The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT&ANALYSIS -

Thank you for re­veal­ing the un­pleas­ant ex­pe­ri­ences of some par­ents who had ap­plied for places for chil­dren in your re­port ( JC, April 18). You quoted a mod­ern Ortho­dox cou­ple who were “told by var­i­ous dif­fer­ent gov­er­nors what they thought of us. One said he didn’t like the way I looked. They didn’t ap­prove be­cause my hus­band wore jeans to shul on week­days.” An­other mother was ques­tioned about which rabbi she had con­sulted about the laws con­cern­ing fam­ily pu­rity. And cer­tain schools were strongly against ad­mit­ting chil­dren of other faiths de­spite va­cant places.

Such at­ti­tudes and poli­cies in some schools are not ac­cept­able and the JC is to be con­grat­u­lated for ex­pos­ing them. State-main­tained faith schools are just that — schools that are largely paid for by us all as tax­pay­ers — so there must be some limit to the con­di­tions such schools are per­mit­ted to im­pose. If a school wishes to im­pose con­di­tions which re­flect its own par­tic­u­lar view of its re­li­gion — and is not pre­pared to ad­mit pupils of other faiths even when it has space for them — the school is en­ti­tled to do so. But it has no right to ex­pect the tax­payer to fi­nance it. Those schools which ex­pect state aid while im­pos­ing such warped no­tions of what con­sti­tutes good Jewish ed­u­ca­tion are a dis­grace­ful re­flec­tion on all de­cent and in­tel­li­gent Jews. S Wa­linets Barnard Cas­tle, Co Durham

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