During the peak years of the UNIA in the early twenties, a
number of Jewish figures endorsed and contributed funds to Garvey's various
schemes of African colonization. The Hungarian-born banker and philanthropist
William C. Ritter of Brooklyn made a financial contribution to the UNIA's 1924
Liberian colonization program.
Two Jewish physicians, Dr. L. A. Goldfine of Chicago and Dr. J
Gordon of New York, also gave warm endorsements to the movement, and Gordon
addressed the Third UNIA International Convention in August 1921 from the
platform of Liberty Hall.
Garvey's Jamaican patrons included Abraham Judah, the city
engineer of Kingston, and Lewis Ashenheim, a leading luminary of the Jamaican
bar. Whereas the former helped make possible Garvey's first English visit in
1913 and 1914---an undertaking that proved of immeasurable importance to
Garvey's political and ideological orientation---the latter provided Garvey with
critical legal defenses in Jamaica's courts after he was deported to the island
from the United States. Garvey reciprocated by taking to the hustings in support
of Ashenheim's candidacy in the 1935 election, the final election held in
Jamaica under the old restricted franchise of crown colony rule. Garvey's
support for Ashenheim proved unpopular with the electorate and occasioned a
number of violent disturbances at meetings addressed by Garvey in Kingston. It
also marked the end of twenty-five years of close political allegiance between
Garvey and the opposing candidate and mayor of the city of Kingston,
H. A. L. Simpson.
A people without the knowledge of their history,
is like a tree without roots.