Hate lessons for Jewish youngsters
Children as young as three were told that ‘non-Jews’ were ‘evil’ in a kindergarten worksheet handed out at ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools in north London.
The Independent reports that it has seen a worksheet given to boys aged three and four. In it, children were asked to complete questions related to the holiday of 21 Kislev, observed by Satmer Jews as the day its founder and holy Rebbe, Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, escaped the Nazis.
The document refers to Nazis only as “goyim” – a term for non-Jews some people argue is offensive.
Emily Green, who chairs the Gesher EU organisation which supports ultra-Orthodox Jews who want to leave the community, said she used to teach at Beis Rochel, part of the Satmer Hasidic sect.
It’s not uncommon to be taught that non-Jewish people are evil in ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools. It is part of the prayers, teaching, their whole ethos.
Describing it as a form of “indoctrination” Green added:
Psychologically, you become so afraid of the world out there after being taught how dangerous and bad and evil non-Jews are, that it makes it harder to leave.
Independently translated from Yiddish for The Independent, the worksheet’s first question reads:
What have the evil goyim (non-Jews) done with the synagogues and cheders [Jewish primary schools]?
The answer in the completed worksheet reads: “Burned them.”
Another question asks:
What did the goyim want to do with all the Jews?
The answer, according to the worksheet, is: “Kill them”.
The anonymous whistleblower who handed the worksheet to the newspaper said:
It doesn’t explicitly refer to the Holocaust. It’s a document that teaches very young children to be very afraid and treat non-Jews very suspiciously because of what they did to us in the past.
It’s not a history lesson – you can’t say that. It’s a parable that is actively teaching the children extremism, hatred and a fear for the outside world.
A spokesperson for Beis Rochel said that the worksheets would be amended and apologised for any offence.
However they argued the phrase “goyim” was not offensive and accusations that they were indoctrinating children were “without basis”.
The language we used was not in any way intended to cause offence, now this has been brought to our attention, we will endeavour to use more precise language in the future.
• Pictured above is a young ultra-Orthodox Jewish lad in Jerusalem.
Hat tip: Angela K and John.