High Court of Justice Lauds Jewish Role in Advancing Civil Rights

United States Sipreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. tonight lauded the role of Jewish leaders in the advancement of the cause of civil rights in this country.

Addressing the annual Louis Marshall Award Dinner of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Justice Brennan said that Jewish leaders were “active and vigorous participants in the efforts to gain equality and respect for human rights.” He noted that favorable reaction of the major religious faiths to the Civil Rights Act “unquestionably was influential” in the ultimate adoption of that law. Earlier in the day, the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon Justice Brennan by the Seminary.

Among the guests at the dinner was Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg, who was installed as chairman of the Seminary’s Board of Overseers. Justice Goldberg paid tribute to his predecessor in that post, the late Herbert H. Lehman, as “a great American and dedicated Jew” whose “contributions to American life are manifold.”

Former Federal Judge Simon H. Rifkind, chairman of the Seminary’s board of directors, was also honored when he was presented with the Herbert H. Lehman Ethics Menal, in recognition of his “unique service to the United States, to the American Jewish community and to this Seminary.”

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