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Reform rabbis on the importance of studying other religions

Rabbis Laura Janner-Klausner, Sybil Sheridan and Debbie Young-Somers wrote to the JC noting that our children will be deprived of a full and rounded education if they do not learn about other faiths. The letter was published on 3 October 2014.

As rabbis who have studied diverse religions, we were saddened to read your cover story detailing the outrage of some faith leaders’ aimed at Government proposals that schools must study at least two faiths at GCSE. Studying faiths other than our own allows us to test our beliefs, and ensures a more confident, robust and positive Judaism. We can only expect to defeat ignorance and anti-Semitism if Jews are not the only people studying Judaism. Equally, we must know how to engage in conversations of real meaning with those beyond the Jewish community. We should encourage study and encounter of the other faiths thriving in this country. We should renew our commitment to being part of British society. We should provide the children in our community with, at a minimum, a small glimpse outside our own world.

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to the Movement for Reform Judaism, MA in theology and religious studies Cantab
Rabbi Sybil Sheridan, Chair Rabbinic Assembly, MA in theology and religious studies Cantab
Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, Community Educator, Movement for Reform Judaism. BA Religious Studies, Lancaster

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