THE NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBD) is insisting schools participate in its ‘Respect, Understanding and Acceptance’ program and will push to make it mandatory for students to visit the Sydney Jewish Museum.
It follows disturbing reports of rising antisemitism across NSW schools, including at Knox Grammar School, Cranbrook, Rose Bay Secondary College and a northern rivers high school.
The Sydney Morning Herald detailed an incident at Rose Bay Secondary College in which a Jewish student was told by another student that he would go back in time and become Hitler to “hunt down his family and stop the bloodline”.
In another incident reported to the JBD, a student at an unnamed Sydney private school watched a Jewish boy being stuffed into a locker and sprayed with deodorant to simulate a gas chamber, while other students laughed.
Cranbrook has addressed several allegations of antisemitic bullying in a letter – seen by The AJN – sent by headmaster Nicholas Sampson to parents. Sampson said Cranbrook has made it clear that “slurs of this nature are abhorrent to us all and will not be tolerated”.
He also intends to strengthen ties with the JBD, who have been inundated with horrendous reports of antisemitic bullying across NSW schools since launching an online portal last week.
Muslim MP Jihad Dib called the incidents “very disturbing”.
“The rise of antisemitism and other race/faith-based hatred is something that should worry everyone,” he said.
This is very disturbing. The rise of anti-semitism and other race/faith based hatred is something that should worry everyone. pic.twitter.com/q3sP47gR6M
— Jihad Dib MP (@jihaddibmp) September 12, 2022
Wentworth MP Allegra Spender said the rise in antisemitism is “both extremely concerning and deeply upsetting”.
JBD president David Ossip called it “intolerable” that children are being bullied simply because they are Jewish. “The JBD will continue to work with schools, the NSW government, the NSW Education Department and our interfaith partners to address this unacceptable behaviour.
“We are presently working with a number of schools to assist them in educating their students about the harmful consequences of dehumanising others.”
JBD CEO Darren Bark added, “This is playing out at schools across our state, and we cannot let the normalisation of this destructive and disrespectful behaviour continue.”