Antwerp Jewish parents demand teacher’s ouster over Facebook post


(JTA) — The parents association of a Jewish school in Antwerp demanded the firing of a teacher who made what the group called an anti-Semitic statement on Facebook.

The request to dismiss Nathalie van Parys came in a letter last week to Moshe Mund, principal of the Jesode Hatora-Beth Jacob school, the Belgian Jewish monthly and news website Joods Actueel reported Sunday.

On her Facebook account, van Parys wrote about the parents of students at the publicly funded Jewish school, “They are mega-racists themselves.”

She was commenting about an article that concerned the $1,000 that parents at the school and others are required to pay annually for security.

In her Flemish-language post, van Parys used the word “volk,” which means ethnicity, nation or people. “The most difficult and unworldly people I know,” she wrote.

In its letter, the parents association wrote, “The parents reacted with shock and frustration to this display of intolerance and hate. Such demeaning, anti-Semitic remarks are unacceptable in a democracy. That these statements came from faculty is just unbelievable.”

The parents asked Mund to “apply sanctions” against the teacher, adding: “For us, it is unacceptable that she teach.”

Jewish public schools in Antwerp – home to a predominantly Orthodox community of 18,000 – employ a secular and Jewish staff. The secular educators are mostly non-Jewish and are entrusted with teaching mandatory subjects according to the Belgian federal educational requirements and that of the Flemish Region.

The Jewish staff at the schools, where boys and girls are taught separately, teaches Jewish studies and Hebrew in accordance with Orthodox religious laws.

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