Very nearly all Jewish schools in the country have been plunged into turmoil following the Court of Appeal discovered one school in North London had racially shown partiality toward a boy.
He was declined admission to the school on account of, his mother was not born Jewish, and legal experts stated the incident would leave schools conducting comparable entry procedures open to appeals from parents, however, they maintained it would not directly alter England’s 6,700 Anglican and Roman Catholic schools, but that it will inevitably focus thought on the entry methods of all faith schools which have been scrutinized in the past for lacking clarity.
The incident was centred around the JFS, once the Jewish Free School, in Brent.
A boy, whom will not be named was declined admittance on account of, his mother was not born a Jew, but she had converted to the religion, nevertheless, this is not recognised by the Office of the Chief Rabbi.
It is a fundamental law that a child is not identified by the OCR and other bodies as Jewish except if his or her mother is Jewish.
JFS asserted that its admittance policy gave preference to Jewish children when the school was oversubscribed, and that it was legal on account of, it was based on religious and not racial foundation.
However, judges ruled that if a student is to qualify for entry to that particular school his mother needs to be Jewish, either by lineage or by conversion, and is a test of ethnicity which contradicts the Race Relations Act.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews stated that this was a matter of intense concern, and would influence most of England’s 38 Jewish schools.
When a man enters the matrimonial state and the woman is outside of the Jewish faith, the child from that then nuptial tie is not identified as being Jewish, on the other hand, if it were the other way round, and the mother was Jewish, but the father was not, then the child is Jewish. Nevertheless, when a woman marries a Jewish man, and she is not of the Jewish faith, but decides to convert, at that point, if that child is born preceding the end of conversion they do not automatically become Jewish, if the conversion has not been concluded. A few authorities, usually Orthodox and those of higher levels of observance have more stringent practices, looking upon a child conceived prior to conversion as not being Halachically Jewish. If they want to be Jewish, they will have to go through conversion themselves after they reach the age of 13. Children born to a Jewish woman FOLLOWING her conversion becomes Jewish automatically.
I don’t want to be a referee on the how and why’s, however, being born Jewish, I obviously have thoughts and viewpoints on the subject, even though I am not an animated disciple of my faith, plus I keep away from any opposing discussions if I can, nevertheless, it becomes pretty intriguing when a non Jewish woman, but has converted desires to send her son to a Jewish school, when of course she could have sent him to any school of her choice.
I was a JFS student myself an extremely long time ago, I was not present there for the complete scholastic period on account of, my parents moved out of the locality, and there were no Jewish schools in the area that I then lived, nevertheless, I can wholly understand the allurement to a Jewish school, more readily than a standard school.
It is an establishment of belief and culture with warmness and personality, and should go on that way, nevertheless, I will state this. In the day and age that we now live in, there are more and more Jews that marry out of their Jewish faith, and I would hate to think that we could develop into an extinguishing breed, for there are far too many obstacles that stand in the way of our faith, especially when we marry.
I have children, all grown up now, and if I’d had the option, I would have by choice had them be present at a Jewish school, more readily than a state school, however, regrettably my circumstances made it so that I could not send them, as there were non in the region that I lived. I will not say that they would have done any better in a Jewish school, however, I will state that at least they would have been better familiarized in the Jewish religion.
Not only that, they would have been familiar with other Jewish children, and would probably have gone on to converge with Jewish girls to marry, but as it stands, they did not attend a Jewish school, they did not fuse with Jewish children, and did not marry Jewish women, so it’s a kind of knock on effect. Consequently their children will marry out of the faith as well, and the cycle goes on until we have a dying breed.
I’m not saying that Jewish schools should have an admission of any faith, that would be mortifyingly scary. Nevertheless, I would like to think that my grandchildren who are not identified as Jewish, even though their father’s are, that they could at least have the opportunity to be educated in the Jewish faith, and be able to merge with other Jewish children, and probably go on to marry other Jews, and to hopefully retain that circle of faith.