Yellow stars worn again at latest Charedi pro-yeshiva demo

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Yellow stars worn again at latest Charedi pro-yeshiva demo

The latest demo against the proposed Register Bill took place in Parliament Square and at the Department for Education headquarters. 

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Yellow stars on display at latest strictly orthodox schools protest
Yellow stars on display at latest strictly orthodox schools protest

Members of the Strictly Orthodox community  once again wore yellow stars on their clothing at the latest protest in Westminster on Friday to oppose what they see as a threat to yeshiva education in the UK.

The protest saw Charedim claim that school registration for children educated in out-of-school settings — proposed in a Private Member’s Bill by Conservative MP Flick Drummond which is receiving its second reading  — will bring yeshivot under state control.

The latest demo against the proposed Register Bill took place in Parliament Square and at the Department for Education headquarters.

Rabbi Elyakim Schlesinger, a highly respected figure within the Orthodox community, aged 102 years old, personally appealed to members to attend the protest.

Previous demos have sparked widespread anger outside the Charedi community, with the wearing of yellow stars usually associated with the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust.

The Register Bill Motion, which was  presented to Parliament on Friday, is described by community leaders as repressive and as a form of religious persecution, which seeks to fundamentally alter the Strictly Orthodox community’s way of life.

The demonstrators  urged MPs to protect the rights of all British parents by opposing this Bill, along with any future legislation proposed by the Department of Education, that they claim threatens to place the state between children and their parents.

The registration idea was originally contained in the government’s Schools Bill, but that was scrapped in 2022.

A spokesman for the protests said: “This is not really about establishing a register for the welfare of children in the UK. It’s a direct extension of the decade-long onslaught against the strictly orthodox Jewish community.

“Disguised as an attempt to promote tolerance and educational reform, the Department of Education has been engaged in relentless efforts to undermine our precious educational traditions, handed down over generations.
“Our Torah education is not only known for its safety and effectiveness but has a proven reputation of delivering a model of excellence.

“We cannot and will not give way to those who aim to reshape our identity, these efforts only instil fear and apprehension within our community, hinting at an ominous slide towards cultural eradication. Our Torah education is here to stay.”

Eve Sacks, board member of anti-extremist organisation Nahamu, said: “Why does noone seem willing to tell these rabbis: the need for literacy, numeracy, and the ability for boys in their community to access a road range of careers is a basic human right.”

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