Implications for Jewish Identity of Teenagers Attending an Integrated Jewish State School

Spring, 2012

Source: European Judaism, Volume 45, Number 1, Spring 2012, pp. 125-135(11) 


'Det judiska högstadiet' at Vasa Real may be unique in the world. Its existence is important to ensure a dynamic, varied and tolerant Jewish community in Stockholm but also to show that we can integrate in a multicultural environment without losing our identity as Jews. This system started about twenty-five years ago as a trial project and has adapted to the changing demands of pupils' social and educational requirements throughout the years.

The uniqueness is the fact that we have a unit within a state school structure. The Jewish classes study homogeneously most subjects; that is, secular subjects as well as Hebrew and Jewish Studies, but are integrated with non-Jewish pupils in mathematics, a third language and science. The concept of streaming in mathematics and integration in science classes was developed to create more natural areas of cooperation between pupils.


The major challenge that we face is the governmental stance that religion cannot be enforced on pupils, while we endeavour to educate and provide strong Jewish identities. This article will focus on how much this stance affects the Jewish identity of the youth attending an integrated school environment as well as other factors that influence Jewish identities.

Updated: Dec. 10, 2014