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2-25-1934: JLC is formed - first goal is to oppose rise of Nazism in Europe

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Poster by Mitchell Loeb, 1934. The Jewish Labor Committee, the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, the Labor Chest to Combat Nazism and Fascism, and others made use of it in outreach campaigns.

February 25, 1934, New York, NY - The Jewish Labor Committee was formed by Yiddish-speaking immigrant trade union leaders, and leaders of such groups as the Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring, the Jewish Labor Bund, and the United Hebrew Trades, in response to the rise of Nazism in Germany.

More than 1,000 delegates - representing about 300 different groups, including such unions as the ILGWU and the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union of America, a range of union locals and a number of Jewish organizations - gathered at the Central Plaza in New York City's Lower East Side to organize a permanent body to fight Fascism, Nazism and anti-Semitism, and to study the challenges confronting working people not only abroad, but in the United States as well. The delegates had as a top priority mobilizing opposition to Nazism and Fascism in Europe. A Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) article on the conference appeared in the Feb. 26, 1934 issue of the Jewish Daily Bulletin, online here.

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Founding conference of the Jewish Labor Committee; Baruch Charney Vladeck speaking.

A provisional committee had been working for about a year to get this project under way.

Speakers at the founding conference, discussing the need for such an organization, stated that other national Jewish agencies were “failing to represent the masses of Jewish workers.”

More information on the early history of the Jewish Labor Committee is online here.

A 70-year JLC history (1934-2003) is online here.

An activity report the Jewish Labor Committee in 2013 is online here.