JFS

JFS pulls the plug on school barmitzvahs

By Jessica Elgot, October 7, 2010

JFS has called a halt to its popular bar- and batmitzvah ceremonies, saying the decision was taken because of pressure from local communities to hold the celebrations in synagogue.

But a senior United Synagogue rabbi has cast doubt on the explanation, suggesting that the move resulted from new entry rules that prevent schools from knowing whether pupils are halachically Jewish.

JFS headmaster Jonathan Miller said that members of the local community had "voiced concern that pupils were having their bar- and batmitzvahs at JFS, and not within the community.

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Can these rabbis be forgiven?

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 7, 2010

Five years ago, in the pages of this newspaper, a communal scandal was brought to your attention. Two Jewish children, born to Jewish parents, were denied entry into a leading Jewish school.

The reason for this denial of entry had nothing whatever to do with money, scholastic ability or shortage of school places.

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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.

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Students reach new level with top A Level results

August 26, 2010

A-level results this year have attracted particular interest because of the introduction of the new A* grade. And many Jewish pupils were star-struck.

At JFS, 48 per cent of grades were As or A*s and more than three-quarters of the 489 results were grade B or above.

Eighty per cent of Immanuel exams were passed at grades of B or better. And King Solomon High School pupils recorded a 99 per cent pass rate overall, with nearly three-quarters gaining a C grade or above.

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Tony Blair praises faith filmmaker

By Jessica Elgot, August 5, 2010

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has praised a young Jewish filmmaker who took part in his Faith Shorts film competition, and said his Faith Foundation was working to make sure more Jews participated at the next competition.

Mr Blair praised the work of ex-JFS pupil Lara Smallman and her colleagues for the four-minute film The Laugh Judgment. She was the only Jewish filmmaker shortlisted. Judges for the inaugural competition included Natalie Portman, Rabbi David Rosen, June Sarpong, and Hugh Jackman.

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JFS ruling creates barmitzvah confusion

By Simon Rocker, July 29, 2010

A number of Orthodox Jewish schools are stopping organising bar or batmitzvah ceremonies for pupils because they cannot tell if they are halachically Jewish, according to the head of the United Synagogue's Rabbinic Council.

Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet explained that the change was being made as a result of last year's court ruling on Jewish school admissions.

Speaking last weekend at an event in north London, he said that a meeting had recently taken place for young people who act as wardens in midweek services that take place at various schools.

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Mya Goschalk makes waves with a Pacific film idea

By Candice Krieger, July 8, 2010

JFS pupil Mya Goschalk has won an award for a film pitch about children in the developing world.

Mya, a 16-year-old AS-level pupil, entered the One World Media Youth Jury national competition with her proposal, 'Switched on in Paradise', after learning about a remote island in the South Pacific in a geography class at school. She tells People: "I read a blog about this competition and thought it sounded like an amazing opportunity.

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JFS goes back to Cornwall

By Jessica Elgot, July 1, 2010

Former JFS pupils evacuated to Cornwall during the war retraced their steps from Paddington to Penzance 70 years later.

More than 100 JFS students, aged between five and 13, and five teachers were billeted to families in the fishing village of Mousehole in June 1940. JFS was temporarily housed at Mousehole village school.

Eight of the evacuees and their families attended the reunion, including a visit to the school and the presentation of an anniversary plaque.

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King David mother fights on for school place

June 17, 2010

Community leaders have expressed sadness and outrage over the first case of a Jewish child being barred from a Jewish school under new admissions rules, following the Supreme Court ruling on JFS last summer.

Last week the JC exclusively reported that, after losing an appeal, 10-year-old Kayleigh Chapple was refused a place at Liverpool's King David High School because she could not pass the religious practice test set out in the school's new admissions policy. Her place went to a non-Jewish pupil.

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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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