UJEB in fight for religious education in schools

June 1, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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The United Jewish Education Board is reigniting the fight to offer Jewish learning to Jewish children in every government school.

RC-UJEB-290In November the Victorian state government issued a directive to government schools empowering them to choose whether or not to allow SRI (Special Religious Instruction) service providers to enter schools, leading to most schools cancelling SRI.

A UJEB statement reads: “This has considerably restricted the ability to provide our children with access to Jewish learning. At the time there was much media attention and then it all went quiet. This is unacceptable to our community.”

UJEB has taken first steps in reigniting the debate and has held meetings with (SRI) providers of other religions and  with State MP David Southwick and Nick Wakeling MP and Shadow Minister for Education at the Victorian parliament.

At the meeting with other SRI providers common challenges and areas of concern were discussed. It was agreed to form an alliance in order to mobilise our communities to provide a unified force when reaching out to government. UJEB has worked together with other SRI providers in the past.

At theParliament the UJEB met with MP Nick Wakeling the Shadow Minister for Education. They discussed  the state of SRI and future steps to influence the government to reconsider its stance with consideration given to the dissatisfaction of many people in different communities seeking change.

A spokesperson for the organisation said: “UJEB is not taking changes to SRI lying down!”


Parents who do not have access to UJEB at their school are asked to contact the UJEB office so they can begin to log interest.

Contact UJEB at 9523 6844 or ujeb@ujeb.org.au


2 Responses to “UJEB in fight for religious education in schools”
  1. Milton David Fisher says:

    I am horrified at this initiative. Religious indoctrination is not a proper function of the public schools. The synagogue, the parents or a religious school can provide religious indoctrination. No indoctrination of any sort should be supplied by the public schools. Public schools should teach critical thinking, supply knowledge and the wherewithal to either make a living or go on to higher education.

  2. Dr David Zyngier says:

    UJEB is mistaken totally. SRI is still available in all government schools should parents and children desire it – just not during curriculum time! This is understandable as prior to changes in 2015 if 5 or so Jewish or Christian or Moslem kids wanted SRI then the rest of the school (possible 600+ kids) had to stop their curriculum studies for the 30 minutes that UJEB/ or others provided Jewish SRI. And it had to be supervised by a teacher as a well so that interfered with teacher preparation and teaching time.

    Now if UJEB offers SRI at lunch time or after school kids that want it can come along without impinging on the rights of others to continue their normal curriculum program.

    Isn’t this the best of all worlds!

    What UJEB should be doing is offering real curriculum for 90 minutes once a week as part of an after school program at hub primary schools – mini buses or parents or volunteers even could shuttle kids to these centres where authentic Jewish Education (not religious education necessarily) could occur.

    Or even better bring back Sunday Schools!

    Or even better parents should send their kids to one of the great Jewish Youth movements on the weekend and perhaps even consider if they want a more formal religious education for their kids to actually go to a synagogue once in a while!

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