NEW ORLEANS (Nov. 1)
The battle over mixed seating in Chevra Thilim Congregation, which attracted nationwide Jewish attention over a four-year period, was ended finally today when the United States Supreme Court denied an appeal by a group of congregants opposing such seating.
The long legal struggle began in 1957 when a majority of the congregants approved a family seating plan and a minority group took the case to court. A lengthy trial followed before the late Civil District Court Judge Frank J; Stitch, in which leading American rabbinical authorities on Jewish religious law, appeared.
Judge Stitch issued an injunction barring the mixed seating plan and the Court of Appeals for the Parish for New Orleans affirmed his decision. In another action, the Louisiana State Supreme Court set aside the injunction and on last Rosh Hashanah, families sat together at services for the first time.
Opponents then filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court alleging that they had been denied their rights without due process of law and that family seating violated Jewish religious law. The Supreme court refused yesterday to review the case, thereby letting the Louisiana State Supreme Court decision stand.