Billionaires to build a ‘school of leadership’

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 23, 2008

An international school of Jewish and technological leadership will be founded in two years in Jerusalem, to foster the next generation of leaders in Israel and the Jewish world.

The project is part of an initiative of President Shimon Peres and the non-Jewish media entrepreneur Rupert Murdoch. Others involved include businessmen Leslie Wexner and Mort Zuckerman.

The initiative was announced by Mr Murdoch last week at the President’s Conference in Jerusalem, originally as a special school for technological innovators.


Campaign to honour spy who saved us

May 16, 2008

The Holocaust Educational Trust has started a campaign to secure a posthumous honour for British diplomat and spy Frank Foley.

Mr Foley was a passport officer in the British consulate in Berlin’s Tiergarten in the 1930s and has been credited with saving the lives of as many as 10,000 Jews by issuing visas to concentration camp inmates and many others that enabled them to flee Germany.


Teaching Judaism

May 9, 2008

A major educational resource on Judaism in Britain and beyond will be launched at a Westminster reception next week.

Over two years in the making, the interactive Jewish Way of Life CD-ROM was developed by the Board of Deputies in partnership with the Pears Foundation and World Ort. Copies will be distributed to schools throughout the country.

It features material on Jewish history, the festivals, food and prayer. It is supported by a website guide for teachers.


Top marks for school inspection

May 9, 2008

King Solomon High invited the Borough of Redbridge to carry out a whole school inspection. The two-day inspection was run as an Ofsted inspection with three inspectors looking at every aspect of school life. The inspectors found the Barkingside secondary to be a good school with some outstanding features. Headteacher Spencer Lewis said: “It is very pleasing to hear that the inspectors have judged the work we are doing so favourably.”


Martin Baum decides that Shakespeare would read better as: ‘To be or not to be, innit’

By Candice Krieger, May 2, 2008

Satirist Martin Baum is concerned that schoolchildren are daunted by William Shakespeare’s works. So — gadzooks! — he has re-written the playwright’s collection entirely in “yoof-speak”, in the hope that the slang will appeal to a younger audience.

Mr Baum’s book, To Be or Not To Be, Innit, includes Macbeff and Two Geezas of Verona, among 15 abridged versions of Shakespeare’s work. It is an Amazon bestseller, and chat-show hosts Graham Norton and Paul O’Grady have requested copies of the book for their shows.


New head for Simon Marks

By Craig Silver, May 2, 2008

Thirty-nine-year-old Nicole Delamere is the new headteacher of the Simon Marks Jewish Primary in Hackney. She takes up the post in September following the departure of Laurie Rosenberg, who has been head for six years.

Mrs Delamere, currently assistant head at Newham Park Primary, told the JC that she was “thrilled” at the opportunity. “The school is successful and it is my intention to build on the vision of the former head.” She wanted Simon Marks to be “an outstanding beacon academically while promoting the values of Judaism”.


Brown praises head

By Jay Grenby, April 25, 2008

Tributes from Gordon Brown and Ed Balls to Wolfson Hillel Primary head Sharon Margolis were read out at a retirement lunch for Mrs Margolis, who has left the Southgate school after 15 years.

Praising the commitment and vision of Mrs Margolis, Mr Brown wrote that “at Wolfson-Hillel, you have built up a great school”. In his message, Mr Balls, the Education Secretary, noted that “the excellent facilities and reputation the school now enjoys is due to your leadership skills”.


Demand for second Women of the Book course

April 25, 2008

Thirty-six women attended a graduation ceremony at the Marjorie and Arnold Ziff centre after completing a course entitled N’Shei HaSefer — the Women of the Book. English and drama teacher Shirley Ellis, who devised and led the course, said: “The course is an innovative step to introducing women to Torah.” Mrs Ellis had been inundated with requests to repeat the first course, held last year.


Schools fight back on admissions

By Leon Symons, April 18, 2008

Jewish schools tell the government that clamping down on entry codes could threaten their basic values

Jewish schools have told the government that the tighter controls it has applied to admissions codes could threaten their ethos.

They also called for the scrapping of the law that forces them to accept non-Jewish pupils if they cannot fill all their places with Jewish children.


Exam whistleblower wins £70,000 claim

By Rachel Fletcher, April 18, 2008

A sacked teacher who criticised an Islamic school for using books that described Jews and Christians as “monkeys” and “pigs” has spoken of his ordeal.

Colin Cook, who taught English at the King Fahad Academy in Acton, West London, was last week awarded nearly £70,000 for unfair dismissal by a Watford Employment Tribunal.

The tribunal upheld his claim that he was wrongly fired from his £36,000-a-year position in December 2006 for whistleblowing about alleged cover-up of cheating in a GCSE exam. He failed in a claim of race discrimination.