This article was first published in The Times of Israel.
A ban on bangers in British public school lunches is focusing some unwanted attention on the UK’s Jewish community.
Across the country, principals have been deciding to drop pork products from school lunch menus to cater to students who do not eat them for cultural or religious reasons, according to a report this past Sunday in The Telegraph. This has led some to erroneously believe that the push to get rid of the pork is coming from the Jewish community, which its board of deputies maintains is not the case.
Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, told The Times of Israel by phone from London that the ban is, for the most part, a non-story that right-leaning publications like the Telegraph and the Daily Mail have “picked up on in this [political] climate.”
“There has been no request from the Jewish community that pork be removed from public school lunches,” Benjamin asserted.
Still, one district in Haringey, in north London, issued best practice advice to its schools to “ban all pork products in order to cater for the needs of staff and pupils who are not permitted contact with these for religious reasons.” However, the directive did not specify what percentage of a school’s enrollment needed to object to pork before it should remove it from its lunch menu. The Telegraph listed a number of other school districts in various cities throughout the country in which anywhere from just a few to almost all schools have put a hold on the ham.
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© 2012 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.