No fears on sex education — we do it

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

If the only ev­i­dence Ms Lip­man can bring to the ta­ble “prov­ing” the need for sex education in Ortho­dox schools (JC Feb 17) is a story from a friend of a friend cited in a book then she re­ally had to dig deeply.

It is no se­cret that the To­rah does not per­mit in­ti­macy out­side mar­riage. In or­der to pre­pare for ev­ery as­pect of mar­riage — phys­i­cal, emo­tional and psy­cho­log­i­cal — young men and women are more than ad­e­quately pre­pared by teach­ers who them­selves have un­der­gone ex­ten­sive train­ing.

For ex­am­ple, the United Syn­a­gogue trains a huge cadre of mar­riage education teach­ers. This train­ing was for­mu­lated and is run by Reb­b­itzen Rachie Bin­stock and has been lauded in­ter­na­tion­ally.

We have our guide­book on in­ti­macy in re­la­tion­ships; we do not need leg­is­la­tion to tell us what to do. We do, how­ever, wel­come op­por­tu­ni­ties to dis­cuss re­la­tion­ships in an age- ap­pro­pri­ate way in or­der that all our school pupils grad­u­ate from school with a clear out­look as to what con­sti­tutes healthy, func­tional, re­spect­ful re­la­tion­ships whether with their friends, fu­ture busi­ness col­leagues or in mar­riage. Judith Nemeth,

Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Na­jos

Jennifer’s Lip­man’s thought­ful ar­ti­cle raises im­por­tant is­sues but her viewpoint is prob­lem­atic. She writes “Yes parental choice is im­por­tant but, in a com­mu­nity with such op­po­si­tion to sex education in the class­room, do we re­ally think it will be taught ob­jec­tively and with­out judg­ment be­hind closed doors?” Does her value judg­ment that ul­tra Ortho­dox par­ents will not do a good job re­ally give her the right to im­pose her view on par­ents who strongly ob­ject to com­pul­sory SRE? By all means, ap­proach the par­ents in the ul­tra Ortho­dox com­mu­nity and try to per­suade them of your viewpoint, but do not by-pass them and im­pose some­thing on them which goes so much against their ethos and val­ues.

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