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Jewish sect in Stamford Hill 'bans' women from driving children to school

(74 Posts)
OliveCane Fri 29-May-15 17:59:18

www.standard.co.uk/news/london/mothers-face-ban-from-driving-their-children-to-orthodox-jewish-schools-in-stamford-hill-10280936.html

Its shocking that this has been on going until now in London and nothing has been done about it! Imagine if 'Jewish' was replaced by 'Muslim', there'd be a nation wide uproar!

Vivacia Fri 29-May-15 18:12:42

Came looking for this thread.

It makes me want to organise a massive car rally through their streets.

Wearing my shortest skirt.

Vivacia Fri 29-May-15 18:13:11

Why am I saying "their" streets confused

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Fri 29-May-15 21:08:32

Well that's their thing, I think. I'm not particularly surprised. We have a christian sect around here that is quite extreme as well. We are quite good at extreme religious groups in this neck of the woods! The dress codes, not mixing with outsiders, all sorts of rules that are very out of step with society, there's more going on that driving. The problem here is fundamentalist / extreme religious groups, rather than this particular one IYSWIM. And it is a problem but not sure why this particular thing has come up, the driving, there's plenty to talk about, and more than one group like this out there.

BehindEveryCloud Fri 29-May-15 21:11:05

Agree with you OP, definitely not media publicised as much as if it were a Muslim group.

Would be wrong in any circumstance but interesting how biased the coverage is.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Fri 29-May-15 21:17:21

There is an element of what we're used to here as well.

"Religion bans women from using birth control" is well out of step with society and pretty extreme TBH but RC is quite mainstream so no-one is shocked or surprised.

"Christian sect bans females from cutting hair or wearing trousers, no-one allowed to access any form of media" is definitely extreme but I've not seen it reported on in the press.

Fact is loads of religions from mainstream to less so put all sorts of control on the people who are adherents / are patriarchal and have especially restrictive rules or codes of behaviour for women. None of this is new.

LassUnparalleled Fri 29-May-15 22:04:07

I don't understand how this can be applied. The road is open to the public. I can't see any way a state school could lawfully refuse entry to a pupil based on the mode of transport used to get to school.

I suppose if it's an entirely fee paying school you either go along with this nonsense or find another school.

fuzzywuzzy Fri 29-May-15 22:11:34

Stanford Hill Jewish community is mainly ultra orthodox, they have their own schools, shops, businesses everything. The driving ban can easily be put into place if the entire community will monitor it. It's a very tight knit community.

Mostly the kids either use buses or private taxis anyway.

I bet the media would be in utter hysterics if the Muslim community tried it. Media coverage would be way worse and much more widely covered. Everything negative about Muslims always is.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Fri 29-May-15 22:14:55

YY what fuzzy said they have their own schools.

It is a very closed community. If the high-ups say women mustn't drive on the school run then that's the answer.

Lottiedoubtie Fri 29-May-15 22:15:54

I'm angry at the thought of it. It is so scary that in 2015, there is a place in England where this is the reality for women.

Surely this must be the tip of the iceberg for the way treat and view women.

Presumably this applies to female teachers too?

OliveCane Fri 29-May-15 22:21:10

So true fuzzy! If it was Muslims, David Cameron would definitely have commented and panorama/dispatches would run a whole show on it!

This reminds me of a dispatches programme that ran last year on faith schools. Most of the programme was allocated towards how one member of staff at a Muslim faith school made one questionable comment, and the final one fifth focused on how there were many secret Jewish schools in Stamford Hill that the authorities didn't know about. The Government response to the latter was that they will give the schools time and consideration to register and encourage them to register, and to the former Muslim school a whole OFSTED team was dispatched immediately to check their safeguarding policy! Bewildering I tell you shock (and sounds like double standards to me ...)

BehindEveryCloud Fri 29-May-15 22:24:08

Agree with fuzzy, very close knit orthodox community therefore easy to enforce.

Also agree re: Muslims.

As a comparative example, it still amazes me how the Jewish women who cover their hair by wearing wigs do not seem to be subjected to "muslim women are oppressed therefore wear hijab... It can't possibly be their own choice" type of ignorant comments/debates that have dominated media over recent years.

OliveCane Fri 29-May-15 22:24:16

Lottie, I agree, it is very sad too hmm. Some of the comments from the community were that women listen to what men order them to do. I suppose from their perspective maybe some women feel like they are making a spiritual sacrifice, but the problem is it's hard to draw line - and can end up being about men just controlling women and keeping women 'in their place'

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Fri 29-May-15 22:25:02

I don't know if women are allowed to teach? I mean they might be but really I have no idea. I expect they segregate the children by sex.

