Charedi group: ‘Tolerance and respect for faith under threat by LGBT education’

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Charedi group: ‘Tolerance and respect for faith under threat by LGBT education’

Federation of Synagogues writes to Education Secretary because schools have to teach about non-heterosexual relations

Dayan Israel Jacob Lichtenstein speaking at the Rabbinical Council of Europe gathering in Vienna.
Dayan Israel Jacob Lichtenstein speaking at the Rabbinical Council of Europe gathering in Vienna.

A large Orthodox Jewish group in the UK has written to the Education Secretary telling him that Britain’s policy of “tolerance and respect for religion” is now “under threat” because schools have to teach about non-heterosexual relations.

The Federation of Synagogues, led by Dayan Lichtenstein, penned an angry letter to Damian Hinds MP, telling him that “under no circumstances will Charedi schools dilute their passionately held beliefs and sexualise their children”.

All schools are required by law to teach children about characteristics that have legal protection from discrimination, including those who identify as having different sexualities and genders, but Orthodox schools staunchly refuse to do so.

Andrew Cohen, president of the Federation of Synagogues, told Hinds that “our traditions demand that the teaching of issues of personal intimacy should be left entirely to the parents, who have always decided the appropriate age and the appropriate way in which our children are educated in these matters”.

Ofsted’s Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman doubled down on the need to teach about same-sex relations this week, telling the BBC that part of living in a democracy meant accepting and abiding by the rules and laws passed by the majority, even if you don’t like it, adding that nothing extensive or supportive was required.

“It’s making sure they know just enough to know that some people prefer not to get married to someone of the opposite sex and that sometimes there are families that have two mummies or two daddies,” she said in an interview broadcast on Thursday.

“It’s about making sure that children who do happen to realise that they themselves may not fit a conventional pattern, know that they are not bad, they are not ill.”

However Cohen said: “Teaching tolerance for all and firm anti-bullying policies, that have always been an intrinsic part of Charedi education, in no way require that innocent children receive explicit LGBT instruction.”

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