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Soul Meetings





Teaching the
"Fifth son"

Released time - 1961

The thousands of children attending “Released Time” from public schools every Wednesday receive a minimal Jewish education. The Jewish Released Time Program in the greater New York area, organized by the NCFJE under the direction of Rabbi Jacob J. Hecht, and instructed by the students of the central Lubavitcher Talmudic Seminar.

The Rebbe sent a delegation to the White House Conference on Children and Youth in Washington, D.C., this year. Their job was to incorporate a resolution in favor of Released Time program.

During the conference, the Lubavitcher delegation waged a hard battle for the resolution in favor of Released Time. Sadly enough, it was a lone-handed battle, with the fiercest opposition coming from Jewish representation. The battle was won and the Conference, with a majority of 206 against 147, adopted the following resolution (#459):

"That children and youth be granted greater opportunities for specific religious education in many weekday activities, including released time or dismissed time from public school for programs under the supervision of local religious bodies."

Rabbi Hecht commented following the conference, “It would, of course, be unwise to exaggerate in appraising the value and the actual power of this resolution. In a certain way, however, it might be considered the dawn of a new era in American Jewry: an awakening of the conscience of the American Jewish public to its responsibility towards the hundreds of thousands of its children not receiving religious education and to the necessity to bring home Judaism to every Jewish child.”



Children learning in the Released time program


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