A resolution opposing the plan to allow children in the public schools to take one hour a day from their regular class time to receive religious instruction was adopted by the executive council of the New York branch of the United Synagogue of America. The council contends that such a system would tend toward the integration of the school system with religious activities. The resolution adopted reads as follows:
Whereas the principle of total separation of Church and State is well establish and fundamental in American life, and Whereas it is for the best interest of the American people that our great public school system should make for the unity and tolerance of all religious and non-religious elements that make up our great American population, and Whereas there has appeared in this country a movement for the utilization of our public school system in the service of the religious organizations for the purpose of strengthening various and diverse faiths, and Whereas one of the ways in which an attempt is made to use our schools for religious purposes is to ask the public schools to release children of various faiths one hour from their regular class work to obtain religious instruction, and Whereas this deprivation of full time school attendance and instruction and the requirement to attend and the sanction to permit the attendance during the time set for school attendance will tend toward the integration of the school system with religious activities,
Now, therefore be it resolved that the New York branch of the United Synagogue, representing 67 Jewish congregations in this city expresses its strong opposition to this attempt and it further calls upon the board of education definitely to rule against this projected plan, and to see to it that in those districts where the plan has already been instituted, directions be given for its discontinuance.
Hyman J. Reit, president, New York branch of the United United Synagogue of America; Rabbi Moses J. S. Abels, Rabbi W. B. Leon Hurwitz, Judge Benjamin Marvin, M. R. Silverman, and Harry H. Goebel signed the resolution.
Judge Reit, announcing the resolution, stated that he regarded the proposal to release children from school for the purpose of being given religious instruction as being given religious instruction as being “subversive to the best interests of both religion and state. Nothing must come into the school system that would tend to divide and emphasize differences.”