Religion & Beliefs

Orthodox Jewish Girls Snub The Bard

The girls at Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls' School in Hackney, East London, seem to have missed our post last week about how Shakespeare was a British Jewess. If they’d studied up on John Hudson’s theory that the work attributed to … Read More

By / March 4, 2008

The girls at Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls' School in Hackney, East London, seem to have missed our post last week about how Shakespeare was a British Jewess. If they’d studied up on John Hudson’s theory that the work attributed to William Shakespeare was really written by Amelia Bassano Lanyer–a Jewish poetess from a family of Italian court musicians–they might not have refused to take a mandatory English exam on the work of Shakespeare. Nine spirited students at Yesodey Hatorah left an entire exam on The Tempest blank in protest against what they feel is an Anti-Semitic portrayal of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. They’re supported by their parents and the school’s principal, Rabbi Abraham Pinter, even though their actions have caused the school to drop drastically in British school ratings, from a top-tier position to 274th. Rabbi Pinter apparently thinks this is all very positive and has said that he's "really proud that our kids are prepared to take the consequences of their convictions and I think it is something that needs to be encouraged."

If the girls’ convictions had inspired them to wear pants instead of long skirts, Rabbi Pinter might be less proud. And if falling in school ratings causes a decrease in funding for future students, one has to wonder if the girls’ convictions are so great.

Related: Shakespeare Was a Jew. No, Really.