Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

New Swedish Law Forces Religious Jewish Children to Attend Swedish Schools

February 6, 2012 1:04 pm 5 comments

A Swedish school. Photo: Sebilden.

Sweden passed a law that restricts homeschooling and could infringe on religious freedom in the country, Lubavitch Chabad reported. Orthodox Jewish children who were previously educated by an international, online school had to transfer to a Swedish school by February 1, or the parents would face a fine of 16000 crown ($2400).

“This is a stain on the reputation of a country that takes pride in equality as a fundamental value,” said Rabbi Alexander Namdar. Four of his children are affected by the new law. Guy Linderman, a Swedish Jew, said that the law was originally intended to help the children of immigrants, “many of whom were denied an education, and had grown up illiterate, incapable of signing their names.” But Linderman objects to the application of the law when it comes to religious families.

“We’re two parents fighting city hall for the right to give our children a Jewish education,” said Namdar’s wife Leah. They don’t plan to compromise.

5 Comments

  • A REAL American

    Government does not have the right to harm children or countermand the educational and religious beliefs of a family.

    It is pure unadulterated HYPOCRISY when a liberal claims FREE CHOICE for reproductive rights, but refuses to grant the same FREEDOM of CHOICE to a family who wishes to educate their children in manner consistent with their religious beliefs.

    The law needs to take into account what is best for children, but not at the expense of one child over another. In education, one size seldom if ever fits all.

    A government that stomps on these rights is abusing their power to govern.

  • The Stockholm Jewish Community runs an elementary school where pupils are prepared to live as Jews in Sweden or any other country. It is certainly not a stain on Sweden to prohibit a Chabad rabbi for educating his children at home. This can be done in New Jersey or in some West Bank settlement. Chabad has become a universal pest and certainly an embarrassment for the well integrated Swedish Jewish community. It would behove Chabad to consider that non-Jews have no obligation to appreciate them, and Jews many reasons to abhor them. They are ridiculous.

    • A REAL American

      Lea Elder

      It is your fear of “what the gentiles might think” that is ridiculous. It reveals a self-loathing side of you that should never be shown again in the light of day. Perhaps a few sessions with a psycho-therapist will help you remove these self-loathing demons.

      Choice is something that liberals demand, but in this case refuse to provide to a family due to a bigoted view towards their religious beliefs. This family like thousands of Chabad families around the globe is selflessly serving the local community as well as visiting business people and travelers and anyone searching for a Jewish connection to life. Their wide-spread success in this endeavor is something you sickly interpret as threat to your own way of life.

      In your comments, you ignorantly propose that this family send their young children away to New Jersey or to Israel for schooling even though they have already found a more than adequate solution. They CHOOSE to home school their children providing them with a GLOBAL ONLINE CLASSROOM with their peers.

      I find it repulsive that you would support Sweden’s restrictive laws and deny these people their fundamental rights as parents to educate their children in a manner of their own free CHOICE and castigate them with your bigoted and self-loathing comments.

      • I’m an egomaniac and do not have problems of self-loathing. My Jewish identity is strong and my loathing of primitive theology intense.
        The problem is that Chabad has unasked taken upon itself a role as representative of Judaism. Any stone that trips them is anti-Semitic and their flourishing victimization is intended to inspire our sympathy for them. It does not.

        • A REAL American

          Lea Elder–that is just plain and simple one of the most ignorant things I have ever heard.

          You said, “My Jewish identity is strong and my loathing of primitive theology intense.”

          LOL–what a joke. There is no such thing as a Jewish identity outside of Judaism. What you ignorantly call a “primitive theology” is actually what the rest of the world calls a JEWISH IDENTITY. Your lack of JEWISH IDENTITY is simply a matter or your own personal mishugas combined with your overinflated ego.

          Chabad doesn’t complain about things, Chabad does things. And I didn’t see a single person in Chabad complain that Sweden was doing this because of antisemitism. I think you are confusing Chabad with some other group–possibly the ADL??

          This young couple simply wants the right to educate their children the same way that millions of others do all around the world and doesn’t need or want the government to intrude on their rights as parents.

          Your hatred of Chabad is repugnant. You go after Chabad while completely ignoring the entire issue which is one of parental rights simply because of your blind hatred. How mature is that?

