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Providence Jews Oppose “released Time” System Pi Public Schools

Opposition to introduction of the released time program in the public schools of Providence was voiced here by leaders of the Jewish community at a public hearing conducted by the Providence School Committee. The proposal to release children from school one hour a week to enable them to receive religions instruction outside the public schools one created considerable controversy here.

Sidney L. Rabinowitz, attorney, who appeared at the hearing for the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Coppers and the American Jewish Committee, told the School Committee that the program would have a divisive effect on the children would tend in many instances to substitute the one hour, weekly religious instruction for real religious instruction, would encourage truancy and would impose a heavy administrative burden on the school system.

Rabbi Morris Schussheim told the committee that the program “is a tacit admission of failure on the part of the school, the home and the church to fulfill adequately their sacred trusts.” Rabbi Eli A. Bohnen warned that released time was “a backward step” and contained the seeds of danger to religious liberty.

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