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Bill to Revive Jewish National Autonomy in Lithuania is Drafted

October 24, 1926
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(Jewish Telegraphic Agency Mail Service)

A bill providing for Jewish national autonomy in Lithuania, drawn up by the Jewish Club of Deputies here, will be submitted for consideration at a meeting of representatives of all the Jewish parties in the country and then to the Advisory Council to the Jewish Club of Deputies for further consideration.

The bill is in two sections: the first relates to the organization of Jewish autonomy, and the second to the administration of the Jewish school system and of Jewish cultural affairs. It provides for the establishment of Jewish communal organizations and of a Jewish National Council. Every Jew who is described as such on his passport will be considered a member of the community.

Every member of the community will have the right to leave the community, but on penalty of forfeiture of the right of ever again becoming a member of a Jewish community. There is to be only one Jewish communal organization in each town, and the communities will have the right to enforce compulsory taxation. The Boards of the communities and the National Council are to be elected by democratic vote.

The section relating to the school system provides for cooperation between the Ministry of Education and the Jewish National Council. The schools will remain under the control of the Ministry of Education, but the establishment of schools and the appointment of teachers will be the task of the Jewish National Council.

Originally it was intended to draft one autonomy law for all the minority nationalities in the country. It was found, however, when negotiations were started that the Jews have entirely different requirements from those of the Germans and Poles and it was decided therefore that each minority should introduce a separate autonomy bill into the Sejm.

A member of the Jewish Club of Deputies stated to the representative of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency here, that he was convinced that the Jewish autonomy bill would receive the support of the majority of the members of the Sejm. The bill will be introduced into the Sejm very shortly.

The cornerstone of the new synagogue of the Congregation Emanu-El, Providence, R.I., was laid last week. Rabbi Samuel M. Gup officiated at the ceremonies. The building will be erected at a cost of $250,000.

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