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New York Board of Rabbis Offer Gov. Rockefeller Help in Ending Gravediggers Strike

March 6, 1970
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The New York Board of Rabbis today offered to help Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller further measures he has taken to end the seven-week strike of grave-diggers in New York City. In a telegram to the Governor in Albany, Rabbi Harold I. Saperstein, president of the Board of Rabbis and Rabbi Harold H. Gordon, executive vice president said: “The New York Board of Rabbis commends you on steps taken in the Legislature to enact laws providing for equitable procedures by which disputes interfering with cemetery burials may be obviated. The indignities visited upon the defenseless dead and the pain and anguish heaped upon thousands of bereaved men, women and children who see their loved ones deprived of their final resting places because of contrary disputes is shameful, immoral ferocity. The New York Board of Rabbis is ready to help in any way you deem possible.” Gov. Rockefeller signed into law today a State Legislative measure approved yesterday that would give the striking gravediggers 48 hours to return to work or face compulsory arbitration in the wage dispute which is now deadlocked. Officials of the striking union said they would not return until they receive a “just settlement.” Orthodox Jews have been permitted, under court order, to bury their own dead. The New York Board of Rabbis, however, said the situation has become a tragedy and intolerable for non-Jews as well.

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