Jews Have Right to Their Own Schools, Canadian Supreme Court Rules

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

The Jewish Community of the Province of Quebec greeted with satisfaction the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, the highest tribunal in the country, which held that the lews of the Province have a right to the British North American Act of 1867 which is the constitution of the Dominion of Canada. For many years a dispute has been going on in the Province of Quebec between the Protestant and Jewish communities as to their respective rights in educational matters. By a contract made in 1903, which was incorporated into an act of the legislature of the Province, it was agreed between the two sections that Jews will be considered as Protestants for the purposes of education. In 1923 when the Jewish community had increased to practically the same size as the Protestant community, the latter applied to have the 1903 act rescinded. This the Jewish community opposed and further requested representation on the school boards. The demand of the Jews for representation was denied them. The Jewish nationalistic section of the community then came forward with a demand for separate Jewish schools, claiming that they desire to beg from no one and are opposed to having their children taught the Christian gospel. The group headed by Peter Bercovitch, a deputy in the provincial legislature asked that the status quo of 1903 be maintained and that Jewish children continue to be considered at Protestants and be subjected to the Protestant curriculum.

The matter was taken to the Court of Kings Bench, the highest court in the Province of Quebec, which decided that separate Jewish schools are unconstitutional. An appeal was taken to the highest court in Canada and the judgment held that the Jews have a right to their own Jewish schools. The court held that Jews are not entitled to representation on the school boards and that Jewish teachers cannot be forced upon the Protestant board.

Mr. Peter Bercovitch declared that an appeal will be made by his group to the Privy Council in London.

A meeting of the Jewish national leaders of the community was held yesterday. where a resolution was presented by Mr. H. Wolofsky. publisher of the Canadia Jewish Daily Eagle, requesting the Prime Minister of the Province of Quebee. Mr. Tascherean, to introduce legislation for the establishment of separate Jewish schools.

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