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Schneider Hit for Hailing Foley’s Attack

July 15, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Bernard G. Richards, chairman of the Jewish Council of Greater New York, took exception Friday evening to the statement of Max J. Schneider, president of the Bronx Federation of Jewish Congregations, published in Thursday’s Bulletin in which Schneider expressed satisfaction at the stand taken by District Attorney Foley, of the Bronx, in warning against attending services in “mushroom synagogues.”

“In the first place,” said Richards, “a Jewish communial worker, whether of the Bronx or any other section, should not quote with approval and apparent enthusiasm a non-Jew’s indiscriminate denunciation of alleged ‘fake rabbis,’ etc. Despite certain deplorable circumstances, we ought not to accept rash generalizations and approach the subject of cantors and rabbis with a little more circumspection.”

Mr. Schneider further stated that the Bronx Federation plans to set up synagogues under strict religious supervision in localities where there is a lack of accommodation for those wishing to attend holiday services. He added that “all who desire to attend services, whether they can pay or not, will be able to.”

“In the second place,” continued Richards, “Mr. Schneider’s proposal seems to defeat the very object of the steps which have been taken to eliminate the temporary and make-shift synagogues which spring up during the high holidays.”

“It is bad enough that a state law had to be enacted to remove the evil of the mushroom synagogues and that this could not be done through the moral influence of the community which began to fight the evil through the old kehillah some twenty years ago. Now, however, that the bill has been introduced by Senator Joseph and enacted into law, Mr. Schneider should not be proposing to have his Federation set up new synagogues to meet the possible lack of accommodation in the regular synagogues for those who wish to attend services.”

It is Richards’ contention that “with the multitude of synagogues and other institutions existing in the Bronx, there should be enough congregations to take care of all worshippers.”

Schneider refused to comment on the counter-statement on the grounds that the “situation is very delicate.”

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