Faith minister: ‘No-one wants to rewrite the Torah’ over Charedi school standoff

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Faith minister: ‘No-one wants to rewrite the Torah’ over Charedi school standoff

Lord Bourne met with Strictly-Orthodox leaders in Stamford Hill in attempt to reassure of his support for the community

Lord Nick Bourne addressing the JCC lunch
Lord Nick Bourne addressing the JCC lunch

Communities Minister Lord Bourne has told Charedi leaders in Stamford Hill that “no-one wants to rewrite the Torah” in an effort to allay concerns about education.

Bourne made the comments at a legislative lunch on Sunday, in which Orthodox representatives spoke about their confrontation with Ofsted over the teaching of sex education and protected characteristics such as gender and sexual identity.

The event, organised by the Jewish Community Council (JCC), was attended by a selection of counsellors, civil servants and MPs, including Henley MP John Howell, who is vice-president of Conservative Friends of Israel.

Howell said it was “vitally important” for a non-Jewish MP to speak up for the interests of Jews, adding that during his ten years as an MP he had been to Israel ten times. It was, he said, a country where he felt “very comfortable and at home”.

Special guest was Dayan Ahron Dovid Dunner from London Kedassia Beth Din. Organisers said he derided a “wave of permissiveness and egalitarianism that has swept modern society”.

Another keynote speaker was Eli Spitzer, principal of the Tiferes Shlomo Primary School in Barnet since October 2015, whose school was rated ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted in November 2017.

He said: “Ofsted has broken the trust between parents and the Department of Education. Our schools cannot and will not discuss personal relationships with our pupils. We will not sacrifice our children’s spiritual welfare on the altar of muscular liberalism.”

An award was presented by JCC founder Levi Schapiro to former Conservative MP Lee Scott, who now works with Bourne in the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government.



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