You need to understand that these are a really really closed community. Think like the amish in the states. We have a christian group like this round here as well. They are not allowed to access the media (reading just now I'm not sure this Jewish population are either). It's completely and totally different. I think that the problems in these groups are related to religious fundamentalism rather than any particular religion IYSWIM. Dressing modestly, men and women not mixing, not ever mixing with /being allowed to mix with outsiders and so on. God only knows what they teach the children. Stuff that happens all kept within the community. All that stuff.

OliveCane Fri 29-May-15 22:28:42

Behind, just out of interest, is it uncomfortable wearing a wig on a completely shaven head?

I have a friend who lives in Stamford Hill and has regular complaints that women from this community don't even say hello when they are partaking in a similar activity like swimming and are deliberately very rude to her and to people that are not Jewish. My friend is quite open minded and level headed, so I was very surprised to hear that. Maybe they are told not to mix with others .. who knows.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Fri 29-May-15 22:29:03

Thing is there are moderate muslim women who cover.

These groups, like the stamford hill community or the brethren, it's a different order of things entirely. They won't be "choosing" - you are born into it and it is closed. It is super mega strict.

So like these are to "normal" Jews like the brethren are to "normal" christians or <insert fundentalist sect> are to "normal" muslims.

Personally I think we should be poking our noses more into what goes on in these communities.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Fri 29-May-15 22:31:40

Olive YES they are not to mix with others. They are very very extreme. Like the amish, that's the only thing I can think that people on the thread might have a reference for. They do not mix with outsiders. they are schooled together, workship together, live on the same roads, work together etc etc.

I don't know a huge amount but a little as they are relatively near where I live, and also like I say we have a christian group locally which is similarly extreme.

OliveCane Fri 29-May-15 22:33:27

Whirlpool, thanks, fascinating!

Also, most moderate/practising Muslim women cover their head smile

BehindEveryCloud Fri 29-May-15 22:35:46

Olive sorry, I didn't think they shaved their hair under the wigs? I just used to go to a gym in that area and most of the women were Jewish grin

Lottiedoubtie Fri 29-May-15 22:38:02

Scary. I understand what people are saying here about how closed and private the community is- but schools (independent or state) are meant to be regulated in this country- and obviously women have been driving their children to school up to now (or there would be no need for the letter?) so this kind of enforced restriction to liberty should be being challenged and stopped shouldn't it?

OliveCane Fri 29-May-15 22:40:17

Behind, lol! So they wear the wig over their real hair? Confused smile

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Fri 29-May-15 22:42:04

I tell a lie about the schools, one got funded: "In 2005, however, the Stamford Hill Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls' School achieved voluntary-aided status."

It is all very interesting, and if you live in an area where you sometimes see people walking around in unusual clothes you do ask / read up on it!

The people we have a lot near us who are christian are exclusive brethren

There is info about the community in stamford hill here and of course google is your friend!

I know more about the brethren because I knew some at school - they aren't allowed to watch TV, read newspapers or anything, I think they opened their own schools and separated off as you don't see them around so much any more.

It is all very interesting and to my eyes these groups all seem to have similar things in common irrespective of the "flavour" of the religion iyswim

BehindEveryCloud Fri 29-May-15 22:46:24

Olive Yes, that's my understanding... As far as I am aware, the wig covers the woman's "true beauty" from people who are not her husband etc. Similar to hijab in theory, but less obvious in practice IMO.

Please could somebody correct me if I am misinformed! I am not Jewish and it is not my intention to offend.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Fri 29-May-15 22:49:53

School that got funding wiki

Really interesting.

"The school primarily serves the Charedi Jewish community of Stamford Hill. The Charedi community do not have access to television, the internet or other media, and members of the community aim to lead modest lives governed by the codes of Torah observance. In 2008 it emerged that nine pupils had refused to sit a Key Stage 3 Shakespeare test on The Merchant of Venice because they felt the character of Shylock was antisemitic.[4]

In 2014, The Oxford, Cambridge and RSA (OCR) Exam board, having conducted an investigation into alleged exam malpractice, concluded that the school had redacted (deleted) questions involving the evolution of species on GCSE science exam questions.[5][6] Ofqual subsequently ruled that blocking out exam questions is malpractice, and, accordingly, not permissible."

Wow @ blacking out questions about evolution!

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Fri 29-May-15 22:51:16

The brethren women also wear scarves on their heads (although don't cover their hair entirely) and aren't allowed to cut it.

Women's hair laws seem to be a big deal in patriarchal religions confused

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