Silver Spring, MD - Kippah Wearing Student Told to Prove Religion by Rabbi
Silver Spring, MD - The parents of a Jewish student at Northwood High School are upset after the principal asked them to provide a letter from a rabbi justifying the kippah their son wore to school.
Last week Steven Tanenbaumâ€™s 17-year-old son, Caleb, began coming to classes wearing a kippah sruga—a Jewish head covering that his mother had knitted for him.
When the administration told Caleb to remove the kippah, Caleb refused, saying that he wore it because he is Jewish, according to his father, Steven Tanenbaum. â€śHe said, Call my mother. My mother made this for me,â€ť Tanenbaum told Patch.
But even when his parents explained the situation, the principal asked for a letter of justification by Monday.
â€śInstead of saying thatâ€™s fine, the principal wanted a letter from a rabbi,â€ť Tanenbaum said. â€śOur word was not good enough? Weâ€™re his parents!â€ť
â€śAt that point, I was really upset,â€ť he added.
Caleb was born in Israel, according to his father, and lately the 17-year-old had decided to identify more with his roots by again wearing the traditional Jewish kippah, also known as yarmulke. The kippah, his father said, is a solid, off-white color with no symbols or markings—nothing that would identify it as gang-related.
â€śAll students are allowed to wear head wear according to their designated religion,â€ť Principal Henry Johnson wrote in an email to Patch. Â â€śBecause our students are not allowed to wear hats and other head gear at school, students are asked for verification when their religious headwear is not traditional headwear that we are accustomed to seeing.â€ť
The Tanenbaums asked Rabbi Shlomo Buxbaum, the director of Aish DC, to write the letter for the school, which included the following: â€śI just wanted to verify that the Tanenbaums are a practicing Jewish family who attend services and wearing the Kippah is an important part of our tradition. I ask you, in the spirit of religious acceptance, to allow him to wear his Kippah in the school.â€ť
Buxbaum told Patch that he has never seen this happen before.
Content is provided courtesy of the Patch.com
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