American Rabbis Refuse to Pay Tax for Vietnam War

From the Daytona Beach Morning Journal:

Rabbis Vote To Withhold Tax On Phones

The first major Jewish religious organization in the nation to take such action on voted to engage in a collective act of civil disobedience to protest their opposition to the war in Vietnam.

The Central Conference of American Rabbis, an organization of 1,000 Reform rabbis, approved a resolution to withhold payment of the organization’s telephone excise tax.

The special excise tax on telephone service is designated for the financial support of the war in Vietnam.

By a voice vote at their final business meeting after a four-day convention here, about 200 rabbis directed Rabbi Joseph Glaser, the executive vice president of the conference to “communicate to the federal government our reasons for taking this action.”

Rabbi Glaser said afterwards that the action would go into effect “as soon as proper legal arrangements can be made.”

The conference was the first group of rabbis to publicly denounce the war in Vietnam in . The current resolution also urged the 1,100 members to “express resistance to the devestation of Vietnam by withholding payment of the telephone excise tax.”

The resolution also called upon the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, with which the Reform rabbis are affiliated, to withhold payment of the telephone excise tax.

The number of people who are renouncing their U.S. citizenship or giving up on their long-term residency continues to rise, extending a trend that began .