Communities Minister praises Judaism’s ‘rich tradition in religious education’ at launch of GCSE Judaism book

Communities Minister Lord Bourne has welcomed the Board of Deputies’ new GCSE Judaism Religious Studies resource and also praised the community’s “rich tradition in religious education”.

Speaking to more than 60 guests at the launch of the resource in London last night, Lord Bourne said: “Religion and teaching have always gone hand in hand in Judaism. So it is no surprise, with such a rich tradition in religious education, that the Jewish community, led by the Board of Deputies, has taken the initiative and compiled a guide for teaching Judaism in the Religious Studies GCSE.”

He added: “A guide for both teachers and students, this will be a comprehensive study of the Jewish faith, designed to provide students with a broader and deeper understanding of the religion, so as to support progression to further and higher education, and enhancing young people’s ability to help create cohesive communities.”

Also speaking at the launch was Paul Barber of the Catholic Education Service, who said: “Catholic schools will study Judaism as the second religion for the new GCSE Religious Studies. An in-depth of study of the scriptures and history of Judaism gives a firm basis for a proper understanding of Christianity and Catholicism. We welcome this outstanding resource which will support teachers in Catholic schools to teach the new GCSE.”

The resource, entitled, “Judaism GCSE Religious Studies – The Definitive Resource”, provides an unbiased description of the diversity within the Jewish community, and highlights the issues that are of most importance. Written by renowned educationalist Clive Lawton, the resource is designed to be easy to use and provides essential information for both students and teachers.

Clive Lawton said: “This resource achieves a rare double – it is authentically from within the tradition (in this case Judaism) but it is not blinkered or confessional. GCSE pupils and teachers alike can be utterly confident that the material offered is both accurate and delivered at a level suitable for exam success.”

Board of Deputies Chief Executive Gillian Merron said: “We have taken a lead in producing this excellent resource which will be a must for anyone studying Religious Studies GCSE Judaism. We’re particularly proud that this resource reflects the diversity of traditions within our community.”

It is available to download and buy here at a price of £9.99 (digital) and £14.99 (hard copy).


Photo: (left to right) Author Clive Lawton, Board of Deputies Vice President Sheila Gewolb and Communities Minister Lord Bourne.

Photo credit: Gary Perlmutter

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