The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT -

Rosa Do­herty’s ex­pe­ri­ences as a Jew in a non-Jewish school ( JC, Oct 30) struck a chord in Maiden­head, where most of the 158 chil­dren at the re­li­gion school find them­selves as the only Jew in the class, if not in their year, and some­times in the en­tire school.

We have found that there are four ben­e­fits: first, hav­ing a real live Jew in the class who looks and acts or­di­nary is the best way of pre­vent­ing or coun­ter­ing any anti-Jewish stereo­types amongst their peers.

Sec­ond, each Jewish child au­to­mat­i­cally be­comes an am­bas­sador for Ju­daism, has to an­swer ques­tions about Jewish life and is im­pelled to find an­swers.

Third, it re­in­forces their iden­tity as Jews, they learn to live in two worlds and ef­fort­lessly move be­tween them on a daily ba­sis.

Fourth, it pre­pares them well for when they go off to univer­sity and find “the out­side world” easy to nav­i­gate rather than chal­leng­ing or over­whelm­ing.

A model both for a so­ci­ety at ease with mi­nori­ties and for be­ing a Jew within it? Rabbi Dr Jonathan Ro­main MBE Maiden­head Syn­a­gogue Gren­fell Lodge, Ray Park Road, Maiden­head SL6

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