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Reform Rabbis Condemn Racial Discrimination in Housing and Schools

The Central Conference of American Rabbis, representative body of the Reform rabbinate, today issued a statement condemning racial discrimination in housing and in schools. The statement expresses confidence in the protection by the Federal Courts of the rights of the minority, but finds “small comfort in the fact that armed force and court decrees must supplant the spiritual atrophy in the heart of man.”

Asserting that our regional and communal problems are not unrelated to the broader aspects of universal need, the statement “says that “we cannot isolate the housing problem of Levittown, the burned schoolhouse in Nashville, nor the integration stalemate in Little Rock and attempt to solve each as if it alone were the unique disease spot. “

The statement deplores the pressures levelled against those who see a better path in race relations. It commends those governors who acted to prevent violence and to preserve law and order. It hails “our brother ministers and colleagues in church and in pulpit who have undertaken to speak forthrightly and to uphold and teach the fundamental principle of faith in the Fatherhood of God and its practice in the brotherhood of man.”

“We would feel ashamed before the world, ” the statement declares, “if any of our sovereign states would so far forget the historic significance of free public school education, its importance in the past, its worth in the present, and its need for the future, and permit this essential structure of freedom to face doom, destruction or disappearance.”

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