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Release Time Plan for Religious Education Approved in Chelsea; Jews Vote Against It

After debates and conferences with the local clergy which extended over a period of months, the Chelsea school committee went on record favoring the one-hour release time plan, whereby pupils in the public schools will be released from their classes to receive religious instruction in churches or synagogue religious schools.

The vote was 5-2 with Aaron Cohen and Julius Alpert, the two Jewish members of the board, opposing the measure. The issue occasioned wide comment in the community. The local press carried letters, editorials and comments on the question. Early in the discussions the school committee conferred with members of the Protestant, Catholic and Jewish clergy. The controversy was especially interesting from the Jewish viewpoint since Chelsea has a Jewish population of some 18,000 in a total population of about 40,000.

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