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JFS does not discriminate

by: SJ reporter - Last updated: 2008-07-03



A judge has ruled that JFS, Europe's largest Jewish secondary school did not "racially discriminate" following a case in which an 11-year-old schoolboy was refused admission on the basis on his mother's Jewish conversion status.

The Jewish school in Kenton, north west London, is under the auspices of the United Synagogue which did recognise the non-orthodox conversion from Roman Catholicism to Judaism.

"The judgment is fully consistent with the facts presented by JFS and its advisers from the outset," said Russell Kett, chairman of the school governors. "The School abhors all forms of discrimination and welcomes the judge’s express finding that JFS does not racially discriminate."

The father, who is now divorced from the boy’s mother said after the hearing that he was "appalled" by the school's decision.

United Synagogue president Simon Hochhauser added: "We welcome the Court’s ruling and are of course pleased that JFS’s admissions’ procedures and policies have been so fully endorsed. We acknowledge the Judge’s ruling that Jewish status can only be defined by Jewish Law and welcome the Judge’s recognition of the fairness of the procedures and actions of the London Beth Din. It is most regrettable that this action has already cost the community over £100,000 in legal fees."

The judge, Mr Justice Munby has given the father until July 11 to appeal against the ruling.