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New York State Sets Public Hearing on Sunday Law Exemptions

March 8, 1962
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Hopes for Fair Sabbath legislation that would exempt Orthodox Jews and other Sabbatarians from New York State’s compulsory Sunday closing law rose here today following a statement by Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller to an American Jewish Congress delegation that he was trying to find a basis for passage of a measure this year that would permit storekeepers to remain open on Sunday if they observed another day as their Sabbath.

At the same time, chairman Julius Volker of the State Assembly Codes Committee informed the American Jewish Congress that a public hearing would be held in Albany next Wednesday, March 14, on fair Sabbath proposals. The hearing will be the first dealing with Sunday law exemption proposals to be held by a New York legislative committee since 1953. A delegation of supporters of such legislation is now being organized to go to Albany in time to attend the hearing.

Proposals to modify the Sunday Law have been before the legislature for more than ten years but have never passed either House. For several years it has had the support of the Protestant Council of Churches but has been opposed by the Catholic church. The last legislative action was in 1958 when the State Assembly rejected a home rule bill to permit Sunday store operation in New York City. Last January, the Rabbinical Council of America, an Orthodox group, called on the Governor to fulfill a campaign pledge to seek passage of a Fair Sabbath bill.

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