(JTA) – A Satmar Hasidic school in a London borough apologized for using the term “goyim” on worksheets following a newspaper report that its preschoolers were being taught that non-Jews are evil.
An article published Tuesday in the Independent newspaper, a major British daily, focused on a worksheet on the Holocaust used by the young students at the Beis Rochel D’Satmar Girls’ School in Hackney, in northeast London, in which Nazis are referred to only with the term for non-Jews that some deem offensive.
The worksheet is in Yiddish, and the newspaper received an independent translation of the worksheet. The first question reads: “What have the evil goyim (non-Jews) done with the synagogues and cheders [Jewish primary schools]?” The answer in the completed worksheet reads “Burned them.”
“The language we used was not in any way intended to cause offence, now this has been brought to our attention, we will endeavor to use more precise language in the future,” a school spokesman told the newspaper.
The spokesman told the London Jewish Chronicle that the term goyim explicitly meant Nazis.
“The leaflet that the Independent refers to was handed out on the 21 Kislev, when the Satmar Jews celebrate the rescue of their founding rabbi from Bergen-Belsen,” the spokesman, Shimon Cohen, told the Chronicle.
“The questions were only talking about the specific event, but there is no Yiddish word for Nazis. The suggestion that children are being taught that non-Jews are evil is nonsense and simply false. They are being taught that Nazis are evil.”