Gift of Torah Scroll by Synagogue to Black Jews Hailed As Act of Brotherhood

The gift of a Torah scroll by this city’s largest Conservative synagogue, Har Zion Temple, to the city’s only black Jewish congregation, Adath Emeth Israel, was hailed today as an “act of brotherhood” by Clarence Farmer, chairman of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. Writing to Rudolph Windsor, leader of Adath Emeth Israel, on behalf of the commissioners and staff of the Human Relations Commission, Mr. Farmer stated: “When two groups with so many differences choose to recognize their common bonds, they remind all of us that it is better to live together in peace, sharing a world of harmony and mutual respect.” The presentation of the Torah scroll last Sunday culminated friendly overtures between the two congregations over a period of several months. The Torah, in its traditional maroon velvet sheath, was reverently placed in the Ark on Adath Emeth Israel’s pulpit while members of both congregations joined in prayer. The ceremony celebrated the recent acquisition of a synagogue building for the black congregation which previously had been housed in rented temporary quarters. The new building, which will be the home for a sizeable number of black people residing in the city who consider themselves to be Jews, also serves as headquarters for the Afro-Asian Israelite Cultural Center which seeks to acquaint the public with the role of black Jews in African civilization.

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