Friday, Nov. 29, 1963 — THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS -- 8
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Seek to Enforce Ban on Bible Reading
The application was made by tinue the sectarian practices as
BOSTON, (JTA) — The
Massachusetts State Supreme Attorney General Edward W. the only community in Massa-
Judicial Court was asked to Brooke against North Brookfield,
chusetts refusing to accept a
require a town school commit- a town of 2,600. The school board
tee to halt Bible reading and voted five to two on Nov. 18 U.S. Supreme Court ban against
to reaffirm a decision to con- such practices in public schools.
prayer in its schools.
. . and Me'
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Inc.)
With the U.S. Supreme Court decision banning prayer and
Bible reading in schools, the observance of Hanukah and
Christmas in public schools will this year assume a new turn .. .
It is anticipated that some teachers will attempt to "compensate"
in Hanukah and Christmas programs for what has been banned
explicitly in the daily school routine . . . This year Hanukah
and Christmas do not coincide, and this will bring even more
into focus the differences in the observances . . . Some Jewish
parents who have pressed in previous years for the introduction
of joint Christmas-Hanukah programs in the schools will not be
able to do so this year because Hanukah ends a full week before
Christmas Day . . . But what about separate Hanukah programs
it the classrooms? What if a well-meaning teacher asks for
some "good material" on Hanukah or the personal assistance of
a parent in developing a Hanukah program? . . . Jewish organ-
izations advise that the teacher should be told that Jews are
opposed to any religious celebrations in public schools, whether
Jewish or Christian . . . The elimination of Hanukah programs
from the public schools this year is all the more important, if it
is to be followed by the elimination of Christmas programs a
week later . . . On the other hand, some of the major Jewish
organizations urge consideration of the fact that the Christmas
observance has been a deeply imbedded tradition in the public
school for many years . . . They believe that it would be unreal-
istic to expect elimination of the observance from the school
program . . . To avoid embroiling the Jewish population in serious
conflict with Christian neighbors, these organizations have cir-
culated suggestions to local Jewish community relations agencies
on dealing with sectarian public school observances . . . One of
these suggestions proposes that local Jewish organizations and
the rabbinate should discuss jointly the positions adopted by
the national Jewish groups against a backdrop of local condi-
tions . . Such discussions, it is pointed out, will deter self-
appointed spokesmen from attempting to speak for all Jews in
the community . . . The majority of the national Jewish or-
ganizations, both rabbinical and lay, are of the opinion that any
form of religious. holiday observance violates the principle of
church-state separation . . . They oppose the introduction of
Hannah programs no less than Christmas programs, maintaining
that celebration of a Jewish religious holiday has no place in a
public-school setting and should be conducted at home.
only the Concord could put so much into each day
Professionals in Jewish organizations involved in com-
munity relations came in for severe criticism at the General
Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare
Funds . . • The criticism was voiced by Sidney M. Shevitz,
President of the Jewish Community Council in Detroit . . .
Himself an ardent fighter for equal rights for Negroes, he
charged that some of the professionals are showing an inclina-
tion to make unnecessary demands upon Jewish communities,
especially when they insist that the Jews must accept a major
burden in the Negro's fight for equality by giving up their right
to support and maintain sectarian service agencies and institu-
tions . . . Arguing that this price is "unwarranted," Shevitz
pointed out that Jewish Federations have provided substantial
budgets for these sectarian agencies because communities
deem them vital to the interests of Jewish group status and
survival . . . Negro leadership which knows that Jews "take
care of their own" understand it and accept it, but not all
Jewish spokesmen have this understanding. Shevitz charged
. . . He doubted that there was justification for the feeling of
the Jewish community relations professionals that they must be
centrally involved and direct joint community efforts to aid the
Negro cause . . . "Is the insistence of the professional—who is
paid out of Jewish communal funds—that he control these
operations a misreading of the future course of events?" he
asked . . . He pointed out that the Negroes are Christians and
want to be integrated essentially in the Christian community
and not within the Jewish community . . . Jewish professionals, he
said, helped the Negro groups in their fight for equal rights,
but the force of events has heightened the confidence of the
Negro civil rights professionals and diminished their feeling of
dependence upon Jewish specialists . . .' The Negroes are now
ready to assume the leadership and direction of their people's
struggle "despite the reluctance of the Jewish professional to
step aside," he asserted . . .. He cited instances of friction at
meetings of coordinating councils, where Negro leaders indi-
cated politely to Jewish professionals: "Thank you for your help.
If we need you, we'll call upon you again. Remain our friend,
but allow us to take over the task you taught us to handle" . . .
Where personal relationships were less cordial, anti-Semitic
recriminations were directed against Jewish professionals.
USSR Jew Sentenced for Alleged Arson
LONDON, (JTA) — A Soviet
Jew named Lang was sentenced
to death by a court at Tashkent,
capital of Uzbekistan, after being
convicted of setting fire to a
shop, and looting the shop's
merchandise, according to a
Soviet Communist organ,
Pravda Vostoka, received here.
The newspaper reported also
that Mrs. Lang, the Jew's wife,
had likewise been found guilty,
and sentenced to 10 years' im-
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