UK - Muslim Students in Jewish Schools

Arno Froese

Like hundreds of Jewish institutions in the Diaspora, the King David School celebrated Israel’s 70th Independence Day with blue-and-white flags and group singing of the “Hatikvah” national anthem.

But the King David is not like most other Jewish schools.

Most of the dozens of students in the 53-year-old elementary school in a suburb of this gritty English city come from Muslim families—the result of a decades-long depletion in the size of most Jewish communities outside London and growing immigration from South Asia and the Middle East. According to parents and community observers, 80 percent of the students are Muslim. The school declined to comment.

On Israel’s Independence Day, which this year fell on April 19, Esther Cohen, King David’s head of religious education, kicked off the ceremony in the school gym with the Modeh Ani morning prayer in Hebrew followed by the Shema Yisrael prayer.

Cohen showed the students two videos celebrating Israeli innovation and invited them to another tefillah, this time to “thank Hashem that he gave us Israel.” She asked the students to stand up to sing “Hatikvah,” which speaks of “being a free People in Zion, Jerusalem”—almost all of them sang the Hebrew-language anthem by heart.

Despite this unusual twist, King David makes perfect sense to some Muslim parents.

“It is a Jewish school but regardless of that, I think it’s a very good school,” said Fouad, a  medical professional whose family is originally from Pakistan and whose daughter attends King David. “The best thing about it is that it has discipline that other schools lack. There’s zero violence, there’s very little bullying. It’s just not tolerated here.” Fouad asked to be identified by his first name only.

King David students are not taught about any other religion besides Judaism. Everybody celebrates Jewish holidays together and Shabbat. Each Friday features a kiddush ceremony ahead of the Jewish day of rest. But Jewish students receive more in-depth tutoring about Judaism that the non-Jews may skip. All the students also study some Hebrew.

-www.jta.org, 30 April 2018

Arno's commentary

This almost seems prophetic: Muslim students in a Jewish school. It is a sign of the future; after the world has been exposed for their hypocrisy, they then realize that there is one God—the God of Israel, manifested in the flesh in Jesus Christ the Lord. Zechariah 8:23 reads: “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” 

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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