Jewish School Rescinds Ban on Women Driving Kids to School

That ultra-Orthodox Jewish school in London that sent out a letter saying that all children driven to school by their mothers would be turned away has, after being told by the government that this was illegally, decided to rescind that policy. They’re not changing their mind, though.

On Wednesday, the commission wrote to the sect saying its “actions are unlawful under the Equality Act 2010”. The group runs Talmud Torah Machzikei Hadass, a boys’ primary school, and Beis Malka, a primary school for girls.

The schools had said that, from August, any child driven to school by their mother would be turned away at the gates. The letter said the ban was based on the recommendations of Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach, the Belzer spiritual leader in Israel.

But now Ahron Klein, chief executive of the schools, said the ban was made without the approval of the governors and that mothers would be able to drive to the schools.

“The headteacher sent out the letter on behalf of the spiritual heads of the community, who had not taken into account the implications of such a policy,” he said in a statement.

He added: “The school believes that women have a choice about whether they want to drive or not, and our policy is to accept all children who are members of our community, which we have been doing for the last 40 years.”

Klein pointed out that the letter to parents setting out the ban explained “our values may be compromised in [women] driving a vehicle”. But he added that it also said the schools respected individual choices.

If your values are compromised by a woman driving a car, your values suck. And so do you. And your misogynistic God.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
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  • StevoR

    Good to hear this ban has been rescinded and sanity kinda prevailed here.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    But now Ahron Klein, chief executive of the schools, said the ban was made without the approval of the governors and that mothers would be able to drive to the schools. “The headteacher sent out the letter on behalf of the spiritual heads of the community, who had not taken into account the implications of such a policy,” he said in a statement.

    Translation: “We tried to bully people into submission, but we didn’t take into account that someone might stand up to us.” Just another example of kiss-up-kick-down religious authoritarianism.

  • Damien McLeod

    If your values are compromised by a woman driving a car, your values suck. And so do you. And your misogynistic God.

    I’ll second that.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/TabbyLavalamp Tabby Lavalamp

    When your policies can’t be differentiated from Saudi Arabia’s, it’s time for some serious self reflection.

  • erichoug

    I’ve said it for years and it proves more and more true every day: Scratch the surface of any religion and you find bigotry and self hatred.

    “I’m a horrible sinner, so vile that I deserve to spend all of eternity being tortured for my crimes. But at least I’m not some fucking whore who drives her kids to school!!!”

  • theguy

    @5 – I used to think somewhat along those lines, but I’ve since come to the conclusion that it depends on the individual. There are people in every religion who believe bad things, and then there are people in every religion who explicitly reject things like eternal punishment. It just depends on the person.

  • erichoug

    @#6 Now you are getting into what I consider the worst part of religion. Terrible people use it as an excuse for awful actions and good people use it as a justification for awful actions.

    I understand what you’re saying but I think the people we’re talking about are pretty predictable. But the fact that there are always exceptions to the rule is duly noted.

  • dhall

    I can’t imagine the level of depression, self-disrespect, self-hatred and whatever else it must take to be a woman mired in a religious system like this. And staying mired in it.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    My values are compromised by women driving cars.

    Men driving cars too.

    My values tilt towards eliminating the private automobile entirely, and setting up comprehensive public transportation, urban planning that reduces the need for travel, and economic restructuring to provide basic needs with minimal environmental impact.

    Coincidentally, as a proponent of oral sex, my values suck in other ways as well.

  • busterggi

    “But he added that it also said the schools respected individual choices.”

    As long as they are made by a man.

  • anat

    erichoug, theguy – Judaism isn’t much into eternal punishment. Nor is there that much emphasis on the afterlife. Though I wouldn’t know what individual Hasidic sects teach.

  • grumpyoldfart

    anat #11

    Daniel chapter 12 refers to resurrection of the dead, a final judgement at the end of time, and everlasting life.

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+12