A British community under threat from the State – Part 3

Nov 29, 2023 by

by Karen Harradine, TCW:

Britain’s ultra Orthodox Haredi community is facing an existential crisis and threat. TCW writer Karen Harradine believes it to be serious and urgent, and one that cannot be overstated. In Parts I (here) and 2 (here) of this series she explains the damaging impact that proposed government schools legislation would have on their independent faith-based yeshiva schools, destroying the ancient tradition of Torah education in this country.

THE government, mainstream media and Humanist UK have all at times vilified Haredi schools and yeshivas, as detailed in the first two parts of this series. They accuse the schools of churning out illiterate young adults unprepared for life in modern Britain. But what I saw and experienced at Beis Medrash Elyon School which I visited earlier this autumn doesn’t support this.

This is a registered, independent Haredi school for around 100 boys aged 11 to 15, with most going to yeshivas afterwards. Though my visit was confirmed only the day before, I was given complete access to all parts of the schools and to talk to whom I chose. All those I met there were friendly, confident and open, including the students. On arrival I saw that the school was protected by a high security fence and guard. At the security gate I was met by the head of religious studies, the affable Rabbi Zvi Lebovics, and a bunch of happy teenagers, excited because they had just found out that a prominent rabbi was in town and that they were going to be able to hear him talk.

Prior to the interview Rabbi Lebovics had agreed to give me, I was taken on a thorough tour of the school by the deputy headteacher, Mark Garfield. What I saw was in total contrast to a lazy perception that’s been propagated by the mainstream media that Haredi schools are dirty and unkempt. Neither were the students I met awkward or inarticulate; rather they were well-mannered and eloquent.

Read here


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