Defiant Jews threaten home schooling to ‘preserve their kids’ purity’

Defiant Jews threaten home schooling to ‘preserve their kids’ purity’ January 21, 2019

ACRIMONY between Ultra-Orthodox Jews and education authorities has reached a point where some are threatening to home school their children, or even leave the country if subjects such as homosexuality are discussed in classrooms.

Lawyers for Shraga Stern, above, a Haredi parent and father of seven, recently sent a letter to the Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds, saying:

Many members of the community would choose to leave the United Kingdom for a more hospitable jurisdiction rather than comply with such an obligation to mention homosexuality or gender reassignment in a positive context at school.

Stern, described here as “a dreadful self-publicist”, said sex education was a “private matter” within families and it was inappropriate to teach “innocent children” about such things.

We teach our children, at home and in school, to respect every person, but we will not teach them about LGBT issues.

I’m sorry, but “respect” that doesn’t extend to the LGBT community or to the Department for Education signals blatant disrespect, and if these bigots don’t like DfE guidance there are many places to which they, and their overly-large litters, can relocate.

The DfE wants secondary school children to learn about “protected characteristics” under the 2010 Equality Act – and that includes gender reassignment and sexual orientation.

Primary school children, says the department, should be:

Aware of the ways in which people can be different and be respectful of those differences.

Stern said he faced four options if the DfE advice was formally issued: to launch a legal challenge; to leave the country; to “go underground” or home school his children; or for his children’s schools to refuse to comply as a “badge of honour”.

Although the guidance is non-statutory, Ofsted inspectors and the DfE will take it into account when assessing schools or taking action. The advice is expected to be formally issued later this year.

According to figures released by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) last week, more than 20,000 children in the UK attend state-funded and independent ultra-Orthodox schools. In addition, a “significant number of Haredi teenagers” study in yeshivas (religious schools) not included in DfE figures.

A report published by Hackney council this month said that up to 1,500 Jewish boys were attending 29 unregistered yeshivas in the area, which includes a large Haredi population.

At Beis Soroh Schneirer, an independent school for 280 Haredi girls aged three to 11 in Hendon, north London, proprietor Rabbi Anthony Adler quoted Leviticus 18, the biblical passage that describes homosexual relations as “an abomination”. He said:

We teach our children British values such as the rule of law, mutual respect and tolerance, but we will not spell out alternative lifestyles. We want to preserve their innocence and purity.

Rabbi Avrohom Pinter, the principal of Yesodey Hatorah, a state-funded girls’ secondary school in Stamford Hill, said:

We are totally opposed to homophobia. The issue for us is maintaining the innocence of our children. We feel society is sexualising children at an early age and we don’t want to do that.

Last year Yesodey Hatorah was classed as inadequate by Ofsted inspectors, who found that books had been heavily censored or redacted to block references or images that the school felt inappropriate, including passages from Sherlock Holmes, references to human or animal reproduction, and images showing bare ankles and wrists.

Said Pinter:

Many parents are concerned about children going to libraries. We need to provide a safe space. Sometimes we might have gone a bit overboard in our redactions to gain the confidence of the parents. We’re reviewing it all now.

Ofsted has been accused by the Haredi community of being “unduly obsessed” with its schools and of being driven by a “secularist agenda”.

Last July, Ephraim Mirvis, the Chief Rabbi, said that relations between Ofsted and the community “urgently need to be repaired”.

An Ofsted spokesperson said the vast majority of faith schools provided a good or outstanding education, including 87 percent of Jewish state faith schools.

Most faith schools – state and independent – see no contradiction between teaching the tenets of their faith and the legal requirement to promote British values, including respect for democracy and the rule of law or to encourage respect for people with different characteristics such as those of a different faith, sexual orientation or race.

However, for the small minority who will not comply with the law, it is Ofsted’s duty to report those failings so that action can be taken to improve or close these schools.

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  • Tawreos

    If the schools will take money from the state then they have to teach what the state mandates. He can either home school his kids or put them in a private school and pay all the costs. Of course, the wiser decision might be to join modern times instead of trying to pretend that the bronze age is still the day in which he is living, but we can’t force him to do that.

  • Cali Ron

    Goodbye and good riddance. Abide by the laws of the land or leave. I fail to see a downside for the community. I’m sure that no matter what the state requires he will indoctrinate his children and attempt to make them slaves to superstition. Hopefully his children use the internet and break the family cycle of religious delusion.

  • Anat

    Preserving the alleged innocence of children serves nothing but making the children less likely to report sexual abuse.

  • Brian Curtis

    Ultra-orthodox Jews fighting to protect ignorance and bigotry. Same old, same old.

  • At least The Freethinker is keeping an eye on those defiant Jews.

