“merchant of Venice” Barred by Baltimore
Menu JTA Search

“merchant of Venice” Barred by Baltimore

Download PDF for this date

Chiefly through the efforts of the Rev. Dr. Edward L. Israel, rabbi of the Har Sinai Temple, Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice” will not be included in the curriculum of the public school system of Baltimore after next January.

The play, which is considered obnoxious by Jews, has been banned by the School Board on the petition of Dr. Israel and a group of local ministers.

The book will be continued in the high school curriculum this semester because it already had been prepared. When the curriculum for the second term is drawn up this fall, however, the drama will be omitted, Dr. Israel said he has been assured.

Joining him in his petition for its elimination were the Social Service Commission of the Baltimore Federation of Churches, the Rt. Rev. Edward T. Helfenstein, Protestant Episcopal Bishop of Maryland, and the Rev. Drs. Peter Ainslie, King D. Beach, Clifford W. Collins, Robert Davids, John W. Douglas, A. W. Gottschall, G. W. Haddaway, Robert G. Leetch, E. T. Mowbray, T. Guthrie Speers, F. R. Sturtevant and Edward L. Watson.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund