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Newton Jews Fight Attempt to Prevent Synagogue Erection

August 18, 1954
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

An effort by Mayor Howard Whitmore, Jr., to prevent the erection of a new synagogue here is being fought vigorously in the courts, and will come before Judge Jesse Morton in Suffolk Superior Court here this week.

According to officials of Congregation Mishkan Tefila, whose present house of worship is in nearby Roxbury, land on Hammond Pond Parkway here was bought for the new temple last month. On July 16, the Metropolitan District Commission, by a vote of 3 to 2, voted to convey the land to the congregation. A few days later, the congregation contends, the Newton Board of Aldermen sent a resolution to the Mayor calling upon him to appoint a Board of Park Commissioners.

Newton had never had such a board. The Mayor named the board the very day he received the resolution from the Aldermen. That day, also, the Aldermen approved the Mayor’s appointments. The new Park Commissioners, then, entered an objection to the conveyance already granted by the District Commissioners, in spite of the fact that the deed to the land had already been conveyed to the congregation.

Judge Jacob J. Spiegel, as counsel for the congregation, argued the case preliminarily before Judge Morton last week, and continues to press the case. The congregation claims that: 1. Mayor Whitmore’s appointments to the new Park Commission are not legal; 2. Even if the appointments are legal, the law provides that such new appointees can not take office until next May.

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