Menu JTA Search

Changing Orthodox to Conservative Synagogue Trust Breach Court Rules

The Court of Appeals yesterday reversed the decision of Chief Justice Homer G. Powell of the Common Pleas Court, when it granted an injunction against the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Jewish Center and Rabbi Solomon Goldman, enjoining them from the use of the synagogue as a Conservative house of worship. The decision upholds the contention of the Orthodox members of the congregation that the synagogue was a trust, formed for Orthodox purposes, and that its trustees, without violating a trust, could not change the synagogue ritual from Orthodox to Conservative. The decision that a breach of trust had occurred was unanimously upheld by all three judges sitting on the case.

The defendants, who were permitted to file an answer within two weeks, must stand trial in the Court of Appeals this fall, or revert the synagogue to its Orthodox status.

W. K. Stanley, attorney for the defendants, stated that he did not know what further action would be taken. Rabbi Goldman is no longer the spiritual leader of the Cleveland Jewish Center, now being with a Chicago congregation.

The decision was handed down by Judges Kent W. Hughes, Charles L. Justice, of the Third District Appellate Court, and Roy H. Williams of the Sixth District Appellate Court.

The case, which has been two years in litigation, has attracted nation-wide interest. Plaintiffs in the suit were an Orthodox Committee of the congregation, headed by A. A. Katz, which pressed charges against Rabbi Solomon Goldman and trustees of the Cleveland Jewish Center.

Formed as an Orthodox congregation, dissension arose among the members, when Rabbi Solomon Goldman, its spiritual leader, with the concurrence of members of the board of trustees, changed the ritual to Conserv-

(Continued on Page 4)

(Continued from Page 1)

ative type of worship. The Orthodox members of the congregation charged that inasmuch as money had been raised for an Orthodox house of worship and the Constitution so specified the change from the Orthodox ritual with a violation of a trust.

In 1928, when the case was brought to the Court of Common Pleas, Judge Powell decided the court had no jurisdiction over religious matters.

NEXT STORY