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Bills Offering Aid to Private Schools Opposed by Phila. Jewish Council

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Philadelphia today expressed “vigorous objections” to two legislative measures passed by the Pennsylvania State Legislature, and now awaiting signature of Governor David L. Lawrence. One of the measures criticized by the Council would permit educational institutions to accept and administer any grants or gifts “upon such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the donor. ” The other bill would provide transportation, paid for out of public funds, for students of non-profit private schools, including religious-controlled educational institutions.

Murray Shusterman, president of the Philadelphia JCRC, pointed out that the measure permitting grants under any conditions prescribed by the donor would enable schools and colleges to accept and administer gifts and grants for scholarships that could exclude any individual because of race, religion or national origin.

In letters to Governor Lawrence, Sydney C. Orlcfsky. chairman of the JCRC Religious Freedom Committee, and Jules Cohen, JCRC executive director, declared that “free transportation to schools under the supervision or control of any religious denomination or sect, whether Jewish, Catholic or Protestant, constitutes governmental aid to religion in violation of the freedom of religion clause of the First Amendment to the Federal Constitution.”

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