Education

King David Liverpool faces legal battle on admission

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 1, 2010

An explosive legal battle is looming over Liverpool's King David High School after the mother of a Jewish girl denied a place saod she is in a position to fight for all children in her position.

Dawn Chapple, an accountant who left a high-paying job two years ago to focus on her daughter's dyslexia, confirmed this week that legal action would "definitely go ahead".

She said: "I've had a number of meetings with my solicitor and a barrister. It's all been very positive and in my favour.

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Israeli school drop-outs on the rise

By Nathan Jeffay, July 1, 2010

The number of Israeli youngsters dropping out of school increased by 36 per cent last year, according to new official figures.

The Central Bureau of Statistics, a governmental body, said that in the 2008-2009 academic year the number of drop-outs was 40,000, compared to 29,000 in the previous 12 months.

In recent years the Education Ministry enjoyed some success in reducing drop-out rates, but experts believe that in the long-term its efforts will be come to little as disillusionment with the education system grows.

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Israelis back Steiner schools

By Nathan Jeffay, July 1, 2010

Israelis are clamouring to send their children to schools and nurseries run according to the dictates of an Austrian philosopher who was obsessed with karma, reincarnation and the contribution of Jesus to humanity.

This year, three new high schools opened which run according to the principles of anthroposophy, the "spiritual philosophy" of Rudolf Steiner, who died in 1925. In total, Israel now has 50 nurseries, 14 primary schools and four high schools run according to these principles. Plans have just been drawn up for another primary school for Tel Aviv in September.

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Kingsbury school starts in synagogue

By Robyn Rosen, July 1, 2010

An Orthodox independent primary for girls unable to find Jewish school places elsewhere is to open in September at Kingsbury Synagogue.

The B'nos Primary School will start with two forms, nursery and reception, and already has 20 girls signed up.

Governors' chair Richard Harounoff said the school was needed as the Menorah Primary in Golders Green, Beis Yaakov in Colindale and Noam Primary in Wembley were oversubscribed. "This school has been created, not as competition, but simply because there are not enough places. It has good premises and well-regarded rabbis involved."

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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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