Rabbi warns of ed­u­ca­tional gap among the young

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY - BY JOHN FISHER

A LEEDS rabbi has warned that many young peo­ple in the com­mu­nity “re­ceive no Jewish ed­u­ca­tion what­so­ever”.

Rabbi Ja­son Kleiman is direc­tor of Leeds Jewish Ed­u­ca­tion Author­ity, an Ortho­dox or­gan­i­sa­tion work­ing with those not at­tend­ing Jewish schools in the city, or in Manch­ester.

In three years, it has grown from a hand­ful of pupils to more than 50. But Rabbi Kleiman be­lieves it needs to reach many oth­ers, par­tic­u­larly in the post-bar/bat­mitz­vah age cat­e­gory.

“A large pro­por­tion of our Jewish youth re­ceives no Jewish ed­u­ca­tion what­so­ever,” he told the group’s an­nual meet­ing. “LJEA must pri­ori­tise its re­sources, com­ing up with ap­pro­pri­ate and at­trac­tive pro­grammes to ad­dress this chal­lenge, in ad­di­tion to main­tain­ing its cur­rent pro­vi­sion.”

A large num­ber of par­ents had scant Jewish ed­u­ca­tion and fu­ture ini­tia­tives should make Jewish ed­u­ca­tion ac­ces­si­ble to fam­i­lies.

Part­ner­ships with The Zone youth cen­tre and Leeds Jewish Free School had helped to boost num­bers.

Rabbi Kleiman added: “We are pleased the Tal­mud Torah is op­er­at­ing from the Henry Co­hen Youth Cam­pus, which has brought to­gether all the key ed­u­ca­tional, so­cial and sport­ing in­sti­tu­tions for chil­dren and youth in the Leeds Jewish com­mu­nity. It is ap­pro­pri­ate that the Tal­mud Torah, as the old­est in­sti­tu­tion, should be an in­te­gral part of the op­er­a­tion of the cam­pus.

“We need to build on what has been cre­ated to date, en­cour­age more chil­dren to at­tend and keep a fo­cused pro­gramme within the in­for­mal struc­ture. It is im­per­a­tive to keep pupils in­ter­ested to the ex­tent that they look for­ward to at­tend­ing the class.”

There are 19 girls in the bat chayil pro­gramme de­liv­ered jointly be­tween the Tal­mud Torah and Leeds Jewish Free School.

Rabbi Ja­son Kleiman (right) with the Chief Rabbi

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