British Nix Hebrew From Foreign Language Options

Seven Languages Would Be Among Those Taught in Schools

By JTA

Published December 17, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The British government reportedly is planning to exclude Hebrew from a list of recognized foreign languages in the national education system.

Board of Deputies of British Jews warned last week that the exclusion of Hebrew could damage Jewish education in the country, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

Education Minister Elizabeth Truss announced plans last month to make it compulsory, from September 2014, to teach a foreign language to children ages seven to 11. Schools would be required to offer at least one of only seven recognized languages, which excludes Hebrew, the newspaper reported.

Many Jewish primary schools, which have to fit in Jewish studies alongside the national curriculum, currently offer Hebrew as the only foreign language. According to the Board of Deputies, the schools would find it impossible to continue teaching Hebrew if compelled to offer another foreign language as well.

Board Senior Vice-President Laura Marks told the Jewish Chronicle that the government proposal could be “extremely detrimental to our community’s identity.” Language, including modern and classical Hebrew, is “a vital ingredient to understanding our faith and culture,” she said, and urged the government “to reject the idea of stipulating just a narrow range of languages.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.