Supporters of the South London Jewish Primary free school project considered the practicalities of the pluralist school model at a workshop at Richmond Synagogue.
UJIA research director Dr Helena Miller spoke about her work with the cross-communal JCoSS and other schools and facilitated a discussion on integrating Jewish ethos and practice. Topics covered included kashrut, the wearing of kippot and tzitzit and Shabbat observance.
“We had an absorbing evening getting to grips with some of the finer details of our school’s reality,” said SLJPS committee co-chair Shirley Lee. “After months of theoretical research and visits to Jewish schools, it was exciting to sit with members of the South London community and work through real-life scenarios.
“Our steering goup and supporters represent a wide range of Jewish and non-Jewish observance and practices. Having so many people represented around a table debating has been a very positive experience.”
Interest in SLJPS has been expressed by 226 families with children of eligible age — due to start school between 2013-16. The aim is to open in September 2013 on a site in Wandsworth. More than 80 families have registered for the 30 places for the first year.
A decision on the SLJPS application is expected from the Department for Education in the summer.