Resolution Adopted by the CCAR

On Religion in the Public Schools

Adopted by the CCAR at the 95th Annual Convention of
the Central Conference of American Rabbis
Grossingers, New York, June 18-21, 1984

Whereas in recent years, there have been many successful efforts within the school systems in the United States to protect the "wall of separation" between Church and State:

Whereas there has, nevertheless, been a recent attempt to introduce vocal prayer and the right of equal access for student religious groups into the schools,

Therefore be it resolved that the Central Conference of American Rabbis deplores these attempts to compromise a basic principle that has served for more than two centuries as the cornerstone of religious liberty, and extends its gratitude to the United States Senate for its rejection of the proposed Constitutional Amendment.

Be it further resolved that the Central Conference of American Rabbis confirms its long-standing commitment to the principle of the separation of Church and State, as historically understood by the First Amendment to the Constitution. It is the best guarantor possible for the full freedom of all religions within our Republic.

Be it further resolved that as Jews committed to our religious tradition, we affirm that religion is too precious and personal to be imposed upon the children in our schools. We believe that the Constitution views the government as religiously neutral, while guaranteeing freedom to make religious choices without incurring advantages or liabilities.

Be it further resolved that we call upon our colleagues to oppose future attempts to introduce prayer, either vocal or silent, and the right of equal access for student religious groups into the public schools of our nation; and to encourage the practice of religion in houses of worship and in the home.