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N.Y. Commissioner Bans High Holy Day Services in City-owned Hall

September 25, 1962
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Use of a city-owned recreation hall in suburban Queens, where the Rego Park Jewish Center has been holding High Holy Day services for the last 20 years, was denied for this year’s scheduled worship by City Parks Commissioner Newbold Morris, it became Known here today.

The city took over the quarters, known as Lost Battalion Hall, a little over a year ago. Last year, the Jewish Center, which has its 2,100-seat Temple nearby, used the auditorium for its “spill-over” worshipers, as it had for many years in the past. This year, however, Mr. Morris acknowledged today, he turned down the Center’s application. He did so, he said, because the facilities are used every day by the entire neighborhood for recreational purposes, and “I don’t want to turn it into a church.”

Rabbi Josiah Derby, spiritual leader of the Center, said that about 900 of the 1,500 worshipers scheduled to attend services at the city-owned hall will be accommodated instead at a nearby night club.

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