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Jewish Groups Oppose School Statement by N. Y. Board of Education

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The New York Council of the American Jewish Congress today expressed its “dismay at the precipitous action by the Board of Education in adopting the revised statement on ‘The Development of Moral and Spiritual Ideals in the Public Schools,'” The organization urged the board to “take effective steps” to ensure that the program does not “provide license for religious instruction.”

The Jewish Labor Committee said in a statement that the decision by the New York City Board of Education to promulgate its controversial procedure for developing moral and spiritual ideals in the public schools “calls for extreme caution and is fraught with dire consequences for every religious group.” It warned that “the adoption of this statement by the Board may well add to the unfortunate tensions and divisiveness among our religious groups.”

“The schoolroom can never replace the pulpit, nor the teacher replace the trained theologian,” the JLC declared. “It is therefore essential that our historic concept of separation of church and state continue, with the school drawing from all facets of scientific development the necessary data to help make our children citizens responsive to the needs of their home, their community and their respective faiths.”

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