Orthodox Rabbis in New Jersey Oppose Essex County Y’s Plans for Special Sabbath Program

The Rabbinical Council of New Jersey announced it had joined with the Council of Orthodox Rabbis of Essex County in opposition to the plans of the Essex County YM-YWHA to keep its Northfield Y building open on Saturdays for a modified program of special activities for young people, the Jewish News of Newark reported.

Rabbi Albert Schwartz of Perth Amboy, president of the state Rabbinical Council, in announcing full support for the Essex Orthodox Council on the issue, said he had appointed a “committee of concern for the sanctity of the Sabbath in Jewish public institutions.”He said the committee would meet with officials of the West Orange Y to seek cancellation of the new Saturday policy and that the committee would develop a “preaching campaign” to tell congregations and members of Ys throughout New Jersey of the “possible imminent danger of having the open-door policy of the Sabbath spread to other sections” of the state.

The Rabbinical Council said that it was urging the Y’s board “to reconsider its action and maintain the long-standing tradition of communal agencies, created and maintained by Jews, to adhere to observance of and respect for the Sabbath.” The Rabbinical group also declared that the decision, “however well-intentioned, nevertheless contributes to divisiveness of the community by an institution that is committed to the concept of serving as the common meeting ground for all elements of the Jewish community.”

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