By a majority of five to four, the UK Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the Jewish Free School's appeal and upheld the Court of Appeal's decision that the school's admission criteria were directly discriminatory on grounds of race.
The Supreme Court ruled that the London-based Jewish school acted unlawfully by only offering places to pupils it considered to be ethnically Jewish.
The 12-year-old boy at the center of the case was refused a place at the JFS, in London. The boy has a father who is Jewish by birth and a mother who is Jewish by conversion.
However, the conversion ceremony was conducted by a Progressive rather than an Orthodox synagogue which is not recognized by the Office of the Chief Rabbi.
The 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 Beth Din - whether the London Beth Din or any other rabbinic authority - is an ethnically based test of descent.