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Philadelphia Synagogue Votes Unanimously to Ban All Types of Games of Chance

Congregation Beth Israel here this week issued a statement declaring that its members have decided unanimously “to abolish all types of games of chance.” Earlier, following a local controversy, the Philadelphia Board of Rabbis banned all gambling in or by synagogues or affiliates.

The Congregation’s action, taken by its Board of Managers, noted that the “Board realizes it has taken a drastic step, but hopes it is paving the way for the abolition of all gambling by religious groups in the local Jewish community.” The congregation called upon the Board of Rabbis to revise its original decres so it will include even card parties by all synagogues under the supervision of its members. “Gambling is gambling, whether it be bingo or the raffling of aprons or cakes,” the statement said.

Earlier, the spiritual leader of the synagogue–Rabbi Meyer Finkelstein–resigned in protest against continued gambling in the synagogue. The Board statement said it has “tabled the resignation of Rabbi Finkelstein, until the next Board meeting,” scheduled for Novermber 5.