It Takes Chutzpah to Challenge School Prayer - talk

Sunday, September 18, 3pm
JC3, Las Moras 47 corner of 5 Mayo. Col. Allende

It Takes Chutzpah to Challenge School Prayer:
An Examination of Engel v. Vitale (1962 – 2022)

Honors those people who had the self-confidence to challenge the status quo, to take their deeply held views through the court or political system, and win or lose, had the tenacity to withstand public scorn.

“It Takes Chutzpah to… Challenge School Prayer” will take place on Sunday, the 18th of September at 3:00 p.m.

What is Chutzpah? According to Alan M. Dershowitz, Chutzpah is “…a willingness to demand what is due, to defy tradition, to challenge authority, to raise eyebrows.”

This first seminar marks the sixtieth anniversary of the 1962 United States Supreme Court Case, Engel v. Vitale, in which the Court ruled that prayer in public schools is an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment…under certain circumstances. The case launched a national conversation about the rights of religious minorities and the rights of those who hold no religious beliefs.

Although the ruling was issued sixty years ago, the arguments in favor of and against the school prayer decision are intensely debated to this day.


In this series, we will delve into other court rulings and legislative acts from Canada, Israel, Germany, and the United States. We will approach the cases with a discussion of the geopolitical situation of the time that the ruling was enacted and the impact of the ruling in our present time.

The series will include crucial issues such as book banning, the wearing of religious apparel, libel, immigration and assimilation, crimes against humanity, civil rights, racial discrimination, school district boundaries, and whether state courts can decide controversies over religious doctrine.

The cases involve secular legal matters. Because this series is being offered as a fund-raiser for JC3/CHESMA, they each have a Jewish feature to them.

The program’s research, writing, and presentation is by Suzanna Dworsky, a retired attorney who practiced law in the United States and now resides in San Miguel de Allende. The series will be presented in English.

The views and opinions expressed in the program are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of JC3/CHESMA.

For more information call 415 185 9191

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