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July 14, 1989 - Image 23

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-07-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Orthodox groups were
pleased with the decision,
while other Jewish groups ex-
pressed concern about main-
taining the separation of
church and state.
Rabbi Yitschak Kagan,
spokesman for the local
Lubavitch Foundation, said
he was not surprised with the
decision.
"We have always maintain-
ed that the founders of this
country belieNied in God,"
Rabbi Kagan said. "They
came here to escape religious
persecution of governments
that coerced their citizens to
abide by a religion endorsed
by the government. They
hoped to establish on these
shores a life where people
would enjoy religious freedom
and worship God freely."
The menorah, he said, is a
particular reminder of
religious freedom.
"It is our fervent hope that
the Jewish community will
now come together to fully
utilize the religious freedom
guaranteed and protected by
this great country," Rabbi
Kagan said.
Paul D. Borman, president
of the Jewish Community
Council of Metropolitan
Detroit, said religious
displays do not belong on
public property.
"We believe that both the
Christmas nativity scene and
the Jewish menorah con-
stitute religious displays,"
Borman said. "We hope that
governmental entities will
not use public funds or public
buildings to create multi-
dimensional displays that
depreciate the true meaning
of our great religions."
The Supreme Court case,
Chabad and County of
Allegheny and City of Pitt-
sburgh vs. American Civil
Liberties Union, arose short-
ly before Christmas 1986.
The Greater Pittsburgh
chapter of the American Civil
Liberties Union sued to ban
the display of a menorah,
owned by Chabad, next to a
Christmas tree outside the
Pittsburgh City-County
building.
The group also sued to ban
the display of a nativity scene
outisde the county
courthouse.
A U.S. District Court
upheld the constitutionality
of both displays. It was over-
turned by the U.S. Court of
Appeals later that year.
Several Jewish c-roups — in-
cluding the Anti-Defamation
League of B'nai B'rith, the
American Jewish Committee
and American Jewish Con-
gress — filed a brief on behalf
of the National ,Jewish Com-
munity Relations Advisory
Council.

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

23

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