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Sunday, December 16, 2012

The end for English Jewry? Hebrew no longer a 'foreign language' for schools

As of 2010, England had the second largest Jewish community in Europe, but that may soon be changing.

In what could be the last straw for English Jewry (or at least for those Jews affiliated enough to send their kids to Jewish schools), the British government has decided to withdraw recognition from Hebrew as a 'foreign language.' Children between the ages of 7-11 in England must be taught a foreign language, and Hebrew no longer qualifies. Arabic anyone? (Hat Tip: Shy Guy).
The U.K. government has dropped Hebrew as an official recognized language for the purpose of teaching it to school children, according to press reports.
The government exclusion of Hebrew from the provided list of officially recognized languages ​​for primary schools could damage Jewish education, the Board of Deputies warned this week.
Education Minister Elizabeth Truss last month announced plans to make it mandatory from September 2014, to teach a foreign language to children aged 7 to 11. Schools must offer at least one of seven recognized languages​​, excluding Hebrew.
Many elementary Jewish schools, who have to fit in Jewish studies, along with the national curriculum, are currently offering only Hebrew as a foreign language. According to the Board, they would be unable to continue their education if they were forced to offer another foreign language.
Hey guys - come to Israel, where English is the most commonly taught foreign language. Either that, or take lessons from Montreal, where the Jewish schools have to teach their children Hebrew, English and French. But Montreal hasn't gone Islamic yet like England has. No one there teaches their kids Arabic.

Think about it.... We could sure use you here.

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At 12:44 PM, Blogger Shy Guy said...

Dear Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks,

The Ribbono Shel Olam has put you in charge at this critical time in history. Tell your flock it is time to go up to Eretz Yisrael. This is a limited time offer. Speak up quickly and start packing your belongings. There are enough box seats to the Geula for all of you. Looking forward to your safe arrival. Cheerio!


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