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UOHC criticised over creationism warning to schools

Letter said to be referring to UOHC notice speaks of 'lone extremist operators who have the potential to cause irreversible damage'

    The Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (UOHC) has been criticised for a notice it issued urging heads of strictly orthodox schools not to sign up for new Department of Education funding because of guidelines on creationism. 

    In an anonymous full page advertisement taken out in this week’s strictly orthodox Hamodia newspaper, a letter warns the Hackney community “to act with extreme caution not to be influenced by lone extremist operators who have the potential to cause irreversible damage, Heaven forbid. 

    “They are causing damage to the wider community, and God forbid we should give in to pressure applied by various people to draw conclusions and make decisions based on a lack of knowledge and understanding in these matters.”

    The letter was translated by the IfYouTickleUs blog, which focuses on issues within the strictly orthodox Stamford Hill community. The site argues  that the writers of the anonymous letter “clearly had in their sights UOHC’s recent notice on Creationism. 

    “It definitely had many educational heads hopping mad that the UOHC, which runs not a single educational institution, should be making such crucial decisions without consulting anyone actually running one.”

    As reported by the JC last week, last months’ notice from the UOHC warned strictly orthodox educational institutions not to sign contracts with councils for early years funding, because the DfE guidelines state councils should not fund institutions which present “creationism as fact”. 

    The notice stated that “they place great doubts, Heaven forfend, in the creation of the world with the lie that the world is ancient, may their mouths be filled with earth. 

    “This is a lie that earlier sages of blessed memory contended with, and now they wish to infiltrate us with this falsehood.”

    The UOHC urged institutions not to sign up for funding and that any institution which had already done so should retract.

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