Carmel School

Carmel School is an exceptional facility that provides exceptional education.  It is without question the jewel in the crown of the Perth Jewish community.

It is great news that a Campus Rabbi will soon be appointed.  With new leadership coming to the school in 2009, and a growing role of children from Orthodox Jewish homes in the primary school, Carmel school is undergrowing a gradual culture change that will no doubt strengthen its status as a “Modern Orthodox Jewish Day School”.

If there is a common criticism from across the religious parents of the school, it is that the culture change is happening too slowly.  Over the past decade dozens of families have left Perth as a result of inadequate levels of Jewish studies at the school.  Over the past few years much has been done to introduce additional and extra-curricular learning in Hebrew and Jewish studies, but the great quantum of serious Jewish learning for young students actually happens outside of the scope and framework of the school program.

Jewgle Perth believes the time is right to engage a Jewish head for the school.  Jewish leadership, in addition (or combined with) Rabbinic leadership would help strenghten the good work underway.

Last month there were several events that did little to suggest to parents that Carmel School is sufficiently Jewish.  First there was an incident surrounding Haloween, which, as a pagan festival, has no place in the school.  Second, the school proudly displayed images of the Melbourne Cup carnival in the Kesher newsletter – another event that clearly clashes with Jewish values and should have no place in the school, let alone a public display of festive gambling by its staff.

The reality is that, until such time as Carmel School has religious Jewish direction from all aspects of its management, it will struggle to fulfil its mandate as an Orthodox School.  Not all of its students will be Orthodox, but the school must cater according to its ideals.  Great progress has been made in recent years, but a more concerted effort is now required.

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