Angry parents at Yavneh College have demanded an apology from the chairman of Radlett United Synagogue, after he complained that badly-behaved children from the Jewish school caused £850 of damage to the shul.
The parents’ Facebook site was deluged with comments aimed at shul chair Alex Pomerance, who told congregants that the actions of the four girls involved reflected badly on the school, their families and the teenagers themselves.
Pomerance was unimpressed after the girls caused damage to the toilets, breaking the door and partition. “This is not the first time we have had problems with Yavneh College pupils,” he said. “They have been a perpetual thorn in our sides.”
He said he had previously had to report disruptive behaviour from Yavneh boys “who chatter and laugh throughout the service, move around the shul, climb over chairs and do not respond to requests for silence or respect”.
Noting that he had again written to Yavneh headteacher Spencer Lewis, Pomerance added: “I doubt if these kids would behave this way in a church or a mosque. Why do they think they can do it in synagogue?”
This week, parents and supporters hit back in a private Facebook group. One parent said: “I was in shul that day and I know the real story… At the end of the service the rabbi still complemented the Yavneh kids on their good behaviour.”
Another said Yavneh pupils were being singled out, adding: “My husband is a regular shul goer and this is his shul. He says there are plenty of very badly behaved children from the fee paying sector also.”
Meanwhile the father of a pupil said that outside Yavneh, the children were not the college’s responsibility, asking: “What has this got to do with the school?”
Another concerned mother agreed, saying: “This happened at a Shabbat service and I doubt very much if the children in question had school uniforms on so it doesn’t really have anything to do with Yavneh.”