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Hundreds gather to discuss plans to open a new Jewish secondary school

    More than 290 families congregated at Edgware United Synagogue on Thursday evening to learn more about plans to open a new Jewish secondary school in Barnet.

    Rosh Pinah chair of governors Andrew Rotenberg, together with the primary school's principal Rabbi Lister, welcomed parents to the event.

    The pair have joined forces with educational consultants Lilac Sky to apply to open the new free modern orthodox school, named Kedem High School, under their newly-created Nekadma Trust.

    "The time is now to do something about the issue of lack of secondary school places," Mr Rotenberg told the audience.

    "We have been reading about the problem in the JC for a year and a half. It's getting worse. This issue needed to be out in the open as an adult, honest discussion.

    "Our goal is to ensure kids get places. Kedem High School is a proposal."

    Following a brief presentation, which gave attendees an insight into the work of Lilac Sky, who have set up 21 schools from scratch, as well as providing background to the shortage crisis, the school's purported leaders answered questions from the floor - which included asking for an idea of timescale and ethos.

    In the interest of transparency, Mr Rotenberg said, he wanted it known that he would be meeting Jewish secondary school leaders later this month in a discussion arranged by Pajes to consider other options to tackle the crisis, including the suggestion of current schools expanding their intake.

    But he added that Kedem's backers already had several possible "sites in sight" - should the proposed school end up being, as he forecast, the only viable option.

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