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Pennsylvania State Body Justifies Absenteeism on Jewish Holidays

A precedent-setting ruling, holding that a Jew who absents himself from work on a Jewish holiday, with proper notice to his employer, is not guilty of “willful misconduct,” has been handed down here by the Pennsylvania State Compensation Board of Review.

The ruling involved an appeal to the Board by Miss Isleen Goldberg, formerly a medical technician at Doctor’s Hospital here. She had been dismissed for refusing to work on Rosh Hashanah, after requesting such absence and being denied the privilege. Held guilty of “willful misconduct,” she was denied unemployment compensation, and appealed to the Board.

Her appeal had been backed by the Jewish Community Relations Council, the regional office of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League, and the Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia. Hailing the decision, I. David Pincus, chairman of the civil liberties department of the JCRC, said the ruling was “most significant because it clarified once and for all an important point dealing with religious freedom and religious liberty.”

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