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Reform Jewish Movement Applauds Circuit Court Decision on the Public Display of the Ten Commandments

Pelavin: Displaying the Ten Commandments on public property is not only a clear and direct violation of the separation of church and state, but also a disservice to religion.

Contact: Alexis Rice or Randi Levine 202-387-2800

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2003 - In response to today's 11th Circuit Court of Appeals decision declaring the Alabama Supreme Court's Ten Commandments monument unconstitutional, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), released the following statement:


We are pleased that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the cherished separation of church and state, affirming that Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore must remove the two-and-a-half ton granite Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court.

We want to be clear - today's decision was in no way a demeaning of the importance of the Ten Commandments. They are, of course, the cornerstone of the Jewish and Christian faiths. It is precisely because of the special value we place on these teachings that we should teach them in our synagogues and churches, and in our homes, not in our court buildings, public schools or other government institutions.

Displaying the Ten Commandments on public property is not only a clear and direct violation of the separation of church and state, but also a disservice to religion. It is the very separation of church and state that has allowed religion to flourish in America unmatched in the Western world. Today's decision will help ensure the protection of fundamental liberties for Americans of all religions for generations to come.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC) , whose over 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews , and the Central Conference of American Rabbis(CCAR) whose membership includes over 1800 Reform rabbis .



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