New York Rabbis Endorse Supreme Court’s Ban on School Prayers

The New York Board of Rabbis, concluding its 82nd annual meeting today, “warmly” endorsed the Supreme Court’s ruling of last summer, banning official school prayers as unconstitutional, and declared that such prayers are “a disservice to the cause of religion.” Prayers of the kind banned by the Supreme Court ruling, stated a Board resolution, serve “to embarrass and divide the pupils and open the door to justify further sectarian intrusion.” The Board of Rabbis comprises 800 Jewish spiritual leaders in the metropolitan area, belonging to all three major Jewish religious denominations–Orthodox, Reform and Conservative.

Other Board resolutions urged the United States that it “insist” on direct peace negotiations between the Arab states and Israel; requested amendment of the New York State law on closing of business on Sundays so that Sabbatarians may do business on Sundays: urged liberalization of the New York State divorce law “to provide additional grounds for divorce”; and called for closer cooperation with the Jewish Education Committee.

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