SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (Feb. 2)
Jewish parents of children attending public primary schools in New South Wales began action today to withdraw their children in protest against a social studies syllabus which includes teaching about Christianity.
They acted in response to a call made in a joint statement of the Jewish Board of Deputies and the local rabbinate. About 5,000 Jewish children were expected to be affected by the protest action. Withdrawal forms were sent to all parents of Jewish children for forwarding to school principals.
The withdrawal call was decided on as the first step in a long-rage plan to challenge the syllabus which was issued by the Ministry for Education. A delegation of the Board of Deputies and the Rabbinate will seek an early appointment with Premier Renshaw on the issue.
The parents have been advised that they have a legal right, provided in the public instruction law, to withdraw their children from the social studies lessons. The Australian Jewish Times published an editorial opposing the withdrawal plan, arguing that the move would embarrass the children, harm their schools and cause a cleavage in the community.