Education

Cash crisis crippling US schools

By Gary Rosenblatt, May 21, 2009

Jewish day schools, found to be the most effective means of maintaining affiliation among young people in an increasingly assimilated American community, are in serious economic crisis.

Two burning questions are emerging: Can they survive? And who cares?

There are about 200,000 youngsters attending some 700 day schools and yeshivot in the US, about 80 per cent of which offer an Orthodox curriculum.

Ten per cent are Conservative schools, eight per cent are “community”, or non-denominational, and the rest are Reform.

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Coach blasts Tribe over ‘ridiculous’ reasons for sacking

By Leon Symons, May 14, 2009

A table tennis coach sacked by Tribe, the United Synagogue’s youth branch, has complained to education watchdog Ofsted.

Father-of-two Steve Cohen, 52, worked with Tribe for five years until the end of last month, when he was called to a meeting and dismissed after a complaint had been made against him. Subsequently, he was sent a letter in which two further complaints were made.

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JFS entry case is appealed

By Simon Rocker, May 14, 2009

An Appeal Court case opened this week into whether the entry policy of Britain’s largest Orthodox school breaches anti-discrimination laws.

It has been brought on behalf of “M”, a boy who was refused a place by JFS in London for September 2007 because his mother was converted by a non-Orthodox rabbi and therefore considered not Jewish by the school’s religious authority, the Chief Rabbi.

Lawyers for the boy maintain that to decide entry on the basis of whether a child’s mother is Jewish or not is racially discriminatory.

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Manchester rabbi departs

May 7, 2009

Prestwich Hebrew Congregation members have said goodbye to Rabbi Yehoshua Landes after 10 years of service. His departure was agreed last summer and he has begun teaching at the King David High School.

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Class act for Ivrit lessons

By Cathy Forman, May 7, 2009

Clore Tikva Primary in Redbridge this week formally launched a new programme of Ivrit teaching commissioned by Leo Baeck College.

The curriculum has been piloted since September, when Ivrit classes for pupils were reduced from three to two per week because of a fall in parental contributions at the voluntary-aided school. Clore Tikva’s Hebrew co-ordinator Dalia Wittenberg has developed the UJIA-funded programme.

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Swine flu alert teacher sent home

By Jan Shure, May 7, 2009

A primary school teacher was sent home for seven days after she returned to work from a Mexican holiday.

The reception-class teacher left halfway through the first day of term at Simon Marks Jewish Primary in Stamford Hill, north London, after telling colleagues she had been to Mexico.

Peter Kessler, chair of governors, said she came to school unaware of the swine flu outbreak.

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Step towards school move

By Cathy Forman, April 30, 2009

Plans to move Ilford Jewish Primary School to a new building next to King Solomon High in Barkingside advanced this week.

A Redbridge Council cabinet committee meeting on Tuesday recommended that council officers be given permission to negotiate with the primary school owners, a United Synagogue trust, to buy the IJPS site.

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JCoSS headteacher makes an early start

April 30, 2009

Sixty people were at North Western Reform Synagogue in Golders Green on Sunday to hear Jeremy Stowe-Lindner, head of cross-communal Jewish secondary school JCoSS, address his first meeting for parents of potential pupils.

Outlining his vision for the Barnet school, which opens in September 2010, Mr Stowe-Lindner said it would be “proudly academic” and open to all Jews, however they practised their Judaism. “JCoSS is the future of our community,” he declared, “focused on delivering excellent results and inclusive of all”.

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Survivor’s lesson to teaching staff

April 23, 2009

Holocaust survivor Zigi Shipper received a standing ovation from over 400 educators when he addressed the Association of Teachers and Lecturers’ annual conference in Liverpool.

Mr Shipper never saw his father again after being sent to the Lodz ghetto with his grandparents in 1940. He managed to escape from a lorry transporting people from the ghetto and returned to work in the metal factory until the ghetto’s liquidation in 1944. He was sent to Auschwitz and then to another camp near Danzig, where he volunteered to work at a railway yard so as to get more food.

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Circle is unbroken at Highgate School

By Jay Grenby, April 23, 2009

Highgate School Jewish Circle, one of the oldest Jewish societies at a UK public school, staged a 70th anniversary party for 200 past and present members.

Guests included John Davis, who founded the circle when the school relocated to a small town in Devon during the Second World War.

The group initially assembled for Shabbat prayer, but later expanded its programme to organise discussions on topical Jewish issues. Back in the capital, it grew to become the largest Jewish society in north London and has a current membership of 163.

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