United Synagogue Condemns State Lotteries in New York and New Hampshire

The United Synagogue of America, the congregational body of Conservative Judaism, has sharply condemned state lotteries. An editorial in the religious body’s quarterly, the United Synagogue Review, charged that lotteries such as those in New York and New Hampshire which resort to gambling to help support community institutions and education were “transferring the burden of the cost of government from those who can afford it to those who can afford it least.”

The editorial pointed out that since 1957, the United Synagogue has maintained a strict “standard for synagogue practices” which rejects gambling devices for fund raising and that a number of Conservative congregations have been expelled for refusing to eliminate their bingo games. The United Synagogue code calls for fund raising which must have “spirituality in the Jewish tradition,” the Review said. It cited the failure of the New York and New Hampshire lotteries to produce revenues remotely close to original estimates as proof that “the grass roots of our states are not quite the suckers that their legislators make them out to be.”

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