The Great Shul-School Test


By Simon Rocker
May 21, 2010
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If Jewish schools are doing their job, then one visible effect should be increasing synagogue attendance over Yomtov.
More and more parents are opting to send their children to Jewish schools: and since they are spared the dilemma of whether to send them school on festivals, shul is the obvious place to for them to go.
But is that actually happening in practice? I'd be interested to know.

COMMENTS

Joshua18

Sat, 05/22/2010 - 13:24

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I'm not so sure that I agree with this a priori assumption of yours, that it is the job of these particular Jewish schools to promote the Jewish religion in this way. I'm also far from certain that the state - any state - should be subsidising (more accurately, at least in this case, actually paying for) the teaching of religion in schools. If Jews or Muslims or Roman Catholics want to indoctrinate their children in this fashion then they should pay for it out of their own pockets.


Amanda76

Mon, 05/24/2010 - 16:05

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Seems to be working in Borehamwood, Simon. Shul was packed over Yom Tov, which is fantastic especially when you consider that there was no CRP registration either day, so people were not "just there for the points."
It's great to see families getting more involved as their kids learn more. Jewish schools are helping to keep the community alive and helping our kids to grow up with a strong sense of identity, which in turn helps them to be better citizens.

And, Joshua18, the voluntary contributions pay for the Jewish studies teachers, for the resources for religious events and lessons, and parents pay for all materials and outside educators that come in to "indoctrinate" our kids, so I'm not really sure why you've got so upset about this?!


Joshua18

Tue, 05/25/2010 - 12:31

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Like most civilised people, I believe in the separation of church and state. Quite simply, the state has no business promoting any particular religion. Surely our particular Jewish history has taught us the dire consequences that can ensue when church and state do get into bed together. And it is precisely for this reason that the millions of Jews who live in the greatest democracy the world has ever seen would fight to the death to preserve this principle. If you want to promote this or that religion then do so out of your own pocket by building and running private schools. That you may or may not pay for Jewish instruction is irrelevant. The reality is that the state is paying for the structure both physical and ideological in which you operate.

I also have no idea why you chose to put the word indoctrinate in scare quotes. That is exactly what you are doing. The two meanings of indoctrinate according to Merriam-Webster:

1) to instruct especially in fundamentals or rudiments

2) to imbue with a usually partisan or sectarian opinion, point of view, or principle

You meet both those definitions perfectly.


Joe

Mon, 06/14/2010 - 12:22

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Rab Butler's premise in the 1944 Education Act was that parents had the right to educate their children in their own faith, so long as this did not conflict with British Law. Parents pay taxes to support education so they are paying for their children's schools. The British Constitution has no separation of church and state as The Queen heads both.

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