London rabbis plan day of prayer against 'education coercion'

Haredi rabbis calls on community to pray as secular organization attempts to force left-wing curriculum on haredi schools.

Gary Willig,


The rabbinical leadership of the haredi Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations in London called for a day of prayer ahead of Rosh Chodesh Nissan over attempts by an anti-religious organization to influence the curriculum of Orthodox Jewish schools in Britain.

"As is well known, lately, all the educational institutions for the sons and daughters of Israel in our country are under great pressure from the authorities responsible for education to institute studies that include heresy against the true Torah, and [about] matters of transgression that harm the faith and sanctity of Israel, and the pressure is increasing from day to day, as the administrators of the institutions who are on guard are crying out [but] they do not listen to them," the rabbits write.

The letter called for the day of prayer to be held this Thursday.

"And we have no power but in our mouth as a tradition for us from our forefathers in every generation. Therefore, it is determined by the Beit Din [rabbinic court] and its president that the fifth day of Seder Vayikra on the eve of Rosh Chodesh Nissan should be a day of prayer and beseeching before the Lord to deliver us from the evil decree so that we can continue to raise and educate our descendants through the Torah that is dedicated to us from generation to generation without changes."

The rabbis called for the recitation of the fourth book of Psalms in places which have the tradition of holding a 'small Yom Kippur' this Thursday, and for all students and educators to recite Psalms on Thursday.

The call for a day of prayer was held after Humanists UK, a staunchly atheistic organization which opposes the operation of religious schools in Great Britain, called on local authorities to penalize the Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls’ School in London for what the organization termed ‘censorship’ of subjects like homosexuality and abortion.

According to the group’s website, Humanists UK backs an end to all religious schools, advocating for “a shared environment, rather than separated [schooling] according to the religious beliefs of [students’] parents.”

The school has accused the organization of targeting it out of an “anti-Jewish agenda."