N. Y. Court Orders Converted Mother to Bring Up Child in Jewish Faith

A Jewish divorcee who became a Christian Scientist was fined $250 by a New York Supreme Court Justice who held she had failed to live up to a separation agreement to allow her 12-year-old son to be raised in the Jewish faith.

Justice Thomas A. Aurelio ruled that Mrs. Sylvia Gluckstern Glasser, former wife of Philip Gluckstern, owner of a kosher restaurant in New York City, was in contempt of court. The couple was married in 1934, lived together as Orthodox Jews, and had three children. The youngest, Lewis Jay Gluckstern, was awarded to the mother in a 1959 separation agreement, on condition that the father “shall have full charge of the religious education” of the boy “and may bring him up in the Orthodox Jewish faith, notwithstanding any different religion which the mother may have.”

In his ruling, Justice Aurelio said that each had since remarried and that Mrs. Glasser “has become converted to Christian Science.” He cited the separation agreement by Mrs. Glasser that she would not try to teach the boy any other religion. At a trial of a suit brought by the father, Mrs. Glasser testified she took the boy to Christian Science services every Sunday. The boy testified that he wanted to become a Christian Scientist.

The judge ruled, however, that “this infant should not be permitted to abandon so easily the faith he was born in. He has not reached the age of discernment and understanding to fully appreciate the significance of this momentous decision.”

In imposing the fine, the Justice suggested that the father consider instituting a separate suit to gain custody of his son. The father said that Lewis had attended classes at a synagogue in New Rochelle, N. Y., until about six months ago but that since then, the boy had refused to attend. The father blamed the boy’s mother for the child’s refusal to go the synagogue.

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