By Geoffrey Paul
February 2, 2010
It's not just members of the US rabbinate who have engaged in public spats about faith education. Another aspect of the topic features in The Times' correspondence columns today where Rabbi Aaron Goldstein, the minister of Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue, takes a swipe at Rabbi Jonathan Romain, the ubiquitous rabbi of Maidenhead Reform Synagogue. What got up Rabbi Goldstein's nose was his Progressive colleague's expressed sadness at plans to establish a Hindu secondary school because, Romain argued, the Hindu community has been very well integrated into wider society and clearly didn't need a secondary school.
Goldstein pointed out that there was no more integrated minority than the Jewish community and this despite the existence of about 40 Jewish schools, as compared with a single Hindu school. "To seek to deny Hindu parents the same opportunity to prove that faith education can promote integration that has been available to our own community for more than 100 years strikes me as double standards," observes Rabbi Goldstein. "Furthermore, for a rabbi to criticise the legitimate ambitions of the Hindu community to have the same educational choices available to every other big faith in Britain may cause interfaith tensions."