By Simon Rocker
July 10, 2009
An outspoken commentary on the JFS court case from the former head of Carmel College, Rabbi Jeremy Rosen. You can read the full version here :
But here's a taste:
"Unlike other community Jewish schools throughout the world, the JFS's religious position is controlled by the established Church of Anglo Jewry, the United Synagogue and its ecclesiastical authorities. So that if elsewhere children recognized as Jewish by other denominations and other ecclesiastical authorities are allowed to attend community Jewish schools, in England they are not.
"The usual pathetic argument is that if you have children of doubtful Jewish identity mixing with those who are definitely Jewish this encourages intermarriage and will lead to confusion. It is so myopic, it leads inevitably to saying a Jewish child should never mix with any other Jew of different religious background or any non-Jew for fear of ending up falling in love and marrying out. It implies that reasonable adults are incapable of making choices. If ever there was an example of religious insecurity this must be it. And sadly it abounds."
And this: "Had the JFS not been under the dead hand of ecclesiastical authorities, it could, as most community schools around the world do, say that whoever wants to benefit from its kind of education and will participate positively is welcome. Had that been the case Anglo Jewry would not have needed to stump up more millions for yet another school, the Jewish Community Secondary School, to provide just that. Let alone fritter away sparse money defending an indefensible position. But no, once you let clerics get involved they invariably screw things up."