Photo: Index Open
Still a need to fight for Jews' right to educate their children according to their faith
Photo: Index Open

Swedish city prevents Jewish couple from homeschooling children

Chabad emissaries stand trial in Gothenburg for their decision to educate their children at home according to their religious belief due to lack of Jewish schools in the city.

A Jewish couple is standing trial in Sweden over its decision to home school its children according to their religious belief.



Chabad emissaries Alexander and Leah Namdar live in Gothenburg with their 11 children. Due to a lack of Jewish schools in the city, they decided to home school their children in order to assure they receive proper traditional Jewish education, as well as all the other subjects prescribed by the national curriculum, and protect their physical safety, which is coming under ever-increasing threat from anti-Semitic behavior.


Three years ago, the couple was informed that the local Municipality had banned them from educating their children at home, having deemed that "there is no need of a law to make possible homeschooling based on the religious or philosophical views of the family."


The Municipality filed a lawsuit against them, requiring them to send their young children to the local public school.


Aided by Jews from around the world, The Namdars appealed the court decision. Public pressure helped and they won the case at the Appeal Court. But the city continued to mount pressure and submitted another lawsuit which was also rejected.


Last week, on International Holocaust Memorial Day, the parents faced another trial in which judges were to address whether the state education law permits the homeschooling of children for religious reasons, or whether Jewish parents will be forced to send their children to public schools.


The Namdar couple claims that the municipality’s motives are anti-Semitic and are the result of a documentary about them which was aired on Swedish television. The couple emphasizes that "our children receive proper education as well or better than any other Swedish child."


Rabbi Menachem Margolin, general director of the European Jewish Association, has called upon the Swedish authorities to cease all legal proceedings against Rabbi Namdar and his wife.


"EU officials were also updated on the case" , said Rabbi Margolin, who concluded: "How sad and symbolic that as we mark International Holocaust Memorial Day, there is still a need to fight for the right of Jews to educate their children according to their faith."


פרסום ראשון: 02.02.15, 23:13
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