          If you don’t like Chabad then you still have the right to stay away from them. Unless Sweden takes away this right too. No one asked for your intervention either.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Blogs Book Reviews Can ‘Islamic Reformation’ Work? (REVIEW)

    Can ‘Islamic Reformation’ Work? (REVIEW)

    It is cocktail hour on an April afternoon in 2004. The sun is hot on Amsterdam’s canals, and I am sitting at Café den Leeuw on the Herengracht with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Hirsi Ali is still a member of the Dutch Parliament, and we talk about Islam. Specifically, we talk about the concept of “moderate Islam,” or what she calls “liberal Islam.” And she has one word for it. “It’s absurd,” she says. “It’s complete nonsense. There is no ‘liberal […]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity A Look at the Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook (REVIEW)

    A Look at the Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook (REVIEW)

    Everybody knows that cooking varies from country to country. There are Italian restaurants, Chinese restaurants, etc. We associate different styles of cuisine with different languages. Do we also think of the association of different cuisines with different dialects? We should, because cooking also varies from region to region. Litvaks and Galitsyaners have their own traditions of preparing gefilte fish. Marvin I. Herzog, in his book The Yiddish Language in Northern Poland: Its Geography and History (Indiana University, Bloomington, and Mouton & Co., The […]

    Read more →
  • Relationships US & Canada Analysis: Jewish Women Less Likely Than Catholics to Take Husband’s Name

    Analysis: Jewish Women Less Likely Than Catholics to Take Husband’s Name

    An analysis of New York Times wedding announcements showed that women married in Jewish ceremonies were less likely to take their husband’s last names than those married in Roman Catholic ceremonies, the Times reported on Saturday. The largest gap between the two groups was in 1995 when 66 percent of Catholic women took their husband’s names and 33 percent of Jewish women did the same. Nearly half of the women featured in the publication’s wedding pages since 1985 took their husband’s name after marriage, while about […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Jerry Lewis, Legendary Jewish Comic and Humanitarian, Stays Relevant at 89

    Jerry Lewis, Legendary Jewish Comic and Humanitarian, Stays Relevant at 89

    JNS.org – Through appreciation of both his comedy and humanitarian work, legendary Jewish entertainer Jerry Lewis is staying relevant at age 89. The only comic to ever be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, Lewis added another award to his trophy case in April, when he received the 2015 Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). Gordon Smith, NAB’s president and CEO, said the organization was “honored to recognize not only [Lewis’s] comedic innovation, but also his remarkable […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports Israeli Gymnasts Win Bronze, Silver Medals at 2015 European Games in Baku

    Israeli Gymnasts Win Bronze, Silver Medals at 2015 European Games in Baku

    Israeli athletes marked a successful day on Sunday, as gymnasts won multiple bronze and silver medals in the 2015 European Games in Baku. The Gymnastics team won two silver medals and one bronze in group events, while Neta Rivkin, an Israeli Olympic gymnast, won bronze for the Solo Hoops event. Sunday’s gymnastics wins follow Sergey Richter’s bronze on June 16 for the Men’s 10 meter air-rifle, and Ilana Kratysh’s silver for women’s freestyle wrestling. The 2015 European Games in Baku are […]

    Read more →
  • Theater Report Highlights Success of Russian-Jewish-American Ballroom Dancers

    Report Highlights Success of Russian-Jewish-American Ballroom Dancers

    Russian-American Jews are some of the most successful ballroom dancing competitors in the U.S., South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SDPB) Radio reported on Thursday. Jonathan Sarna, a professor of Jewish history at Brandeis University, said their success can be traced back to Jewish discrimination in the former Soviet Union. Because of the prejudice they faced, Russian Jews had to perform better than their peers in every field, including dancing, in order to have a chance of getting ahead. “They knew that if they […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Israeli Dancer With Shofar, Prayer Shawl Wows ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Judges (VIDEO)

    Israeli Dancer With Shofar, Prayer Shawl Wows ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Judges (VIDEO)

    An Israeli dancer made use of Jewish props in an extraordinary routine that left judges amazed when he auditioned for season 12 of TV dance competition So You Think You Can Dance on Monday. At first, the panel of judges appeared confused when Asaf Goren, 23, began his audition in Los Angeles with a tallit (prayer shawl) over his head and the blowing of a shofar, which he explained “opens the sky” for people’s prayers. However, as soon as he started his “Hebrew breaking” performance, […]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Jewish Hoops Fairytale Falls Short as David Blatt’s Cavaliers Drop Game 6

    Jewish Hoops Fairytale Falls Short as David Blatt’s Cavaliers Drop Game 6

    JNS.org – A fairytale ending to Jewish basketball coach David Blatt’s first season in the National Basketball Association (NBA) was not meant to be, as the Blatt-led Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night dropped Game 6 of the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors, 105-97, to lose the best-of-seven series 4-2. Blatt, who just last year coached Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv franchise to a European basketball championship, failed to finish a second straight hoops season on top. But after the Cavaliers began the NBA […]

    Read more →