London’s Jewish community is facing fear and uncertainty as two of its schools have taken the unprecedented step of shutting down in response to perceived threats to the safety of their students.
Ateres Beis Yaakov Primary School in Colindale and Torah Vodaas Primary School in Edgware, both prominent Jewish educational institutions, have informed parents that they are temporarily closing their doors. The reason cited for this unusual move is concerns over the well-being of their students, described as “our precious children.”
In a letter addressed to parents, Rabbi Feldman of Torah Vodaas clarified that, while there is no specific threat targeting their school, the decision to close was not made lightly. This decision comes in the wake of anti-Israel protests that have unfolded in the capital, further intensifying the community’s sense of unease.
The timing is significant, with these events taking place shortly after a tragic incident involving Hamas terrorists who infiltrated Israel, resulting in the loss of lives and the abduction of civilians. The severity of the situation was underscored by Lt Col Jonathan Conricus, a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces, who characterized it as “by far the worst day in Israeli history” following these attacks.
Another school, Yesodey Hatorah, has implemented specific safety measures to protect its students. Rabbi Chaim Pinter, the school’s principal, mentioned the deployment of extra patrols, the availability of therapists, and counselors to support the students. The measures are being taken to alleviate concerns within the community, as people express their worries about the situation.
London has recently witnessed a series of protests against Israel, often resulting in confrontations between Jewish individuals and anti-Israel demonstrators, some of which have been captured and shared on social media. In this atmosphere of heightened tensions, the safety and well-being of the children in the Jewish community are of paramount concern, prompting these precautionary closures and security measures.
The primary focus remains on safeguarding the children and ensuring their safety, with schools serving as sanctuaries during these challenging times.