The JC Letters Page, 18th October 2019

JC readers share their views

January 10, 2020 14:00

Why did Ofsted get King David School so wrong?

The impact of an adverse Ofsted report affects the morale of a school internally and its reputation externally and so we are delighted to read (King David wins legal fight with Ofsted, October 11) that the Ofsted finding against King David School Manchester has been completely reversed.

Ofsted now concedes that the school should not have been classified as “inadequate” and have reinstated it to its rightful state of outstanding. 

It is remarkable that Ofsted capitulated before the court hearing. The success was due not least to the determination, integrity and perseverance of the Board of governors of King David led by Joshua Rowe. 

There are, however, two matters of considerable concern. The first is how did Ofsted reach a grotesquely unfair, damaging and, on their own admission, wrong conclusion? The second concerns other schools in a similar situation who may not be in a position to  take on the substantial risks of legal action. One fears they will just have to bear their badge of shame.

Mr Rowe, magnanimous in victory, does not wish to criticise Ofsted as a whole. But, at the very least, considering the cost to the public purse of the hearing, the result of which Ofsted now accepts responsibility, surely there should be a thorough investigation  as to how the original perverse decision was reached.

John and Elaine Finestein
Prestwich, Manchester 

Belarus barmitzvah

I am sure readers will be pleased to know that, in the summer of 2018, a barmitzvah  — the first since  the Second World War —-  was held just outside the walls of the synagogue in Slonim (Preserving the stories of Europe’s shuls, JC October 11). 

The event was organised by The Together Plan, under director Debra Brummer, which has been working with the Jewish community in Belarus for the past four years. 

Originally the barmitzvah was going to be held inside the synagogue but the interior was considered not safe. 

Rachel Harris
London NW2

A second genocide?

Is history about to repeat itself? Could the Turkish invasion of northern Syria be the beginning of what might become a second Turkish-inspired genocide in just over a century? One hundred years ago, in what became known as the Armenian genocide, the target of ethnic-cleansing was the Armenian Christian population. 

Now, an opportunistic and apparently increasingly unstable Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is targeting the Kurds.

S Grossman

Disorientated descriptions

Your report French Reform Flourishes Again (JC, October 11) overlooks the fact that Liberal Judaism has flourished in Paris for more than a hundred years. 

And it is a pity that the accompanying photograph was not of a historic Liberal but an Orthodox Synagogue.

Meanwhile, your travel article (in the same issue) on Savannah talks of the possibility of observant Jews being able to walk to the historic Mickve Israel Synagogue. 

They might be in for a surprise because although founded in 1735 as an Orthodox congregation it has been Reform since the late 19th century. 

Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein
Northwood HA6 

Remember with Ajex

Once again Ajex will have a plot at this year’s Westminster Abbey, Royal British Legion, Field of Remembrance. 

If you had a member of your family who served in the British or Commonwealth armed forces and was killed in action please inform us and Ajex will lay a Magen David marker in their name. Please contact us at no later than November 1 with their rank, name, age, date of death and the unit that they served in. 

The Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey will be officially opened on November 7 and will be accessible to the public from 1pm to 4pm. From  November 8-17 the Field is scheduled to open from 9am to 4pm.

Brian Bloom
AJEX Vice President

January 10, 2020 14:00

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