NEW YORK (Aug. 2)
Major national Jewish organizations and twenty seven Jewish Community Councils throughout the country this week urged federal aid to public education, but expressed opposition to the use of federal funds for support of schools under religious control. A letter to this effect was addressed to the Congressional Education Committee by the National Community Relations Advisory Council, the coordinating body of the Jewish groups.
Expressing the hope that Federal funds would be granted only to “public school systems in which the schools are open equally to all children regardless of race,” the letter urged preservation of “the priceless American tradition of separation of church and state.” It was signed on behalf of the American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, Jewish Labor Committee, Jewish War Veterans of the U.S., National Council of Jewish Women, as well as local community groups.
“We are opposed to government aid to schools under the supervision or control of any religious denomination or sect, whether Jewish, Protestant, or Catholic. We are not opposed to the use of any school for the provision of lunches, medical and dental services to children,” the letter emphasized.
Explaining why they favor Federal aid to public education, the Jewish organizations pointed cut: “We believe that an educated citizenry is the best assurance of the continued strength and growth of our democratic form of government. We believe that, as we are ‘one nation, indivisible,’ we cannot continue to permit differences in the economic conditions of our several states to perpetuate and deepen differences in the quality of education available to our children. We believe that a decent education is a fundamental right of every child in our nation, and that it is a proper concern of our federal government to make it financially possible for the states with limited resources to provide their children with an education that meets at least the minimal needs of a democratic society.”