County Department of
Public Social Services showed
about 8,000 elderly Jews receiving
public assistance and more than
10,000 eligible for old age assist-
ance who, for a variety of reasons,
did not apply, Mrs. Wolfe reported.
"These make up a figure of 18,306
indigent elderly living in house-
holds on incomes below $4,000 a
year," she said. "An interesting
example of blind spots relates to
wealthy Miami Beach. In an area

Govt. Refusal to Disclose Wiretap Data
Could Mean No Trial for Kahane

JTA Staff Writer
NEW YORK — Unless the fed-
eral government gives transcripts
of their wiretapped conversations
to 13 Jewish Defense League
leaders, including National Chair-
man Rabbi Meir Kahane, the gun
conspiracy charges against them
may have to be dropped, the Jew-
ish Telegraphic Agency learned.
In answering a defense motion
that all wiretapped conversations
of the defendants be disclosed, the
government revealed in U.S. Dist-
rict Court Brooklyn last Friday
that while there had been no di-
rect electronic surveillance of the
phones of any of the defendants,
the conversations of 10 of them
had been overheard by wiretaps
not authorized by court order.
According to the government
brief, "The President has the
power, and the duty, to engage in
intelligence gathering operations
which he deems necessary for the
conduct of foreign affairs. There
exist overriding considerations
which militate against imposing
the warrant requriement upon the
exercise of this power."
The court ordered the govern-
ment to give the transcripts to the
defendants on several bases, in-
cluding the "substantial probabil-
ity" that the wiretaps were "il-
legal." Government assistant U.S.
Attorney Tom Patterson replied
that he could not hand them over
without higher. authorization. He
was given until today to comply
with the court order.
According to the government
brief, details of which have not
been previously published, "10
of the defendants did participate
in conversations that were over-
heard by the federal government
in the course of an electronic
surveillance authorized by the
President, acting through the
attorney general."
• -1..;
But unlike most recent cases-
involving antiwar groups, Black

Panthers and the B err i g a n
brothers—the government did not
- justify its wiretapping on the basis
of internal national security.
In the JDL case, the govern-
ment contended that "such sur-
veillance was deemed necessary
and essential to protect the na-
tion - and its citizens against hostile
acts of a foreign power and to


obtain information essential to the
security of the United States."
There was no immediate iden-
tification of the foreign power nor
the nature of "hostile acts."
In ordering the disclosure of the
taps, the court held that "the de-
fendants would not be able to
conduct a meaningful defense with-
out access to them. Informed
sources said the government would
not comply with the order, which
would mean revealing which for-
eign embassy or agency was
Nat Lewin, a former State De-
partment official and assistant so-
licitor general in the Johnson ad-
ministation, will defend Avraham
Hershkovitz in the trial on con-
spiracy to violate gun c ontrol
Lewin, who is on the executive
board of the National Jewish Com-
mission on Law and Public Affairs
(COLPA), will take the Hershko-
vitz case as a private lawyer, not
as a member of COLPA.
Hershkovitz is presently serving
a five-year sentence for using a
f a I s e passport. The maximum
sentence for the conspiracy charge
is $10,000 or 10 years in jail or

of that community called South
Beach, it was ascertained in 1969
that 40,000 people were clustered
in an area of some 40 square
blocks. Of these, 80 per cent are
over 65 and 85 per cent are Jews.
The average annual income is
$2,460; thousands are living on
less than $28 a week for rent and
food," Mrs. Wolfe reported.
"In Philadelphia, a study con-
ducted by the Jewish Employment
and Vocational Service of that city
reveals what some of us have long
suspected—that we are like any-
body else," Mrs. Wolfe said. The
study covered a sample of Jewish
men and women representing an
active caseload of more than 700
persons. The age ranged from 17
to over 65 years, and about half
of them were in their prime work
period, in the ages between 21 and
50. One-third of the persons corn-
ing to the Vocational Service were
older than 50, and 17 per cent
were under 20.
About two-thirds of the persons
coming for help with employment
had incomes in the previous year
below $2,600 and one in six had
an annual income of $4,000 or
more," Mrs. Wolfe reported. She
added that "Limited education was
found to be an important factor
among poor Jews, half of the job
seekers having less than 11 years
of schooling, and one in five with
less than an eighth grade educa-
tion: Here, too, our blind spots op-
erate," Mrs. Wolfe remarked.
"Because of the high proportion
of young Jews in college today,
and our tradition as the 'People
of the Book,' we tend to overlook
the earlier generation that has a
less impressive educational back-
ground." Mrs. Wolfe noted that
the Hasidic community "has a
built-in resistance to secular edu-
cation, particularly at high school
and college levels" and as a conse-
quence, few Hasidim have college
degrees. This lack deprives them
of the economic advantages which
higher education normally brings.


Friday, June 25, 1971-5

Bnai Brith Women
Name Council Officers

At its recent installation of offi-
cers, Bnai Brith Women's Council
of Metropolitan Detroit installed
the following, along with President
Mrs. Joseph Rodman:
Selina Cohen, Mrs. Andrew Ber-
ger, Mrs. Ira Albion and Mrs. Har-
old Rowe, vice presndents; Mrs.
Morris Bernstein, Mrs. Paul Fink
and Mrs. Benjamin Wenner, secre-
taries; and Mrs. Maynard Kalef,
treasurer. Mrs. Irving Isaacs is
junior past president.


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