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Conference of Orthodox Rabbis Split on Federal Aid to Schools

The Rabbinical Council of America appealed today to the Soviet Government to provide opportunities for free and unqualified religious freedom for the 3,000,000 Jews in Russia.

The appeal was made in one of a series of resolutions adopted at the annual midwinter conference here of the Orthodox rabbinical group. The 500 delegates heard a symposium yesterday at which speakers split sharply on the issue of federal aid to religious schools but took no action today on the issue in their resolutions.

In another resolution, the rabbis commended President Kennedy for his decision to permit the sale of Hawk anti-aircraft missiles to Israel and they appealed to the United States Postmaster General to ban all hate literature from the mails.

The delegates asked the United States Government to continue its program of technical and economic aid to Israel to enable that country to expand its economy “and to absorb the influx of refugees from various parts of the world.” They also asked the United States “to pressure the Arab states to cease discriminating against American servicemen of the Jewish faith at Arab ports and military bases.”

The rabbis urged the new 88th Congress to enact “a strong civil rights program” without further delay and indicated their support of President Kennedy’s program of medical care for the aged through Social Security. They also urged the state legislatures to outlaw discrimination because of race, creed or color in the sale, rental and occupancy of private realty

Rabbi Bernard L. Berson, chairman of the conference, called on the state legislatures to set up special fact-finding committees “to study the question of religious celebrations in public schools and to recommend changes to remedy any enmity and division which may result from such activities.”

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