Supreme Court: Who is a Jew?
28 October 2009
The British Supreme Court is being asked “to take a view on exactly who counts as a Jew”, notes the Guardian. The case at issue concerns a wrangle over admissions policy at the Jews' Free School (JFS) in Kenton, London, which refused to accept a child who was brought up as Jewish, on the grounds that his mother was not of Jewish descent. Given that British equality laws classify Jews not merely as a religious minority, but also separately as an ethnic one, a previous decision of the court of appeal found that the application of the matrilineal rule by the JFS amounted to unacceptable race discrimination. Remarking that the Supreme Court will also need to decide if “legislation drafted to protect minorities” should be used to condemn Jewish traditions, the Guardian wonders in an editorial if it would not “be better to separate school admissions from all questions of faith, and thereby free the law from religion.”