Holocaust teacher banned for 'Nazi obsession'

By Ian Sparks, September 7, 2010

A Jewish history teacher has been suspended for "brainwashing" her pupils with too much information about the Holocaust.

Catherine Pederzoli, 58, was investigated by education ministry chiefs in France after accusations that she was obsessed with the Nazi gas chambers.

A report by the ministry has now accused her of lacking "distance, neutrality and secularism" in teaching about World War Two.

It also said she spent too much time organising trips for her teenage students to visit the death camps in Poland and the Czech Republic.


Shofars and power tools

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 7, 2010

Over 180 people got ready for Rosh Hashanah by making their own shofar through a Whitefield Chabad workshop on Sunday.

Parents were encouraged to bring their own power tools but children also got the chance to construct a shofar from a raw horn.

They were told why it is sounded and about Rosh Hashanah and its customs.

Whitefield Chabad director Rabbi Shmuli Jaffe said the idea was to have "adults working alongside their kids and helping each other. It was very interactive."


UK's first cross-communal secondary school opens

September 7, 2010

JCoSS head Jeremy Stowe-Lindner was moved to tears on Monday as the UK's first cross-communal Jewish secondary school welcomed its initial 148 pupils in Barnet.

"I have to admit that a small tear welled up in my eye when the first students walked in," Mr Stowe-Lindner said. "I am so proud of what we have achieved here already, completing the building in just 18 months so that we can offer some of the very best facilities in the country.

"We have assembled an incredible team, a fantastic building and, from what I have seen, an energetic and enthusiastic group of students."


Schoolgirl at JFS after five-year fight

By Leon Symons, September 3, 2010

A family's five-year fight to get their daughter admitted to JFS ended when she joined the school's sixth form yesterday (Thursday).

Maya Lightman took her place at the school in Kenton, north west London, as a direct result of the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court rulings last year that JFS had discriminated directly against a boy, known only as M.


Teacher training goal

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 3, 2010

Manchester Mesivta headmaster Phaivish Pink is working to combat a shortage of highly-qualified Jewish studies teachers in Manchester schools.

On Sunday, the Torah Teachers Training Scheme, which he directs, organised a seminar in advanced classroom management skills for 25 local teachers. "There is no government requirement for kodesh staff to be qualified," Mr Pink pointed out. "But there is a growing recognition that professionally qualified kodesh staff are better and more effective."


Pupil travel plan is abandoned

By Jay Grenby, September 2, 2010

Plans by Borehamwood parents to send their children on a cross-London journey to Ilford Jewish Primary School have been abandoned after a number secured late places at Jewish schools closer to home.

Frustrated at their failure to obtain offers from local Jewish schools, two dozen parents attended a meeting at Borehamwood Synagogue in May. They heard IJPS head Roz Levin and governor Howard Kemp extol the virtues of the Ilford school, which had a number of vacancies for the new academic year.


JFS pupil smiling after star-studded results

By Jennifer Lipman, August 26, 2010

Reuven Shirazi was up at 6am to check his A-level results online and his early start was rewarded. The JFS pupil recorded one of the best exam performances in the country with six A*s and an A.

His results were easily enough to guarantee him a place at Cambridge, where he will read natural sciences at Gonville and Caius College.

The 17-year-old from Edgware was taken aback on discovering his top marks in maths, further maths and advanced further maths. He also excelled in three sciences and music.

"I'm so happy," he said. "I was smiling all day and my mum was ecstatic."


Arabic classes in Israeli schools

By Jennifer Lipman, August 24, 2010

Israeli schoolchildren are to be taught Arabic as part of a new education programme designed to promote tolerance.

From the fifth grade children Haifa and around the north of Israel will learn to speak, read and write the language as of the new school year.

Officials plan to expand the scheme across the whole country.

The classes, to be taught mostly by Arab teachers, will be compulsory at 170 public and religious schools.

Arabic is already taught by more than 1,000 Jewish teachers in Israel.


Charity continues after founder dies

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 20, 2010

A strictly Orthodox charity that donates £1.3 million annually to Jewish education and low income families is to continue despite the death of its founder.

Philanthropist Shloime Leitner, 61, who died from leukaemia two weeks ago, started the Broom Foundation in 1986 from a small office in his Salford home.

It was among the first to introduce charity vouchers to the religious community and the Broom Foundation voucher books have been a major means of charitable donations for thousands of people.


King David hails A-listers

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 20, 2010

Manchester A-level students are celebrating some top results.

King David High School reported that 80 per cent of pupils achieved A*, A and B grade passes.

Governors' chair Joshua Rowe said the results were testimony to the dedication of pupils and staff, who regularly stayed on after school to assist students.