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Fifteen Toronto Rabbis Protest Decision to Keep Ym & Ywha Open on Sabbath

Fifteen Toronto rabbis have officially protested against the decision of the YM & YWHA in this city to remain open on the Sabbath and have called upon the Jewish community to back them up. The rabbis issued their protest in the form of an open letter published as an advertisement in the Jewish press. The signatories included one Reform and six Conservative rabbis.

The letter charged that the Y had announced its policy of remaining open on the Sabbath unilaterally without consulting rabbinical authorities although a discussion of the problem with a committee of rabbis representing all segments of the community was in progress. The letter charged further that the Toronto Y “in its cultural and social programs…has progressively reduced the Jewish element, moving further and further away from identification with Judaism. The rabbis complained also that the Y’s snack bar does not observe the dietary laws.

“Our recent informal discussions with the YMHA officers and administration leads us to believe that they are sensitive to the feelings of the total community,” the letter said. “Therefore we urge the Jewish community to bring to bear its influence on the YMHA.”

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