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B’nai B’rith Conference Opposes Federal Grants to Religious Schools

Strong support for President Kennedy’s program for Federal aid to public schools was voiced today in a resolution adopted at the concluding plenary session of the 109th annual meeting of B’nai B’rith District 1. At the same time the delegates opposed any similar aid to non-public schools, stressing that grants to religious and sectarian schools would be a violation of “the Constitutional doctrine of separation of church and state.”

A program to strengthen adult Jewish education, designed to encourage study groups in the home and in Jewish centers, was announced at the closing session of the convention. It will be known as “living room learning.” In this connection, the B’nai B’rith Adult Education Department has undertaken a series of publications on Jewish history and personalities. Through this program “B’nai B’rith hopes to bring more knowledge of the great Judaic traditions and history to American Jews,” it was announced.

Arnold Forster, general counsel for the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, last night described the John Birch Society as “an absurdity.” Mr. Forster told some 2,000 persons attending the convention that the ultra-conservative Birch Society “is as dangerous to American democracy as the communism it purports to fight.” He labeled the society “the spiritual successor to the America First and McCarthy movements.”

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