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Jewish bubble? Not at King Solomon

May 26, 2016 14:59

As a head teacher I am in a privileged position to have the opportunity to influence the lives of the young people that attend my school.

At Kantor King Solomon our children, are not in the Jewish bubble. Our children are studying in a wonderfully harmonious mixed-faith setting. Our Jewishness is evident, all our boys Jewish, Muslim, Christian and of no faith wear their kippah. All our children celebrate Purim and Yom Ha’atzmaut. All our children learn Jewish values, culture and history. But not in a bubble.

As an educator today we feel the government pressure to meet the required targets of the day. Not least of these is the notion of British values being integral in the lives of our children. Therefore at our school we make a deliberate and conscious effort to ensure that all our children are aware of who they are, where they are from and how they fit into our society.

In our daily school life it’s hard to know which of our children are Jewish or not Jewish. They wear the same uniform, they eat the same food in the canteen, they play football on the field, they sing in the same choir and they behave in the same way. The children are integrated.

In their personal lives I know that they mix. Yes there are Jewish children going to Jewish events, but we also know that more of the local bar- and batmitzvah ceremonies include a mix of children on the guest list.

Kantor King Solomon is a wonderful school, full of children from all faiths and no faith, taught within a caring, supportive Jewish ethos. And the bubble is not here.

Matthew Slater is head teacher of Kantor King Solomon High School in Redbridge

May 26, 2016 14:59

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