Montreal (Dec. 5)
All hopes of Jewish nationalists in this city to establish a separate Jewish school system in accordance with the right given them by the school bill which was passed by the Quebec Legislature last year have now vanished as a result of the publication of the official text of the contract entered into between the Protestant and Jewish School Boards. According to this contract, Montreal Jewish children will, as in the past, continue to attend Protestant schools, though their liberty of conscience will be recognized and provision will be made for their observance of Jewish holidays.
The main points of the contract are as follows:
First, Jewish children are to enjoy the same rights and privileges as Protestant children in the Protestant schools; second, Jewish children may attend any Protestant school in their district and not be segregated from other children in classes; third, the Protestant School Board recognizes 13 Jewish holidays and Jewish children will not lose any marks for absence; fourth, Jewish children will not be forced to study the New Testament and will not lose any marks, if they will bring a letter from their parents voicing disapproval of this subject; fifth, Protestants assure that they will not discriminate against employing Jewish teachers, but will make such appointments and promotions when deemed fit.
The complete control of the schools which Jewish children attend in Montreal will on the other hand remain exclusively in the hands of the Protestant Board. Regarding the financial side of the contract, $75 per annum is to be paid for each Jewish child attending a Protestant school, such money to come from Jewish taxes and from the “neutral panel,” which receives taxes from various corporations. The Protestant Board also grants the Jews the right to use two schools in the Jewish district after school hours for classes in Hebrew, Jewish history and religion.
Stating today that he is gratified with the solution of a difficult problem, Samuel W. Livingstone, chairman of the Jewish School Commission, added that whilst the agreement may not be acceptable to those members of the Jewish community who desire a separate school system for Jews, he feels that the majority of the Jews of Montreal are of the opinion that this solution is in the best interests of Canadian citizenship, since it is founded on the fact that Jewish children will attend school together with other Canadian children.
The contract will be in force for fifteen years, according to the joint statement issued today by the chairmen of the Protestant and Jewish commissions. Each party will have to give due notice two years before the expiration of the contract of any necessary change, otherwise the contract will be automatically renewed for a new 15-year period.