London Jewish Schools Have Removed Images of Women from Reading Books

London Jewish Schools Have Removed Images of Women from Reading Books

London Jewish Schools Have Removed Images of Women from Reading Books
By Itzuvit (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Images of Women have been altered or erased from Jewish School Books.

According to reports from inspectors at the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted), it has been observed that the images of women were being altered or obscured in reading books designated to children of a few orthodox Jewish schools in the northern section of London. The inspectors went on to say that children at one of the schools really didn’t see or think much of the role women play in the society.

London Jewish Schools Have Removed Images of Women from Reading Books[/tweetthis]

A school by the name of Yetev Lev that happens to be one of the biggest Jewish schools in the Stamford Hill area, with a total of 794 boys ranging from 3 to 13 years old, was subject to harsh criticism from the inspectors for issuing reading books which saw female images being radically changed or erased all together.

The people in charge of the schools, did not allow the children to speak on a formal basis with the female inspectors. In addition, they had very limited opportunities to interact with persons outside the walls of their school community. The leaders bluntly told the inspectors that they don’t plan to give the children any experience as it relates to them being to respect and accept the various differences in people from a cultural, sexual and religious standpoint.

Ofsted continued by saying that more than half of the lessons are taught in Yiddish with the intention of limiting the pupils’ ability to speak, read and write English.

Beis Aharon which is another boys’ primary within the Stamford Hill vicinity, was also criticized by the inspectors, when it was discovered that the pictures of children swimming as well females in short-sleeved attire was also altered in their reading books.

The development of these children both culturally and socially, does not promote basic British values. Despite them being polite to visitors, they still don’t know how to express tolerance and mutual respect to people of various beliefs and faiths, because their knowledge is very limited in terms of those two aspects. They even go as far as crossing out the word Christmas whenever it was sighted in reading books being utilized in a Year 4 lesson. Up to the time of this report, neither school was available for comment.

Rabbi Charley Baginsky of Liberal Judaism stated that the whole idea was not about Judaism, but being cemented in the 19th century. The problem she finds with these kinds of attitudes is that they can possibly make the subject of religion obsolete to the current way of life and also bring Judaism into disrepute. She went on to say that the best Jewish schools were actually inclusive, open and modern.


Follow the Conversation on Twitter