A free Jewish library to give to your children

By Simon Rocker, December 11, 2014

It is a few days before Chanucah but the children are already devouring latkes, The Golem's Latkes. The illustrated tale of pancake mayhem in old Prague is going down a treat with a class of five and six-year-olds at Michael Sobell Sinai Primary School in Kenton, north-west London.


New rabbi for West London as it ups education

December 11, 2014

West London Synagogue is to put education centre stage when Rabbi Neil Janes becomes an additional member of its rabbinical team. In addition to fulfilling his rabbinical duties, Rabbi Janes will be launching a new adult learning institute, which will be based at the synagogue.

Chairman Jill Todd said: "We are very much looking forward to welcoming Rabbi Neil to our team.


Chasidic school impresses Ofsted

By Simon Rocker, December 8, 2014

An independent Chasidic school in Stamford Hill, north London, has received a glowing report from Ofsted.

Talmud Torah Machzikei Hadass, which is run by the Belz Chasidic group with 533 boys aged from three to 16, was rated good overall.

The behaviour of pupils as well as the schools’ attention to their care and safety was ranked outstanding, as was its early years section.


Schools will not be compelled to teach other faiths

By Simon Rocker, December 4, 2014

The government has made clear that faith schools will not be forced to teach about other religions.

Representatives of Orthodox Jewish schools welcomed the assurances, which came in new guidelines on promoting British values in schools.


The lowdown on British values

December 4, 2014

Why the emphasis on British values?

The government sees the promotion of British values as a defence against religious extremism, specifically the threat of schools acting as breeding-grounds for Islamic militants.


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