School Board Decision to Read New Testament in Classes Evokes Protests

Four non-Jews and one rabbi today complained to Abington School Board, in nearby Bucks County, against a plan by the township to accept a gift of 3, 000 copies of the New Testament which would be used for Bible reading in the public schools in the area. The School Board has scheduled a meeting for next week to decide on a proposal that it appeal the issue afresh to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has already ruled against Bible reading in public schools.

Among the opponents of the Bible-reading proposal are leading members of the Society of Friends, an Episcopal clergyman, and Rabbi Herbert Hendel, of Temple Sholom, Levittown, Pa. Rabbi Hendel and the non-Jews opposing school Bible reading insist that the move would violate the principle of separation of Church and State, and hold that Bible reading by children “are matters belonging to the homes and the religious institutions to which the children and their parents belong.”

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