Strong demand for Jewish Haringey primary

By Simon Rocker, March 4, 2010

Plans are under way to open a Jewish primary school in Haringey which could have the support of synagogue bodies across the board.

Its promoters believe that the responses to a survey of Jewish families in the catchment area indicate demand for a new one-form entry, state-aided primary.

"Haringey does not have any state-aided Jewish school," said joint project leader Peter Kessler. "What it does have is a large and growing number of Jewish families. It also has an under-supply of primary school places and that under-supply is forecast to get worse and worse in coming years.

"We have met several times with Haringey's education department and they are very supportive."

Mr Kessler said the school would have an "inclusive" Jewish ethos. "We want to set up a school that does something no other school has ever done before - a school that has the support of all the major Jewish sects from Orthodox to Liberal. To that end we have met or are meeting with representatives from all those bodies."

Added Emma Cravitz, an educational psychologist who was involved with the Yeladenu nursery at Muswell Hill Synagogue: "We want it to be independent of any one synagogue authority but have the approval of all."

Mr Kessler, a former chairman of Simon Marks Jewish Primary, said that 150 responses from families to the online survey suggested that "openness to a wide range of approaches to Judaism" was a key priority. The respondents came mainly from Muswell Hill, a United synagogue, and the New North London Masorti.

The plan would be to open it by 2013, possibly a year before, but money would have to be raised for a building. "What is important is that it's built in the right area," Ms Cravitz said.

A public meeting for interested parties will be held on the evening of April 21 at Tetherdown School in Muswell Hill.

Last updated: 4:04pm, March 4 2010