Rabbi warns of educational gap among the Yorkshire young


A Leeds rabbi has warned that many young people in the community “receive no Jewish education whatsoever”.

Rabbi Jason Kleiman is director of Leeds Jewish Education Authority, an Orthodox organisation working with those not attending Jewish schools in the city, or in Manchester.

In three years, it has grown from a handful of pupils to more than 50. But Rabbi Kleiman believes it needs to reach many others, particularly in the post-bar/batmitzvah age category.

“A large proportion of our Jewish youth receives no Jewish education whatsoever,” he told the group’s annual meeting. “LJEA must prioritise its resources, coming up with appropriate and attractive programmes to address this challenge, in addition to maintaining its current provision.”

A large number of parents had scant Jewish education and future initiatives should make Jewish education accessible to families.

Partnerships with The Zone youth centre and Leeds Jewish Free School had helped to boost numbers.

Rabbi Kleiman added: “We are pleased the Talmud Torah is operating from the Henry Cohen Youth Campus, which has brought together all the key educational, social and sporting institutions for children and youth in the Leeds Jewish community. It is appropriate that the Talmud Torah, as the oldest institution, should be an integral part of the operation of the campus.

“We need to build on what has been created to date, encourage more children to attend and keep a focused programme within the informal structure. It is imperative to keep pupils interested to the extent that they look forward to attending the class.”

There are 19 girls in the bat chayil programme delivered jointly between the Talmud Torah and Leeds Jewish Free School.

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