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Fresh approach to learning in Leeds

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Leeds Talmud Torah is no more. But on Sunday, the local community was given a taster of the activities of its successor at The Zone youth club.

Zone.Ed is a new educational provision for primary school children, fronted by Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue's Rabbi Jason Kleiman.

A joint venture between The Zone and Leeds Jewish Education Authority (LJEA), it offers a choice of tailor-made programmes.

The Sunday morning option will primarily be taught in an informal manner, without desks or textbooks.

"Gone is the old Talmud Torah," Rabbi Kleiman said. "Learning will be themed around activities such as art, cookery, music, the internet, discussion and quizzes." Subjects covered would include Jewish heritage and culture, Israel and Ivrit.

"Private tutors have dominated the Jewish educational landscape for those not attending Jewish schools," he explained. "The Talmud Torah needed to be revitalised to achieve credibility in the eyes of the community."

Other key leaders are LJEA family educators, chazan Yossi and Miriam Saunders.

The programme also offers midweek sessions for those learning in smaller groups who are looking for a more formal approach to Jewish education.

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