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Union of American Hebrew Congregations Will Allot $130,000 for Extension Work

May 9, 1927
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

The adoption of a budget calling for the expenditure of more than $130,000 for religious extension activities in the United States, and a statement opposing religious instruction in the public schools, featured the meeting of the Board of Managers of Synagogue and School Extension of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations held here. The budget was adopted, following a report presented by Rabbi George Zepin, in which were detailed the activities of the Department in the field of religious education, and its efforts to extend opportunities for the worship of Judaism throughout the United States, by the visits of field rabbis, through publications and correspondence.

Plans for 1927-1928 call for an increase of more than $30,000 over the budgeted requirements of the Department for 1926-1927. Action on this budget will be taken by the Executive Board of the Union at its forthcoming annual meeting. The largest single activity included in the budget is $34,120 for the maintenance of eight religious schools in New York in cooperation with the New York Committee on Synagogue and School Extension. Other appropriations recommended are $5,000 to be expened in the next two years for a survey of the religious needs and opportunities of Jewish students at universities, and $13,400 to pay salaries and expenses of regional rabbis for field work in small communities. The budget also calls for $4,000 to carry out a program of youth work–preparing literature and stimulating by youth organizations the interest of Jewish boys and girls in the faith. Increased appropriations are also requested for the publication of tracts, sermons, and the magazine, “Young Israel.”

Those present at the meeting of the Board of Managers were: Julius W. Freiberg, Cincinnati, presiding; Rabbi Morris M. Feuerlicht, Indianapolis; Dr. Solomon B. Freehof, Chicago; Dr. Ephraim Frisch, San Antonio; Morton J. Heldman, Cincinnati; Simeon M. Johnson, Cincinnati; Rabbi Joseph S. Kornfeld, Toledo; Herbert C. Oettinger, Cincinnati; Dr. Joseph Rauch, Louisville; Rabbi Sidney S. Tedesche, New Haven, and Rabbi George Zepin, Cincinnati.

The Board of Managers, taking into consideration a statement prepared by the joint committee representing the Commission on Jewish Education and the Board, approved the following declaration on religious instruction in the public schools:

“We are opposed to ainy form of religious instruction as part of the public school system or during the public school hours. It is our conviction that the latter recommendations of various religious bodies, no matter what form suggested, are hostile to the principles of democracy by virtue of which each group is entitled to the right of religious liberty, and the integrity of its religious interpretations.”

“As these recommendations really mean an abandomnent of the American principle of separation of Church and State we advocate as far preferable that the public schools reduce their time schedule by closing the entire public school system one hour or more at the end of the school day. The time thus put at the disposal of the children may be used by the parents for such instruction for their children as they see fit.”

It also determined to join with Catholic and Protestant educational agencies in organizing the American Association on Religion in universities and colleges, and to include in its budget for the coming year an item of $1,000 to be used in establishing agencies under denominational control to teach religion at colleges to such students who desire to register for these courses.

Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver was reappointed member of the Commission on Jewish Education at the expiration of his term, and Herman Wile was appointed to fill a vacancy in the Pension Plan Committee.

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