Chief Rabbi praised by Education Secretary for booklet on LGBT tolerance
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Chief Rabbi praised by Education Secretary for booklet on LGBT tolerance

Gavin Williamson hails Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis's 'sensible and measured guidance', and his parents for making him 'aware of the dangers of intolerance and bigotry'

Gavin Williamson and the Chief Rabbi (Credit:  Eli Itkin)
Gavin Williamson and the Chief Rabbi (Credit: Eli Itkin)

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has praised the Chief Rabbi for producing a booklet for Jewish schools to embed tolerance of LGBT+ pupils into their ethos.

Williamson was speaking at Kinloss, Finchley Synagogue, on Tuesday evening during this week’s Chief Rabbi’s Conference, in front of 150 Jewish religious leaders.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis was criticised in September last year after publishing a guide to prevent the bullying of Jewish LGBT+ students, with Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, 90, the vice-president of Israel’s Rabbinical Court, calling it “blasphemy”.

However Williamson said he was not surprised at Mirvis’s intervention, given his background growing up in South Africa, where his father preached against apartheid and his mother was principal of the first teacher training college for black teachers.

Gavin Williamson (Credit: Eli Itkin)

“I can’t imagine how much courage that must have taken for both of them,” said Williamson. “I have no doubt this kind of upbringing has made Chief Rabbi Mirvis especially aware of the dangers of intolerance and bigotry.

So I am not surprised at the work he has done on producing guidelines on how to support and nurture LGBT pupils in Jewish schools. At a time when people are finding aspects of the new curriculum challenging, his sensible and measured guidance is very welcome indeed.”

Among the other speakers was former Soviet Refusenik Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich, Rabbi Moshe Lebel of Yeshiva Torah Chaim in Moscow, Rabbi Dr JJ Shachter of Yeshiva University in New York, and Mark Regev, Israel’s Ambassador to the UK.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments