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Milwaukee Jews Oppose Christmas-Chanukah Programs in Public Schools

November 3, 1961
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Milwaukee Jewish Council issued a statement of policy today, in advance of the Christmas-Chanukah period, expressing opposition to “any holiday observances with sectarian content,” Jewish or Christian, as “out of place in the public schools.”

The Council noted that the influx of Jewish families into hitherto predominantly Christian suburban areas had “heightened bona fide differences of opinion that exist on this delicate issue.” The Council said that its policy was “in general agreement with the viewpoint of all the major Jewish inter group relations agencies.”

On the principle of separation of church and state, the Council said that both the introduction of sectarian Christian practices and of Chanukah songs and celebrations in public schools were “improper.” The proper place for such sectarian observance is in the church, synagogue and home.”

The Council urged Jewish parents to do their “utmost” to avoid encouraging Chanukah celebrations “in your child’s public school during the approaching holiday season.” Jewish parents also were urged to discuss religious holiday violations in their child’s public school with the council “before any formal approach is made to school authorities.”

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