Menu JTA Search

Michigan Court Dismisses Suit Involving Mixed Seating in Synagogue

A Mount Clemens court has dismissed a suit involving mixed seating in Congregation Beth Tefilia Moses on grounds that it would be improper for a civil court to deal with religious issues about which the court lacked required special knowledge.

The suit which had been pending for two years, was brought by Baruch Litvin, who demanded an injunction to bar mixed seating in the synagogue. The case recalled a Similar suit in New Orleans during the past summer in which the court accepted jurisdiction, heard a number of leading Orthodox rabbis and ruled against mixed seating.

The court heard testimony by Rabbi David Hollander, then president of the Rabbinical Council of America, and Rabbi Samson R. Weiss, executive vice-president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, Defense attorneys, however declined to debate the religious issues and asked dismissal.

Charles Rubiner and Arthur Rubiner, the attorneys for the congregation, submitted a statement to the court in which they said that ecclesiastical matters “should be relegated to, and decided by, ecclesiastical authorities, or by laymen versed in matters of this nature.” Judge Joseph Kane, sitting in Mt. Clemens Circuit Court, agreed in his ruling with the defense. The issue arose when the congregation board voted to permit mixed seating. Mr. Litvin and two others tiled suit.

NEXT STORY