Embracing Jewish Day School Education in England, 1965-1979

Jul. 03, 2009

Source: History of Education, Volume 38, Issue 4 , pages 545 - 563


Between 1965 and 1979 the demand for places at Jewish day schools in England rose dramatically. In the preceding decades, most parents sent their children to state non-denominational schools, showing little interest in providing their children with a solid Jewish education. Sunday or after-school Hebrew classes, rarely extending beyond Bar/Bat Mitzvah age, sufficed.


Yet beginning in the mid-1960s, parents evinced increasing enthusiasm for Jewish day schools, both primary and secondary. This phenomenon has been attributed to various factors, such as the changing ethnic mix at state schools and Anglo-Jewry's communal pride after the Six-Day War.


It is argued in this article that the major concern of Jewish parents was academic achievement. Upon the introduction of the non-selective comprehensive schools, parents fled the non-denominational state system, preferring voluntary aided Jewish day schools, or, for those who could afford them, private schools.

Updated: Dec. 28, 2009