Swedish court lets Jewish couple home school four children

(JTA) — A Swedish court has ruled that a Jewish couple in Gothenburg may home school four of their children. 

A panel of three judges of the city’s Administrative Courts of Appeal on Oct. 17 said that Leah Namdar and Rabbi Alexander Namdar – Chabad emissaries to Gothenburg, Sweden’s second-largest city located on the country’s west coast – may continue to provide education at home for their children.

The Swedish ministry of education ordered the couple last year to register four of their eleven children in the Swedish school system. Swedish law allows home schooling under “special circumstances” but, prior to the ruling, religion was not considered a special circumstance.

Leah Namdar told JTA that, “it was important for us that the court recognize our basic human rights to live according to Torah and mitzvot, and that religious freedom is respected in Sweden.”

She and her husband, who were both born in the U.K., have been living in Gothenburg for the past 20 years, since they opened the first Chabad house in Scandinavia.

Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, head of educational services within the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, said in a statement that Chabad was “grateful” and “gratified” by the verdict.

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