Challenge, defeat hate groups


The articles in the Aug. 27 Tribune about hate groups in Trumbull County brought back memories of a 1937 event that I was told about when I first came to the area in 1958.

This involved a hate group called the Silver Shirt Movement.

The Beth Israel Congregation’s 25th Anniversary Book states, “In 1937, when the Silver Shirts movement reached its height of subversive activity in our community and neighboring communities, our Rabbi initiated a militant and aggressive campaign to nip the organization in the bud.

“He enlisted the aid of the American Legion, the Warren Ministerial Association and the many fair-minded citizens of the community with the result that the leader of the organization was impeached from the City Council of which he was president and the organization vanished like mist before the rising sun.”

Rabbi Leon Stitskin, who served as the Rabbi for the Jewish Trumbull County-Warren area from 1931 to 1944, was a community activist. He was instrumental in the civic work of the community at large, the Warren Ministerial Association and in many movements.

He organized the Warren Community Forum, the Trumbull County Round Table of Catholics, Protestants and Jews who took part in organizing the Family Welfare Association and the Thanksgiving Community service. Rabbi Stitskin was a renowned speaker throughout our area and nationally, as well.

We need more people like Rabbi Stitskin to challenge, defeat and if possible, to re-educate those who espouse hatred.