Government to foot security bill in three Hackney Jewish schools

The three schools are among 39 nationwide that will get a grant of up to �2m for next year, amid concerns about anti-Semitic threats to pupils.

THE government is to pick up the cost of providing security guards at three Jewish faith schools in Hackney, amid concerns about anti-Semitic threats to pupils.

Ruth Lunzer Lubavitch Jewish Girls Primary School in Stamford Hill, Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls’ School in Egerton Road and Simon Marks in Cazenove Road, both in Stoke Newington, are among 39 voluntary-aided faith schools across the UK that will share up to �2 million funding next year.

All state schools get funding to provide basic security measures such as perimeter fences, gates and CCTV, but parents at Jewish schools are often asked to pay for extra measures like security guards.

Parents at the Ruth Lunzer Lubavitch school decided they could no longer afford security guards two years ago, and volunteers have been manning the forts ever since.

Headteacher, Mrs Frieda Sudak, said the school has been broken into and vandalised three times over the last three years.

“I don’t want anxiety amongst the children, so I want to play it down, but the chair of governors is concerned and people are unhappy and don’t think we have had enough security,” said Ms Sudak.

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Yesodey Hatorah pays the security bill out of the school budget, which principal Rabbi Abraham Pinter estimates came to �40,000 last year.

He believes his school may have been on the hit list of international terrorist Carlos the Jackal, who shot Marks and Spencer president, Edward Sieff, at his London home in 1973.

Rabbi Pinter added: “At Simon Marks the playground with its high gates looks like Colditz - it’s ugly but sadly they need it, the gates are not there for the children not to get out.

“We have problems with the extreme right, in other words neo-Nazis and the extreme left, with people opposed to Israel,” he added.

The funding was confirmed on the last day of Chanukah, the Jewish festival of lights, when it is customary to give presents.

“What a wonderful Hannukah present - it wasn’t something they had to do and it’s nice they recognised our children had a right to feel secure in school,” added the rabbi.