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Catholic, Jewish Minorities of Manitoba May Demand More Rights for Parochial Schools

February 4, 1930
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That the Catholic and Jewish minorities of the province of Manitoba, Canada, may demand more rights for their parochial schools at the present session of the provincial legislature, is apparent from an editorial which appeared recently in the Winnipeg Yiddish daily, “Dos Yiddishche Wort.” Says the editorial:

“Among the matters considered in the speech from the throne at the opening of the present session of the legislature, there is also the question of revising the Public School Act, a question which in our opinion demands special attention. It is not yet known exactly what the government aims with such a revision. But it seems that it will affect the foreign-language elements in the province and there is little reason for hoping that the projected revision will be in the direction of a more liberal attitude towards the specific interests of those elements.

“We Jews and other foreign-language elements here find themselves in the same position”cannot be satisfied only with the education which the public schools gives to our children. For reasons which are known to us all, we must have our own supplementary schools, where our children become acquainted with the language, culture or religion, as the case may be, of their parents.

“We have here also our own parochial schools, where some of our children learn, besides the specific Jewish subjects, the subjects taught in public school. These schools are officially recognized only to the extent that children who attend them are excused from the duty of attending the public school.

“We don’t know whether the government is planning to curb our very limited rights, which are to keep up our schools at our own expense while we are paying our school taxes, like all citizens, for the upkeep of the public schools. But we must keep our eyes open and be ready to fight any similar proposal, if such should be brought before the legislature. If the time is not yet ripe for the demand for more liberal school laws for the minorities we must at least be on our guard against further limitation of the few rights we already possess.

“This should be an opportunity for our Jewish deputy in the legislature. He should study the situation and confer with other deputies of whom he may expect a more liberal attitude towards the question. And there may be a possibility to demand more school rights for the minorities, as for instance, some financial support for the parochial schools. But Jewish public opinion of this city too shouldn’t neglect the matter. It may be that we shall have to exert a certain pressure upon members of the legislature, who are regarded as representatives of the cosmopolitan population of this city, especially of the North End.”

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