A flurry of stories has emerged from Gothenburg, Sweden, where Rabbi Alexander and Leah Namdar—co-directors of Chabad-Lubavitch of Sweden since 1991—have been defending their right to homeschool their four youngest children (ages 7 to 13). Their current court case is the latest in a series of legal cases that began in 2011 (previously, they had lost in the district court, won in the appeals court and then lost before the Supreme Court).
Living in a country with approximately 15,000 Jews among wider population of nearly 10 million—many of whom are affiliated with the Church of Sweden, but most of whom profess atheism—the Namdars already won an important Supreme Court victory in 2004, when they established that a Jewish school was allowed to function even without the usual minimum of 20 students. Now they seek to extend that provision to allow for homeschooling as well.
Despite the challenges their family faces, the Namdars remain hopeful. “Sweden has to begin respecting the values, morals and belief of a one true G?d,” asserts Rabbi Namdar, “and all the rest will automatically fall into place.”
Leah Namdar shares her perspective—and challenges—educationally and legally, in addition to what keeps her and her family going, at the Kinus HaShluchos Guest Program this year.
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