Thursday, December 17, 2009

UK Courts Define Jewishness

JFS ruling: '3,500 years of Jewish tradition overturned.'

The Tablet

The Jewish Free School has lost the hard-fought case on the criteria for admissions to this sought-after school. The next step might be to challenge equality legislation itself, as the admissions criteria, found to be racially discriminating, was based on the 3,500-year-old criteria for judging whether a person is Jewish or not, fundamentally by the religion of the mother.

The outline of the case is summed up well in the United Synagogue's own press release, which I reproduce her with a comment from the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks at the end.

Narrowest of margins defeats JFS
in the UK Supreme Court

London, 16th December 2009

The UK Supreme Court today, by the narrowest of margins, held that the admissions criteria of JFS, which gave preference in the event of oversubscription to children who are Jewish according to Orthodox Jewish law (either by descent or conversion), were in the definition of the 1976 Race Relations Act, directly racially discriminatory.

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