Jewish education
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A petition signed by over 10,000 British haredi Jews that was handed in to the UK Department for Education on Thursday reflects the community’s outrage over a the “Schools Bill” that they say will force Orthodox Jewish schools to teach secular topics.

The petition voices concern that the bill is in direct contradiction to the community’s freedom of religion.

Senior community leader Rabbi Elyokim Schlesinger signed the cover letter of the petition which was addressed to the Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi MP.

"The haredi population in the UK is alarmed about the contents and objectives of the proposed Schools Bill after it became known last month. In London and Manchester, where there are large haredi populations, many special prayer sessions have been held,” said Levi Weiss of the Rabbinical Committee for Traditional Charedi Chinuch (RCTCC)

Naftoli Friedman, executive member of the RCTCC, added: "We believe the bill aims to transform our religious centres into ordinary schools. The DfE should consider that many current school regulations are in contradiction with our religion."

According to members of the community, Ofsted, the UK agency responsible for certifying schools, is failing haredi school because of their “adherence to religious principles” and not because of poor educational standards or issues of low academic achievement.

Two weeks ago, hundreds of charedi Jews with their communities’ senior rabbis protested the bill outside the British parliament.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)