Family & Education

Leading Charedi rabbis denounce new move to regulate yeshivot

Private member’s Bill calls for registration of children who are taught outside school


UK Charedim protest against the Schools Bill - which advanced plans to regulate yeshivot - in Westminister, June 2022

Leading rabbis from London’s Charedi community have urged members to oppose what they see as a threat to their traditional yeshivah education.

Their defiant call is in response to the latest moves to regulate out of school education settings.

Flick Drummond, the Conservative MP for Meon Valley, has tabled a private member’s Bill to compel local authorities to maintain a register of children educated out of school, which is due to receive a second reading in Parliament later this month.

The idea for the register was part of a package of measures originally contained in the government’s Schools Bill which were designed to introduce greater scrutiny of institutions such as yeshivot that are currently not defined as schools.

But the bill — which had brought Charedim on to the streets of Westminster in protest — was dropped by the government in late 2022, although it has said it would revive the proposals on out-of-school setttings.

An estimated 1,500 boys from 13 to 16 from Stamford Hill are thought to be learning in unregulated yeshivot outside the recognised school system.

A group of 40 rabbis, who include Rabbi Shalom Friedman, deputy head of the Union of the Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, Rabbi Aharon Dovid Dunner, chief justice of its rabbinic court, and Rabbi Yosef Padwa, head of its dayanim, have now issued a strongly worded declaration against change.

The proposed legislation, they said, “threatens the sacred education we have provided our children for generations, following the teachings of our Torah and tradition.”

They went on: “In this time, when the evil of the nations plot to strip us to the very foundations, they scheme to take control over our holy yeshivah education system and the education of our dear sons and daughters.

“It is our duty to strengthen ourselves and reinforce our commitment that under no circumstances shall we budge right or left from the path laid down for us since Mount Sinai. We shall not deviate from that path even one iota.”

They called on every member of the congregation to declare “our resolve that our ways will not change. This declaration must resonate through the corridors of power, from the House of Ministers to Parliament, asserting that our holy yeshivahs and education system are the essence of our life, and no power in the world will make us budge one iota from continuing the holy education and yeshivahs in their sanctity and completeness.”

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive