Yom Achdut Roadshow – bringing the lessons of George Floyd to schools and getting some lessons back
PaJeS, in conjunction with the Jewish Secondary Schools, have run a Yom Achdut Roadshow bringing the issue of black equality to schools and getting some powerful messages back. All the schools are united in their determination to put this issue at the forefront of their curricula.
Schools involved were Hasmonean, Immanuel College, JFS, JCoSS, Kantor King Solomon and Yavneh College. The programme varied across the sessions but included a pre-recorded contribution from Ben Winston, Producer of the Late Late Show – ‘the view from LA’, a pre-recorded especially edited monologue from James Corden, a recording of Year 12 students from JCoSS promoting BAME rights in their school, Kantor King Solomon students speaking live about how they have promoted a Jewish but inclusive community and how they feel other schools can learn from them and Mike Mullings a Black teacher from Hasmonean describing his experiences in the Jewish community. Lord Winston’s sessions were about the importance of and opportunities for getting involved in changing society for the better and were followed by a Q&A period.
Sessions were enjoyed by teachers and students alike. Georgia Reback from Yavneh College said ‘I really enjoyed the session. It made me proud to be part of a community that stands up and educates each other about the social justice issues that are most pressing in our current society.’ Kamil Tindiey, Deputy Head Boy from King Solomon said to his teachers ‘……it was great to see you all there and it was even better to speak amongst such talented individuals, great team effort! I was so glad to speak to Robert Winston himself, such an honour’. Francesca Grahame from Yavneh College said ‘Incredibly refreshing to discuss the pressing issue of racism and our role, as the Jewish community to help reduce this discrimination.’
Francesca Grahame. Ella Plasett, a Year 10 student from JCoSS said ‘it was really interesting to hear the views and opinions of other Jews on racism.’ Michael Lewis, Jewish Enrichment Coordinator from Immanuel College, said ‘I hope that this can be the start of some regular events like this.
PaJeS Secondary schools co-ordinator Rabbi Michael Pollak said ‘A vital part of education is bringing the real world into the classroom. Over the last week the PaJeS Achdut programme has done just that with a lot of help from some inspiring secondary school students. Seeing how Jewish schools are responding to the calls for meaningful education against racism has been utterly uplifting’.