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Jewish Conference Reaffirms Opposition to Religion in Public Schools

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Jewish religious bodies and Jewish community relations agencies remain committed, as they have been for a number of years, to support of public school programs for the promotion of mutual understanding and amity among members of various ethnic, racial and religious groups and to the exclusion of all religious intrusions from the public schools.

This was the consensus of a conference attended by some 60 rabbis, educators; community relations experts and Jewish communal leaders from all parts of the country, held in New York. The conference was sponsored jointly by the Synagogue Council of America and the National Community Relations Advisory Council.

Bernard H. Trager, NCRAC chairman, in commenting today on the conference, said that it was called “not to reopen discussion of our positions on religion and the public schools and intergroup education through the public schools; but to consult together on how both may most effectively be advanced.”

“There had been many reports,” Mr. Trager explained, that some public school programs in intergroup or intercultural education involve materials or methods that violate the principle of separation of church and state. The purpose of the conference was to try to develop a set of guiding principles for determining what kinds of good intercultural education programs, observing strictly the principles of church-state separation, can be pursued by the public schools.”

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