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Clarification Sought on Chanukah-christmas Observances in Schools

The American Jewish Congress called upon the New York City Board of Education last night to clarify its position on the observances of the Chanukah and Christmas holidays in the public school system. The organization urged the Board to adopt a policy that was “consistent with the traditional American policy of religious freedom.”

Nathan B. Kogan, president of the New York Council of the AJC, declared that the statement made yesterday by Superintendent of Schools William Jansen that the principals in the various schools should draw up holiday programs in accordance with the religious complexion of the student body “appeared to repudiate the moderate and American statement of principles contained in a memorandum drawn up earlier by Associate Superintendent Florence S. Beaumont.” That memorandum stated that “no religious doctrines and no religious symbols of any kind shall be used in the schools,” and that there should be “no combination Christmas-Chanukah celebration in schools.”

Mr. Kogan declared: “The Board of Education cannot excuse its lack of policy by perpetuating the present confusion under which each principal decides for himself. The practices indulged in many schools are violative of the principles of our constitution, objectionable to many citizens of our community, and injurious to the spirit of good relationship which our schools should engender.”

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