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Rabbi Concerned About Effect of Era

Rabbi Bernard Rosensweig, president of the Rabbinical Council of America, told several hundred delegates at a special Torah convention here at the Quality Inn Motel that “the present farm of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) represents a potential danger to the entire religious community of the United States.”

Orthodox Judaism, Rosensweig stated, does not “support any form of discriminatory practice against women. We simply have reasonable fears that the ERA Amendment may open up a Pandora’s box of unforeseeable discrimination, against the religious practices and principles of major segments of our society.”

One of the fears, he said, is that many religious schools “which resist the integration of sexes may be liable to lose their tax-exempt status and other governmental grants. Considering recent rulings of various governmental agencies in the areas of affirmative action, one cannot dismiss these fears as illegitimate.”

Rosensweig announced the appointment of a blue ribbon panel headed by Rabbis Sol Roth and Gilbert Klaperman with instructions to study the problem in all its ramifications and to submit recommendations to the Rabbinical Council’s national convention in June. It was learned, meanwhile, that a delegation from the Council will meet with Congressmen in Washington to propose amendments to protect the religious rights of women and to maintain religious schools in their present form.

In another part of his address, Rosensweig expressed profound concern over the reliability of the United States commitment to Israel in view of what happened in Taiwan. “We trembled when we read of America’s abrogation of her twenty-five year military treaty with Taiwan,” he said. “If covenants signed and seated and approved by Congress are so lightly undone, how secure can Israel feel with commitments which are verbal, however fervently and persistently expressed. It is not intransigence for Israel to insist on precise stipulations; no protective precautions may be considered unreasonable and excessive.”

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