Family & Education

Chief Rabbi publishes new guidelines for Jewish school entry next year because of Covid-19

Options will include attending online erev Shabbat services or a new online summer course


The Chief Rabbi has published new guidelines for entry into Jewish schools under his authority in September 2021 because of the pandemic.

If schools are oversubscribed, priority goes to children who have attained a certain number of points on a religious practice certificate.

Families can usually do this through attending a certain number of synagogue services during the year, participation in Jewish education or volunteering.

But because physical attendance at synagogue is currently severely restricted, other, online options are being offered for admission next year.

Families will have the option of attending a certain number of erev Shabbat or eve of festival services online.

An alternative is take a new online course on Jewish life, consisting of six half-hour sessions, which will be run over August and September by the United Synagogue especially this year.

The course is “open to all applicants from any community”, the OCR says.

Children with a sibling already at a Jewish school who has previously fulfilled the criteria will automatically qualify.

But although many of the schools and nurseries under the Chief Rabbi’s authority have signed up to the arrangements, some may have their own additional requirements.

A spokesman for the Chief Rabbi said, “In these most difficult of circumstances, these temporary measures will ensure that families applying for places at Jewish schools next September can still do so in the most streamlined and straightforward way possible.”

Applications for secondary schools have to be completed before the end of October and primary in January.

While some synagogues under the Chief Rabbi’s authority have resumed services, numbers are limited and children under 12 not advised to attend.


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