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Rumanian Jews Seek Religious Autonomy

The new Minister of Religions, Ciobanu, today received Chief Rabbi Alexander Safran to discuss the proposed statute giving the Jewish community autonomy, similar to that enjoyed by other religious groups.

The statute would give the Jewish community autonomy in such matters as appointment and dissolution of community boards, appointment of clergymen and regulation of the exercise of public worship without interference by the State authorities.

Ciobanu’s predecessor, Ion Nistor, had indicated a favorable attitude towards improving the position of the Jewish religious community. On the occasion of Dr. Safran’s induction as chief rabbi, Nistor said the Government would soon regulate the position of the Jewish religious community by law in a way from which the community would benefit.

This was interpreted to mean that the Jews would be given equal status with other religious communities with respect to State subsidies. The present subsidy to the Jewish community amounts to 1,000,000 lei annually. On the basis of numerical proportion the community should receive 80,000,000 lei.

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