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London - Hebrew Excluded From List Of Approved Foreign Languages In UK Primary Schools

Published on: December 14, 2012 10:45 AM
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London - Beginning in September 2014, the UK will require primary schools to offer and teach at least one of seven approved languages to students between the ages of seven and 11, with the exclusion of the Hebrew language. The Board of Deputies has said such a move could have a negative impact on Jewish education in the UK.

The Jewish Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/UFZ1kg) that this compulsory proposal will prove difficult to comply with for many Jewish primary schools which already provide instruction in Jewish studies and the national curriculum, and presently only teach Hebrew as a foreign language. The Board says Jewish schools will be unable to offer both Hebrew and another foreign language in the daily schedule.

But some Jewish primary schools like the Michael Sobell Sinai School in Kenton already manage to teach a second foreign language besides Hebrew, including offering instruction in French and some Spanish.

Laura Marks, senior vice-president of the Board of Deputies, said the government’s plan would likely be “extremely detrimental to our community’s identity, as language — including modern and classical Hebrew — is a vital ingredient to understanding our faith and culture.” She said the government should “reject the idea of stipulating just a narrow range of languages.”


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Read Comments (12)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 14, 2012 at 10:58 AM Liepa Says:

Additional proof of british pandering to their vast moslem constituents who'll eventually outnumber their anglo saxon compatriots!

2

 Dec 14, 2012 at 12:09 PM GevalDigeh Says:

And why aren't we surprised

3

 Dec 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM Anon Says:

Just plain dumb. It definitely is important to learn a foreign language, but who is to say which one is more important than another? If the majority of children in a school are of Bangladeshi origin, what is wrong with teaching Bengali? BTW, the languages they selected were French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Latin and ancient Greek. It is obviously so much more important for a child to learn ancient Greek, spoken today by no one, than to learn Russian, or Hindi, or Hebrew, all with millions of living speakers.

4

 Dec 14, 2012 at 01:16 PM lakewooder Says:

Does this apply to privately-funded schools too? If not, that is another reason not to take money from the British government, and another reason to be opposed to vouchers here in the US.

5

 Dec 14, 2012 at 01:25 PM MrSmith Says:

Good, they should teach them Arabic because most of the UK are Muslims. Like this they could hear what the Muslim terrorist are planing for their next attack.

6

 Dec 14, 2012 at 03:37 PM enlightened-yid Says:

Reply to #5  
MrSmith Says:

Good, they should teach them Arabic because most of the UK are Muslims. Like this they could hear what the Muslim terrorist are planing for their next attack.

Majority of Muslims do not speak Arabic! British Muslims are not Arabs but Asian aka Pakistan... Assuming that Muslims speak Arabic is like assuming that majority of Jews speak Yiddish.

7

 Dec 14, 2012 at 03:55 PM AVI Says:

The UK is not as British as it once was. One time, when a Jewish visitor from the UK was visiting my community, he told me that he was surprised to see the various Chanukah greetings on tv, by various stations. He stated that in the UK, he never saw that occur.

8

 Dec 14, 2012 at 09:47 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

It would seem to be a matter of the British public and government and not worth anyone else's time.

9

 Dec 15, 2012 at 05:58 PM nombody Says:

Just about every yeshiva high school in the NY/NJ area offers a foreign language such as French, Spanish, besides hebrew in their curriculums.

10

 Dec 15, 2012 at 06:46 PM victorg Says:

Reply to 1
Why, are they offering Arabic?

11

 Dec 15, 2012 at 07:53 PM Chanala Says:

Reply to #9  
nombody Says:

Just about every yeshiva high school in the NY/NJ area offers a foreign language such as French, Spanish, besides hebrew in their curriculums.

This is for elementary school. Most elementary school kids I know would neither have the zitzfleish nor ability (without being completely overwhelmed) to learn TWO languages (or really three, as this starts at age seven when really, kids are still learning English). There are much more important things to learn in elementary school that are needed as foundations for later life, like math, English language, science, etc.

12

 Dec 16, 2012 at 09:19 AM Butterfly Says:

Some of the schools in NJ started to teach Chinese a few years ago. Thjey called it the language of the future then.

13

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