By Simon Rocker
June 25, 2009
The Court of Appeal’s ruling today that the entry policy of JFS – and by extension, many other Jewish schools – is in breach of the Race Relations Act will come as little surprise to those who attended the three-day hearing.
But that makes it no less historic: what the court has said is that the traditional rules for deciding who is a Jew – matrilineal descent –cannot be used for deciding who can enter a Jewish school.
Almost certainly more legal action will follow: JFS is already set to appeal to the House of Lords. It might even go all the way to the European courts.
There may be pressure to change the law so that Jewish schools will be free to set entry policies according to halachah.
Meanwhile, other parents of children denied places at Jewish school because their mother was not considered halachically Jewish could bring fresh law suits.
It’s going to be a long summer for school governors – and lawyers