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Jewish Court of Arbitration: Baltimore

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Publication Date: March 1914

Author(s): J. Lewis Schochet

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Cultural heritage and preservation)
Justice (Courts and judicial power)
Law and ethics (Civil law)
Social conditions (Community life and organization)

Keywords: Communal Organization; Law; Justice

Type: Other

Coverage: Maryland United States


The author describes the Jewish Arbitration Court in Baltimore, including the challenges met and challenges faced, such as getting clients to appear before the clerk for a hearing, persuading clients to sign the agreement of arbitration, and enforcement of the court's decisions. In addition to making legal rulings, officers of the court often respond to men and women coming for advice in family matters, business troubles, and outside legal issues. The author recounts some cases where only such a court could have served the needs of the community, for example: the case of a father who incorrectly accused a mohel of incompetence and, were it not for the court, his reputation would have been unjustly ruined; the case of a butcher accusing a competing butcher of selling non-kosher meat; and other cases where the use of the court resulted in a more amicable resolution than could be expected in the regular legal system.

In Bulletin of the National Conference of Jewish Charities 1913-1914, Baltimore, Vol.IV:11, ed. Lee F. Frankel.