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Anyone sent their (non-Jewish) children to a Jewish school?

(13 Posts)
SSSandy2 Thu 30-Aug-07 11:56:53

In my desperate attempt to find a good school for dd after a catastrophic first year, I find I'm not making much headway and someone recommended the local Jewish school to me.

Dd attended a regular German Catholic school which was academically not brilliant but the main problem was the social behaviour of kids, including bullying and the behaviour of the teachers towards the dc (screaming, very formal). I hadn't expected those problems, it was not a warm, caring environment. Dd hated it.

Anyhow she's at a German-English bilingual school now trying that for 2 weeks and it is more friendly and sociable. She likes having other English speaking dc around and they have made her welcome but academically the standard is very poor. Ideally obviously I want both aspects combined in a school.

So I was wondering about the German Jewish school. That might be a bit nicer maybe than the school she had before. I'm hoping a more caring environment generally. I've been told they don't have violence/bullying problems. So that's all good. I like their website. Security certainly looks very impressive.

However she would need to learn Hebrew which the others started last year and she would be as a Catholic maybe a bit of an outsider. I wondered how other non-Jewish dc had managed at Jewish schools. Do they feel integrated, that they belong?

RubySlippers Thu 30-Aug-07 12:02:03

i am going to put my DS into a Jewish school (we are Jewish) and having made the applications, we had to provide proof of our religion and that we married in a synagogue
have you spoken to the school about their admissions policy as this may be a stumbling block

SSSandy2 Thu 30-Aug-07 12:09:56

No, ruby, no yet. I am trying to get my head sorted a bit first really and then I'll see if I can make an appointment with the head just to discuss things.

I imagine that they would obviously fill their places as much as possible with dc from Jewish families which is also what our Catholic school's policy was. It's fairly standard I think. All the confessional schools here receiving state subsidies are obliged to offer I think 20 percent of their places to other confessions, so they could consider us if they had a place in that quota but they may not have. I have no idea how highly subscribed the school is yet.

admylin Thu 30-Aug-07 12:12:40

I've been looking at that school too SSSandy, seems quite good. The secondry jewish school sounds good too and takes all faiths but they have to agree to participate in the jewish festivals and learn hebrew of course. (If I read it properly that's what I understood)

RubySlippers Thu 30-Aug-07 12:14:43

I think it is worth a conversation with the Head
I am sorry your DD has had such a tough time at her last school

Hurlyburly Thu 30-Aug-07 12:18:21

The trouble with faith schools is that if you are not of that faith then there is a sense of exclusion. The only Jewish school near me has only Jewish children. The same is not true of the local catholic primary but even so the non-catholics do feel excluded to some degree. Hard to know what to do for the best. Could she go to a local German school?

SSSandy2 Thu 30-Aug-07 12:31:26

THanks everyone for your thoughts, well at the risk of offending some people, I have to say I would rather put dd in a plane than in a local German school -here in our town anyway! They are really not very good for some reason. The school we had has a very good reputation compared to ordinary state schools, diff to get in. The German parents seem happy with it but I wasn't happy with it at all.

The whole not belonging thing worries me because I notice how much good it does dd to be around dc from English speaking (or Russian) families because she feels somehow connected with them. She just lights up inside like someone flicked a switch and I expect the Jewish school to be a kinder, warmer place, dunno why just my assumption; however obviously the dc will know who is and isn't Jewish and perhaps she'll feel sad that she doesn't really belong there any more than at the German Catholic school. There she was a Catholic in a Catholic school but not a German dc amongst Germans IYSWIM?

lisalisa Thu 30-Aug-07 12:34:10

Message withdrawn

SSSandy2 Thu 30-Aug-07 12:38:39

Admylin, are we talking about the same school? There may be more than one. The one I'm looking at is in Neuwestend, maybe you're thinking of one in the East? This is near the school dd is trying out at the moment.


I don't know anything about the high-school,lin. I didn't even know there was one actually blush
but I see it's in the Grosse-Hamburger-Str so quite convenient for you.

Think they start Hebrew in Year 1 so they would need to catch up but I'm sure they get a lot of dc moving to Berlin in later grades and they must have some programme for bringing their Hebrew up to scratch.

SSSandy2 Thu 30-Aug-07 12:40:35

Hi lisalisa, yes we're in Berlin. Are your dc learning Hebrew at school then? Do you have many non-Jewish families at the school?

admylin Thu 30-Aug-07 12:42:16

You are right, there is more than one primary school but that high school is near us and I did read about another in my days of searching for schools that take dc from year 5!
Worth a try anyway, it would be a good thing to learn, hebrew would be good for histrory, religion those sorts of subjects maybe to study later.

lisalisa Thu 30-Aug-07 12:47:25

Message withdrawn

SSSandy2 Thu 30-Aug-07 12:56:57

That might be a good school for ds then admylin, if you're still here then!

Actually I have on and off thought about learning Hebrew myself. I would like to be able to read it but perhaps not actually go through the work of acquiring the knowledge! They teach it at the Jewish Volkshochschule but I have started so many languages , I should try and bring to some higher level of mastery first. I am always starting things and dropping them.

I think dd would enjoy learning Hebrew actually. She's very interested in religion too, she always was from a very early age so I think she would be interested in the Torah lessons they do but I am not sure if she wouldn't just end up a bit lost, not belonging anywhere here really.

Sounds like a nice school lisalisa and thanks!

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