DENVER (Dec. 20)
The Denver school system, in cooperation with the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith, has issued a revised teacher’s manual, “December Festivals,” on Chanukah-Christmas joint celebrations in the public schools.
The Joint Advisory Committee of the Synagogue Council of America and the National Community Relations Advisory Council has been on record since 1950 in opposition to religious and joint religious holiday observances in the public schools as a viclation of the traditional American principle of the separation of church and state.
In a foreword to the manual, Kenneth Oberholtzer, Superintendent of Schools, said that “December can be a month of great understanding for Christian and Jewish children alike.” He said that the schools “can teach that religion is sacred and that the only attitude we have toward it is one of reverence – remembering that we are talking about religion and not religious indoctrination.”
In referring to ADL cooperation in the joint holidays program, the Intermountain Jewish News said: “Denver ADL leaders candidly admit they are experimenting and taking a few years to arrive at a decision who is right – the Synagogue Council-NCRAC Committee or those trying to work out Chanukah-Christmas plays and pageants as a means of showing children what they have in common and how they differ and why they must live together as Americans in diversity of religion.”