NEW YORK (Sep. 23)
The New York City Board of Education has disclosed plans to set up public school classes in a Jewish Center in Brooklyn and a church in Manhattan as temporary measures to relieve overcrowded public school classrooms.
The board said it had received approval from the New York City Board of Estimate to lease five classrooms at the Seaview Jewish Center. The five rooms, which will provide seats for about 150 pupils, will be designated as an annex of a nearby public school, P.S. 272.
In both moves, school officials said there would not be any religious symbols in the classrooms and that the pupils would not be exposed to any religious influences. They said the school board had used synagogue and church-owned facilities before with no objections from parents of children assigned to such classrooms.
Leonard Vogel, principal of P.S. 272, said he had asked officials of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Brooklyn if they had any objections to Catholic pupils attending classes in the Jewish Center. He said he was informed there would not be any objections. The classrooms to be used are on the ground floor of the center. The rooms are used in the late afternoon for Hebrew classes. The synagogue is on the second floor and is reached by a separate entrance, school officials noted.