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Orthodox Students Win Right to Hold Prayers in Brooklyn College

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A dispute over the practice of a group of Orthodox Jewish students holding nightly prayer services in an unused classroom at Brooklyn College was resolved with official college permission to use a classroom for that purpose.

The dispute began when Thomas Colton, Dean of Student Life, refused to permit the Minyan Club to conduct services on the campus on the grounds that it was established college policy not to allow “religious services in publicly supported institutions. ” Leaders of the Minyan Club argued that the religious services in an unused classroom did not infringe the state charter of the college. Ken, the student publication of the Brooklyn College School of General Studies, supported the Minyan Club.

Dean Colton met with the Student Governing Council and Minyan Club leaders several times and changed his original ban. He said that while college recognition would be denied to the Minyan Club because its constitution limits membership to Orthodox Jewish students, a classroom would be assigned for the services.

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