  • Jim Jones

    Ultra-Orthodox Sex Abuse Whistleblower Describes “Child-Rape Assembly Line”

    The last we heard from ultra-Orthodox sex abuse whistleblower Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg he was recovering from an assault involving a cup of bleach tossed in his face on a Williamsburg sidewalk. Rosenberg, who was nearly blinded, has become anathema in the tightly-knit Satmar community for exposing perpetrators of sexual abuse. Almost a year after the bleach attack, Vice checks in on Rosenberg, who of course has more horrifying stories to tell:

    On a visit to Jerusalem in 2005, Rabbi Rosenberg entered into a mikvah in one of the holiest neighborhoods in the city, Mea She’arim. “I opened a door that entered into a schvitz,” he told me. “Vapors everywhere, I can barely see. My eyes adjust, and I see an old man, my age, long white beard, a holy-looking man, sitting in the vapors. On his lap, facing away from him, is a boy, maybe seven years old. And the old man is having anal sex with this boy.”

    Rabbi Rosenberg paused, gathered himself, and went on: “This boy was speared on the man like an animal, like a pig, and the boy was saying nothing. But on his face—fear. The old man [looked at me] without any fear, as if this was common practice. He didn’t stop. I was so angry, I confronted him. He removed the boy from his penis, and I took the boy aside. I told this man, ‘It’s a sin before God, a mishkovzucher. What are you doing to this boy’s soul? You’re destroying this boy!’ He had a sponge on a stick to clean his back, and he hit me across the face with it. ‘How dare you interrupt me!’ he said. I had heard of these things for a long time, but now I had seen.”

  • Broga

    “Many members of the community would choose to leave the United Kingdom for a more hospitable jurisdiction rather than comply with such an obligation to mention homosexuality ”
    Which country, I wonder?

  • barriejohn

    Correction: Defiant Jews threaten home schooling to ‘preserve their kids’ ignorance’.

  • EllyR

    In spite of me being a stiff atheist and strong anti religious minded, I find this specific story very hard to believe. I doubt very much that there is any public sauna in Israel or anywhere else in the world, where children are “speared” in public and also I doubt very much that the “old man” as described, will have much of a spear at all. If it sounds and smells like BS, it probably is!

  • EllyR

    Ultra-orthodox Jews are no better or worse than all other religions, in this case.

  • Jim Jones

    And yet the level of documentation is high, and the attacks on him never deny that this shit is happening.

  • EllyR

    This “shit” surely happens, just not in public saunas in “Mea Shearim”, Jerusalem.

  • Steven Watson

    “…to encourage respect for people with different characteristics such as those of a different faith,” and you do this by… disrespecting Haredis.

    Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach. Those that can’t do and can’t teach, work for OFSTED.

    I wonder if they can tell me what the difference is between enshrining the teaching of Anglican barking lunacy in law and disallowing ultra-Orthodox Jewish barking lunacy. Sorry OFSTED, I wouldn’t want my children “respecting” ANY of that nonsense or the folk that adhere to and peddle it.

  • (((J_Enigma32)))

    Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach.

    I utterly despise this sentiment. I hate it with everything I am.

    Rant time (not necessarily directed at you)!

    I’d love to see one of the people who claim this step up to the plate and clam down an angry special need student who’s emotionally impaired. I’d love to see one of the smug smart asses that repeat this spend 170+ days for four years pushing students to succeed when they have zero support from their home life to do so. I’d love to see one of the smarmy jackasses who regurgitate this point settle a dispute between two fifth grade girls over a comb and realize that to those two girls, this is one of the most important things in the world because that’s just how kids are, or explain to a class of second graders that one of their classmates has died in an accident. There are parents who can’t even carry out these conversations with their own children.

    I would just love one for the people who says this to even attempt to manage a classroom of kindergartners. Everything about human interaction we take for granted — you can’t do that with the little kids. “Take a seat” means walk over, pick up a seat and then wait for the teacher to tell you where to take it, because they are that literal.

    There’s so much more to education than just the content mastery, although content mastery is a huge part of it. There’s an entire field called pedagogy, and that includes classroom management, dealing with the emotional needs of your kids — all 180 of them, since schools cram them like sardines, 30 to a classroom — and understanding child psychology. It’s learning how to treat your students like people — something we as a society still haven’t figured out how to do. We take for granted what educators do, because a good educator makes it look effortless and easy and a bad one makes the rest look bad.

    Sorry to go off on a tear, but this is a pet peeve of mine. I’m not even a teacher — I’m a substitute teacher, but I have a certificate and decided early on teaching was not for me — but goddamn do teachers not get the respect they deserve. The same can be said for paraprofessionals, too, since paraprofessionals are a substitute’s best friend.

  • Steven Watson

    My poke was at OFSTED and the poweres that be. I agree with your rant; I can’t really not, my family is littered with relatives in or retired from the education proffessions and I was a ‘troubled ‘ kid myself but had some standout teachers who would go the extra mile.

    I think you mean the bureaucracy wasn’t for you. I know too many, relatives included, who’ve had to get out because it was damaging their mental health. One of them became a substitute teacher and hasn’t looked back. They get to do what they went into it to do and are spared the back-biting, bureaucracy, and staff room politics. You have my respect, cheers.

  • CoastalMaineBird

    The only downside to him leaving the UK, is that he might come here (US) !

  • persephone

    Ugh, like we need more of them.

    Israel’s fed up with them, too.