Antwerp - Rabbi Moshe Aryeh Friedman, notorious for his involvement with the Neturei Karta and the 2006 anti-Zionist and Holocaust-denial conference in Iran, has again found himself at the center of a controversy – this time in Belgium.
At the end of 2011, Friedman relocated his wife and seven children from New York to Antwerp, but because of what Friedman calls “revenge” on the part of the Jewish community for his “opinion and good contacts with world leaders”, he has been unable to find a yeshiva which will admit his children. As such, Friedman said he had no choice but to apply for admission for his sons, ages 8 and 11, to the all-girls, Orthodox Jewish Benoth Jerusalem School in Antwerp.
According to a report in the local Belgian paper, Gazet van Anwerpen (http://bit.ly/VblYff), when Benoth Jerusalem denied admission to his sons, Friedman sued citing a recent decision from the Commission on Students’ Rights which held that a child cannot be denied admission to a school on the basis of their gender.
A Belgian judge ruled that because yeshivas are subsidized by the Flemish community, Benoth Jerusalem must admit the boys or face a $2,600 penalty per child for each day the boys are not permitted to attend.
The school board argued that Orthodox Judaism requires the separation of the sexes for educational instruction. Moreover, the board said it is not equipped to educate male students as it does not have male teachers on staff and lacks basic infrastructure such as separate restrooms.
Actually the boys will probably get a better education since the girls' schools teach secular subjects.