For 65 years, the National Conference of Christians and Jews has been an enlightened influence on the Baltimore community. With its Dawn Patrol breakfasts and its seminars on human relations, the NCCJ has been an important voice for tolerance and cooperation in a city where religious and ethnic communities still lead largely separate lives.
In recent years, increasing competition for scarce contributions has left the organization spending much of its energy simply trying to keep itself going. To its credit, rather than continue the frustrating struggle to perpetuate its own existence, the NCCJ is disbanding its Maryland chapter. That is a loss for Baltimore. But the organization's influence will be felt in other organizations that work for better understanding among various groups in the larger community.
The NCCJ leaves behind an important legacy of tolerance and respect -- a legacy that is as important today as ever.