Separation of Church and State

Adopted on October 30, 1993, at the CSJO Executive Board meeting in Detroit, Michigan, USA

The Congress of Secular Jewish Organizations (CSJO) opposes the use of public funds for parochial or private schools. "Educational choice" plans which provide vouchers or other government funding for use in parochial schools violates the principle of church/state separation and funding for private schools threatens to undermine public support of quality public education.

The CSJO opposes the use of public school premises for religious education, meetings or worship when school is in session.

The CSJO opposes any school-sponsored prayer as unconstitutional. This includes prayer initiated and organized by students, and so-called moments of silence, which are a subterfuge for the introduction of prayer into public schools. We urge our affiliates to continue to oppose any legislation or proposed constitutional amendments that would allow school prayer in any form or other religious practices in public schools.

The CSJO views the placement of religious symbols in a public forum as violative of the constitutional principle of separation of church and state.

The CSJO urges our affiliates in coalition with other like-minded groups to undertake educational efforts within the Jewish community on the importance of the separation principle, with special reference to religious symbols and religion in the public schools.