The leading domestic concern among American Jews in 1978 was the resurgence of Nazi groups, according to reports by the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council.
The 35-year-old council is the coordinating body through which its membership off 11 national and 102 local Jewish community relations agencies develop policies and joint programs on Jewish concerns.
Intense Jewish reaction in 1978 to a series of Nazi activities in Skokie, Ill., and elsewhere, overshadowed all other issues related to domestic Jewish security, the council reported.
The findings came in two reports on "Individual Freedom and Jewish Security." Freedom and Jewish Security." One report, by Samuel Rabinove, legal director for the American Jewish Committee, surveys the threat of Nazism from a national perspective. Norman A. Stack, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis, discusses the issue at the local level.
In addition to Skokie, cities in which Nazi groups were active last year included St. Louis, San Francisco, Detroit, Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas City, Milwaukee and Denver.
Stack said Nazi groups thrive on publicity out of all proportion to their numerical strength. He warned Jews against "falling into the trap of making them seem more important than they are."
The national publicity on the Nazi group in Skokie appeared to encourage Nazi activity in other communities, Stack said. "It is reasonable to asume that great impetus was given to Nazis and other anti-Semites else-where to duplicate the Nazis' successes in Skokie."
Stack said the majority of the organized Jewish community in St. Louis and San Francisco used variations of the "quarantine" technique to discredit the Nazis, rather than directly confronting them.