(JTA) — A Soviet refugee is suing his son’s day care for refusing to allow the 4-year-old to wear a Star of David pendant.
Isaac Goldin attended the Bright Minds Center in Manhattan, which provides “European Education” and “Russian Traditions” for kids, the New York Post reported.
Beginning in November 2016 until Isaac left in June 2017, the principals required Dmitry Goldin to remove his son’s necklace before the start of the school day.
Goldin 43, said the request gave him flashbacks to the religious persecution he experienced in Moscow before leaving for New York in 1991.
“Russian kids would beat me up and spit on me for being Jewish,” he said of his life in the former Soviet Union. “When you spend a whole childhood in this condition and it happens when you’re an adult, it brings it all back.”
The principals said that Isaac could not wear the six-pointed star because it was dangerous, and suggested that the Goldins find a different way for their son to express his religious affiliation.
Goldin filed the lawsuit on Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
One of the school principals, Marina Korostyshevskaya, told the Post that she also was persecuted in Russia.
“I’m [also] a Jew who came from Russia. Believe me, I do wear my Star of David, but it’s not safe to wear around kids,” she said. “Any normal adult would understand it has sharp corners.”
Goldin said he offered to give his son a smaller Star of David but was rebuffed. Isaac now attends Success Academy, where he is allowed to wear the Star of David, according to the Post.
Goldin is not religiously observant, but said, according to the New York Daily News, “In America, being able to wear the Star of David – it’s freedom.”