Irish Judge Tells Detroit Orthodox Jews to Seek Jewish Arbitration

A Circuit court judge, considering a plea for an injunction to restrain the Detroit Jewish Community Center from making its facilities available on Saturdays, urged the plaintiff this week to withdraw the plea and submit the case to a Jewish conciliation commission.

Judge Thomas J. Murphy refused to grant the temporary restraining order asked by Ben Wrotslavsky, and ordered submission of briefs from sides. He said he needed to acquaint himself with Jewish Sabbath laws. James Montante, president of the Detroit Bar Association, represented the Center at the hearing.

Nathan Shiur, attorney for the plaintiff, said that his client’s case rested partly on the Center’s articles of incorporation. He told the judge that the Center constitution said, among other things, that the Center should seek “to help maintain a spirit of harmony and union” and that “we claim that opening the Center on Saturdays does exactly the opposite. ” He said he would seek to show that the religious rights of minority groups, as provided for in the Federal Constitution, also were violated. Twenty affidavits were filed with the bill of complaint, bearing the signature of Detroit rabbis and officers of their congregations.

Judge Murphy coupled his suggestion that the issue be withdrawn from civil court and turned over to Jewish arbitration with the instruction that if this was not done, briefs were to be submitted by both sides this Friday.

Meanwhile, a Detroit Committee to Preserve the Sabbath was formed under the chairmanship of Morris Brandwine, to conduct an educational campaign and to battle the opening of the Center on Saturdays. The Center was opened for cultural activities on Saturdays some time ago. Foes of the Sabbath opening decided to take the issue to court when Center officials said that some Center facilities would be made available for use on Saturdays.

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