86. A Yiddish school in Israel. [1950s?]


The JLC understood that much remained to be done, not only overseas but at home. A new world had to be fashioned from the ashes and bitterness of war. Jacob Pat wrote,

84. Jacob Pat (left) in doorway of a bungalow donated by a Cousins Club from Chicago. Israel. c.1949. Our work over here and over there, our Jewish work and our international work -- it is all one closely linked chain. We believe that there can be no good world that would be bad for the Jewish people, nor can there be a bad world that would be good for the Jewish people .... Our fight for a better America is equivalent to a fight for the American people, for the American labor movement; it is [a] fight for humanity and brotherhood. This is our fight also for the protection of the most injured masses, the Jewish masses. ("Story of the JLC," 1948.)

In the years immediately following the War, the JLC's Committee to Combat Anti-Semitism, in cooperation with the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith and the Negro Labor Committee, became the driving force behind AFL and CIO educational efforts in the field of human rights. The National Trade Union Council for Human Rights was chaired by the JLC's Charles Zimmerman, and JLC staff members helped to form committees to combat intolerance in more than twenty American cities. The JLC supplied posters, pamphlets, and film strips, organized classes, conferences and summer institutes, and generally stimulated awareness of the evil of race hatred throughout the labor movement.


Postcard showing emigrants arriving in Israel. Sent by Aba Goldson to the JLC.
[1948?] The Zionist question had been a longstanding source of difficulty for the JLC. Its leaders tended to adhere to the traditional Bundist attitude that Zionist appeals were a distraction from the essential goal of ensuring the right of Jews to live as free and equal citizens in every country. The Polish Bund had, however, maintained close and cordial relations with the left-wing party of labor Zionists (Left Poale Zion), and the JLC continued this relationship in America.



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