UK court: Jewish school policy illegal

UK court finds Jewish sc

December 16, 2009 14:28


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Britain's Supreme Court said on Wednesday that a Jewish school discriminated against a child when it denied him admission because it did not recognize his mother as Jewish. The ruling came in a case of a child identified as "M." His father is Jewish by birth and his mother converted to Judaism. However, the conversion ceremony was conducted by a Progressive rather than an Orthodox synagogue, and therefore is not recognized by the Office of the Chief Rabbi. Britain's highest court upheld an earlier ruling by the Court of Appeal in saying that the policy amounted to racial discrimination. The lower court ruled that because British law defines Jews as an ethnic group, denying a child admission because his mother is not considered Jewish constitutes racial discrimination. The UK Supreme Court confirmed the Court of Appeal's view that the test of who is a Jew (based on descent or conversion) as applied by any Beit Din - whether the London Beit Din or any other rabbinic authority - is an ethnically based test of descent.

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