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Sabbatarian Sues New York City on Saturday Civil Service Tests

A Jewish member of the staff of the New York City Department of Welfare brought suit today in New York State Supreme Court against the city, challenging the right of the Department to give Civil Service examinations on Saturdays, on the grounds that such examinations violate the rights of Orthodox Jews who cannot participate because of the Sabbath.

Dr. Karl Applbaum, an employe of the Welfare Department since 1938, and an ordained rabbi, charged in the suit that, due to Civil Service Commission regulations concerning the scheduling of examinations for Sabbath observers, he was denied opportunities for advancement. He said that current regulations require Sabbath observers to present themselves for the examination at 9 a.m. Saturday morning and remain under virtual “house arrest” under constant guard until nightfall. They are then given the same test which frequently ends in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The suit asked that the last examination, held on February 19, be declared null and void, and that the Department be barred from scheduling future examinations on Saturdays.

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