At a meeting of the Alliance of Black and Jewish Clergy on May 18, the leadership of the black and Jewish religious communities expressed alarm at misunderstandings perpetuated by a misleading headline and story in The Times on May 18 (Part I). The headline indicated that Jewish leaders had refused to meet with Jackson.
The truth is that Jewish leadership in greater Los Angeles has never refused to meet with Jackson. An invitation was extended to him and to other presidential candidates last fall by the Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles. Jackson has indicated to date that the time is not yet appropriate for such a meeting, but that he fully expects to meet with the Jewish leaders of greater Los Angeles in the near future.
The meeting which did take place at the Roosevelt Hotel between some Jews and Jackson was a privately organized meeting and did not represent any official leadership of the Jewish community. Those Jewish leaders who did not attend the meeting were either uninvited or decided to wait for the appropriate community forum to share with a candidate of Jackson's prestige.
As clergy leaders, we are concerned that our communities perceive that there is good faith at work between Jackson and the Jewish community and between the Jewish community leadership and Jackson.
RABBI HARVEY J. FIELDS
REV. JOSEPH B. HARDWICK
of Black and Jewish Clergy