Family & Education

Leading Sephardi rabbi will be religious authority for planned Jewish free school

Rabbi Joseph Dweck says he looks forward to raising "the quality of Jewish education in England"


Rabbi Joseph Dweck, the head of the S and P Sephardi Community, has agreed to serve as the religious authority for the proposed new secondary free school.

Announcing the move in a Facebook post this afternoon, Rabbi Dweck said the New Jewish High School would “provide a robust Jewish education within a modern and relevant framework”.

Jewish education had been his “passion and profession for over 20 years”, he said, and he looked forward to “helping raise the quality and level of Jewish education in England”.

The NJHS team said they were “thrilled” to have the rabbi on board. “Since moving to London in 2014, Rabbi Dweck has become one of the Jewish community’s most sought-after speakers and educators.”

Rabbi Dweck, who previously headed a Jewish day school in New York, will help shape the ethos of the new school.

Backers of the NJHS intend to submit a bid for a new school to open in north Barnet or south Hertfordshire in 2018 as soon as the government announces the date for the next round of applications for free schools.

While its ethos will be Orthodox, it will have an inclusive outlook, they said.

The NJHS project was formed out of the merger of the teams previously behind the separate Barkai and Kavanah College free school bids, which were turned down by the Department for Education in December. Kavanah had been backed by the United Synagogue and the Chief Rabbi.

The Chief Rabbi, however, now favours the expansion of existing Jewish schools to cater for rising demand rather than create a new school.

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