FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2022
Alissa Kaplan Michaels, West End Strategy Team
NCJW Calls Kennedy v. Bremerton Decision a Dangerous Blow
To Religion-State Separation
WASHINGTON – National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) criticized today’s Supreme Court decision in Kennedy v. Bremerton, a case about a public school coach who violated the religious freedom of students by pressuring them to join his prayers at the 50-yard line at football games. National Council of Jewish Women Chief Policy Officer Jody Rabhan released the following statement:
“National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) believes that public schools should be inclusive and welcoming places for all students, regardless of their religious beliefs. No student should have to choose between their religious freedom and being part of school activities. But today’s ruling in Kennedy v. Bremerton could force children enrolled in public schools to do just that.
“As Jews in America, we know intimately that religion-state separation is essential to our ability to live and thrive. Yet this decision and two others this term — Shurtleff v. City of Boston (in which justices ruled that Boston could not exclude religious flags from its flag raising program) and Carson v. Makin (which for the first time forces states to fund religious education) — have deeply undermined constitutional law regarding church-state separation. Justice Sotomayor addresses this in her dissent by stating that with this decision, ‘the Court sets us further down a perilous path in forcing States to entangle themselves with religion, with all of our rights hanging in the balance.’ The Court is dismantling the wall between religion and state, and the impact on people — especially children, who practice a minority religion or no religion — cannot be overstated.
“NCJW vows to continue to work with a coalition of diverse religious and nonreligious advocates to fight on behalf of our democratic principles, upon which this country was founded.”
National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of 200,000 volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. Through a program of education, community service, and advocacy, our advocates across the country create lasting social change on our key issues of the federal courts; reproductive health, rights, and justice, and voter engagement. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.