Education

Analysis: Secular and religious Jews are not at war

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 24, 2010

The 100,000-strong demonstration last Thursday supporting the fathers about to go to jail has been billed as the ultimate showdown between the secular state and the strictly Orthodox community.

Feelings have been inflamed for a while. The media and politicians have been ramping up the debate over the role of the Charedi sector for several months, following a number of reports on the community's growing share of the younger population and its lack of contribution to the national economy.

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Comment: Media treats Charedim the way the world treats Israel

By Jonathan Rosenblum, June 24, 2010

From the beginning, the dispute over the two-track system - one Chasidic and one general - in the Beit Yaakov school in Emanuel, an impoverished West Bank settlement, has been falsely portrayed as a case of ethnic discrimination against Sephardim, or Jews of Middle Eastern descent.

It would not be surprising if there were few Sephardi girls in the Chasidic track - there were few Sephardim in the areas of Eastern Europe from where Chasidim hail. In fact, more than a quarter of the girls in the Chasidic track are of Sephardi origin.

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Rabbi's rebel son is behind race lawsuit

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 24, 2010

The identity of the Charedi rabbi who gave his blessing to the controversial petition to the Supreme Court surprised no one.

Rabbi Yaakov Yosef has long made a name for himself in challenging not only the norms of his community, but also the wishes of his father, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the most influential Sephardi rabbi of this generation and spiritual leader of the Shas political party.

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Mothers to go to jail in school race case

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 24, 2010

The crisis surrounding the segregated Beit Yaakov school in Emanuel seems set to continue with a new Supreme Court ruling ordering that the mothers of some of the pupils be sent to prison.

Thirty five fathers of girls at the strictly Orthodox school were jailed last Thursday for two weeks for contempt of court, after they refused to allow their daughters in the mainly Ashkenazi "Chasidic stream" to study with girls in the mainly Sephardi "general stream".

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Jewish schools 'will face many legal challenges'

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 24, 2010

Lawyers say Jewish schools may face a barrage of battles from parents contesting practice-based admissions decisions.

This follows the case of Kayleigh Chapple, the non-observant Jewish girl denied a place in Liverpool's King David High School.

Solicitor Jack Rabinowicz, an expert in education law, says the move from descent-based criteria is going to lead to "a lot of disagreement and dispute.

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'Anti-Israel' A-Level textbook slammed

By Jessica Elgot, June 17, 2010

Students are lobbying to change an A-Level geography textbook which makes anti-Israeli statements.

The 2009 edition of AQA's geography A2 textbook, by John Smith and Roger Knill, compares Israel's security barrier to the Berlin Wall and says it is the new "symbol of a divided world".

King David Manchester student Adi Manning, 17, has a petition signed by students, head of governors Joshua Rowe, head teacher Brian Levy and pro-Israel student group, the Institute for Middle East Democracy.

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Scotland's only Jewish school

By Stephanie Brickman, June 17, 2010

In close on 50 years, Scotland's sole Jewish primary school, Calderwood Lodge, has been at heart of Glasgow Jewry, educating most of its children.

Now, with new head Vanessa Thomson at the helm, the state-aided school is searching for fresh ways of promoting itself to both Jewish and non-Jewish parents. And like Jewish schools in other declining communities, it faces the dilemma of how best to preserve a Jewish ethos when numbers fall.

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New Jewish primary for 2011

By Robyn Rosen, June 17, 2010

A new Jewish primary school in Haringey is a step closer with the announcement of plans to open on a temporary site in 2011.

Joint project leader Peter Kessler hopes it can be part of the government's Free Schools programme, where parents receive public money to set up their own schools.

The school will have a "cross-communal" ethos and four sites are being considered in Muswell Hill and East Finchley, among them an ex-garden centre and a former hospital building.

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Teacher loses antisemitism claim

By Leon Symons, June 14, 2010

A Christian teacher who sued his former school claiming he was forced out of his job for complaining that Muslim pupils were making antisemitic and anti-Christian remarks has lost his employment tribunal.

Nicholas Kafouris, 52, claimed that pupils had said in lessons that they “hated Jews and Christians”, had praised the 9/11 bombers as heroes and said they wanted to be suicide bombers when they grew up.

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Pitfalls and perversity the heirs to JFS ruling

By Simon Rocker, June 11, 2010

The Liverpool case is the first to bear out what was feared might happen after last year's JFS court case: that a Jewish child eligible to get into a Jewish school under the old admission rules would end up being denied a place under the new system.

Previously, many schools would have accepted you simply if your mother was Jewish. But a year ago the Court of Appeal - in a decision upheld by the Supreme Court -ruled that the policy fell foul of the Race Relations Act.

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