Orthodox Jewish Group Hails Court Decision on Public Funds for Church School Program

Dismissal by a three-man federal court in New Haven of a suit challenging the use of public funds for church-related school construction was hailed by an Orthodox Jewish organization and opposed by one which had been a plaintiff in the case. The Judges ruled that grants under the federal Higher Education Facilities Act of 1963 to four Connecticut colleges and universities with ties to the Catholic church did not “discriminate against non-sectarian institutions.” Attorneys for the American Jewish Congress and the American Civil Liberties Union, which had Joined in the case in the belief that the church-state separation clause was involved, said the decision would be appealed. Leo Pfeffer, of the American Jewish Congress, who served as chief counsel for the plaintiffs, said that the case of Tilton vs. Finch, apparently was not “ripe for immediate appeal” to the Supreme Court and that “we plan to make such an appeal.” Julius Berman, president of the National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs (COLPA). said the Orthodox agency “heartily approves” the decision of the Hartford Judges. He said that, If an appeal is made to the Supreme Court, COLPA would file, “on behalf of the Orthodox Jewish community.” a friend of the court brief in support of the Hartford decision.

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