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Jewish Spokesmen Appear Before Congress Committee on Calendar Reform

January 9, 1929
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Objections from a Jewish religious point of view to the proposed calendar reform substituting the present calendar with a year consisting of thirteen 28-day months and one blank day were presented before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as it continued yesterday its hearing on the Porter resolution.

The Committee heard today Dr. Bernard Drachman, president of the Jewish Sabbath Alliance of America, and William Rosenberg, executive secretary of the organization. They objected to the changes on the ground that the “commercial calendar” would prove to be injurious to those observing the seventh day as the Sabbath.

A new development in the matter was the filing by Congressman Sol Bloom, New York, of four points of order, objecting to the consideration by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the resolution introduced by Congressman Porter, chairman of the Committee, which would make the President of the United States the sponsor for an international conference to consider changing the calendar. Previously it was held that even those who oppose the calendar reform would not be in opposition to the resolution calling for an international conference. By agreement between Congressman Bloom and Congressman Porter the points of order will be considered after the hearings of the Committee are completed, which will be in about ten days. A number of prominent Jewish leaders are expected to testify during the hearing, including representatives of the Synagogue Council of America, the United Synagogue and the American Jewish Committee.

Congressman Bloom objects to the consideration of the resolution because in its preamble there is reference to the thirteen month plan. His points of order are:

“(1) There is no rule of the House of Representatives authorizing any committee of the House to report or (Continued from Page 2)

“(2) There is no provision of the Constitution authorizing Congress to legislate on the subject of changing the calendar.

“(3) Congress is positively forbidden by the Constitution from making any law respecting any law respecting any establishment of religion, or any law that would prohibit the free exercise of religion, Legislation changing the date of the Sabbath surely affects the religion of hundreds of millions of people.

“(4) There is no power given to Congress by the Constitution to pass any law that will alter or nullify the laws of any State of the Union.”

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