Monday, 27 February 2012

Rabbi Abraham Pinter: "When people leave the community they go to the other extreme"

Rabbi Abraham Pinter has answered a number of questions about the Charedi community in Stamford Hill. Here he discusses allegations that womens' rights are under threat at his own school. 

A full list of questions put to Rabbi Pinter and links to his answers can be found here.

People see the rise of Charedi values as an erosion of women’s rights. For example the author of the blog If You Tickle Us tweeted that no women were allowed on the stage at Yesoday Hatorah school when Michael Gove, the Education Secretary visited.

Rabbi Pinter: We do have women governors and they were invited but for some reason they couldn’t make it. I organised the whole thing and that wasn’t the plan. My wife (the headteacher at Yesoday Hatorah) preferred to be off-stage managing and arranging things.

It just happened that way. Of the governors who turned up at the event they were all men.

But in a girls’ school I can say, without qualification, that girls and women were allowed on the stage.

I can’t say I actually read this blog, but I often get comments from people who have read it, and based on my experience this is a typical comment of this author. I would also say that when people leave the community they seem to go to the other extreme and become highly critical - like Deborah Feldman. It is as if they have to justify why they have ostracized themselves from the community. I feel sorry for them, really.

What I find most interesting is why a person who is obviously so disenchanted with the community would decide to send to a school like ours. It makes little sense really. This girl must be thoroughly confused with all the mixed messages that she is getting.

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