Young readers get books bonanza at Etz Chaim

By Rosa Doherty, December 4, 2014

Children at Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School will not be lost for words after the opening of its new library.

Chris Wormell, author of Two Frogs and Scruffy Bear and the Lost Ball, dedicated the £20,000 room, which can seat a whole class and comes equipped with £2,000 worth of new books donated by the Parent School Association as well as internet access.

"We believe that a reading child is


A cheder where the fire still burns bright

By Simon Rocker, November 27, 2014

Ten-year-old Jack Lucas stands before the open Torah. He has just been challenged by South Hampstead Associate Rabbi Eli Levine to pick out any word he can from the forbidding rows of vowel-less black letters.

For a child who has never read blind from a Sefer, it is a tall order and would defeat many a United Synagogue parent.


Comprehensive success for Jewish secondaries

November 27, 2014

Four of England's top six comprehensive schools are Jewish, according to a Sunday Times table published this week.

Hertfordshire's Yavneh College was the leading state-aided Jewish comprehensive this year, and second in the country overall, followed by Hasmonean High School, London (third), King David High School, Manchester (fourth) and JFS, London (sixth).

Yavneh head Spencer Lewis said th


Poll reveals children's fear of other faiths

By Simon Rocker, November 20, 2014

One in 10 children in primary schools thinks that people who are religious, or from a different religion from their own, are "dangerous", according to a survey.

The poll, carried out by YouGov for the Bible Society, also found that nearly three in four teachers believe the education system could do more to tackle inter-religious strife by changing children's attitudes.

More than 25 per cent


Fresh claims made of exam censorship

By Simon Rocker, November 20, 2014

A strictly Orthodox school has come under renewed attack from secular campaigners for reportedly stopping girls from answering exam questions.

The National Secular Society (NSS) has written to Ofsted and the Department for Education, calling for an inquiry into the state-aided Yesodey Hatorah Girls High School in Hackney, North London.

The NSS complained about the school last year when it e


Jewish schools make you feel more British

By Simon Rocker, November 20, 2014

At a time when fears of religious extremism have led to a renewed emphasis on teaching British values in schools, here is an interesting piece of research.

Children at Jewish secondary schools have actually strengthened their sense of Britishness in their first two years at school.

It is a striking finding from the most extensive survey of Jewish schooling ever undertaken in this country.


Facebook gives head start to new JFS leaders

November 20, 2014

To say that elections for head boy and girl of JFS were hotly contested would be an understatement as no fewer than 34 students entered the ring this year.

After being grilled by a panel of students and teachers, the candidates were whittled down to eight boys and seven girls for a further week of canvassing.

The campaign went online with videos posted on Facebook before sixthformers, teach


Charity's £6 million school donation

November 13, 2014

A leading UK Jewish charity has contributed millions of pounds to a college in Israel where students are split evenly between Jews and non-Jews.

UJIA donated £6 million to the Western Galilee College in Akko, for the construction of a school of management, with the Israeli government contributing the remaining £3 million. The school was opened last week.


Hackney girls' school criticised by inspectors

By Simon Rocker, November 6, 2014

Inspectors have said that a strictly Orthodox girls school in Hackney should not be allowed to expand because of weaknesses in its welfare, health and safety arrangements and problems with its premises.

Bnois Jerusalem in Stamford Hill, North London, which has 780 girls on its roll from 3 to 16, applied last year to the education authorities for permission to expand to 850.

The school alread


Bid to set up Holocaust study centre in Glasgow

By Sandy Rashty, November 5, 2014

The Scottish Jewish Archives Centre is looking to set up a Holocaust study centre in Glasgow.

The group will apply to the Heritage Lottery Fund and appeal to the Scottish community for funds for the centre.

The move comes after the group completed a feasibility study, funded by a grant from the Scottish government.