Posted on December 16, 1996 In Press Releases

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization with over 1,000 member congregations, joined in the effort spearheaded by Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) to have content based ratings for television programs.

Since the passage of legislation requiring television manufacturers to install v-chips in new sets, a group of industry experts headed by Jack Valenti have been developing a rating system to guide parents in the use of the v-chip to restrict the kinds of programs their children may watch. That group’s proposals were leaked earlier this week; the leak reveals a rating system that is age based (much like the movie rating system).

The Orthodox Union joins with child development experts, the National PTA and concerned legislators to call upon Mr. Valenti’s group to issue a content based system that will provide parents with real information to aid them in monitoring their children’s TV watching. Such a system would indicate whether a program possessed violent, sexual, or objectionable language content.

“We are pleased to join this important effort to aid parents in the monumental task of raising morally healthy children,” said Dr. Mandell Ganchrow, president of the Orthodox Union. Rabbi Raphael Butler, the Orthodox Union’s executive vice-president, noted that “a reality of American life is that children watch television and that parents need help in making sure that they control what their kids see. At this time of year,” continued Rabbi Butler, “when Jews are celebrating Chanukah by lighting candles in the darkness, we would like to make sure that some useful light is cast upon the dark world of television programming.