Jewish Community in So. Africa Not Involved in Political Controversies

The current political controversies in the Union of South Africa, many of them connected with the government’s policy of apartheid, have no ”Jewish angle,” the executive committee of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies reported at the Board’s biennial congress which opened here today.

The Jewish community on the whole, stated the report, has taken no collective attitude on politically controversial issues, “Jews exercising their civic rights as individual citizens, according to their personal opinions.”

One controversial issue on which the committee has taken a stand concerns the educational field. Recently, the so-called “conscience clause” has been eliminated from application to the new university for non-whites. The clause protects the religious freedom of teachers and students in schools and universities.

According to the committee, elimination of this clause “must occasion concern, because religious freedom is indivisible.” On the other hand, the committee notes, the government has assured the Jewish community that this modification of the “conscience clause” will not involve a threat of discrimination against Jews.

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