South African Jews Fail to Persuade Government to Change Date of National Election

South African Jews have apparently failed to persuade the Government to change the April 22, 1970 national election date because it conflicts with the observance of Passover. The South African Jewish Board of Deputies and the local rabbinate have appealed to Premier John Vorster on grounds that the conflict will affect Jewish voters, candidates and election workers. Mr. Vorster has explained that the date was set without knowledge of the Jewish calendar and expressed regrets.

He invited Chief Rabbi Bernard Casper and Dr. Teddy Schneider, president of the Board of Deputies, to meet with him in Pretoria. The two Jewish leaders issued a statement after the meeting Friday. They said, “the Prime Minister again assured us that the selection of April 22… was due to an oversight. The Prime Minister acknowledged the difficulties which would, as a result, confront the Jewish community. It is regretted that in spite of these considerations, the Prime Minister explained that for reasons he held to be important, he was unable now to change the date.”

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