‘Anti-Semitic’ TAFE leaflet pulled

A FORM that was widely circulated at TAFE in Randwick has been scrapped after a member of the Jewish community complained about elements in the literature that displayed what she described as “blatant anti-Semitism”.

The form was designed to match students completing a Child Care Certificate III or a Diploma of Child Care course with appropriate work placements. It asked, “Are you happy to attend a Jewish centre?”

The questionnaire was pulled after The AJN informed the NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC) and its contents are set to be reviewed.

Rachel Oshorov of the Milk and Honey childcare centre in Maroubra informed The AJN of the leaflet and said she was shocked and disappointed.

“I was surprised that Randwick TAFE felt this was an appropriate and justified form of questioning both ethically and legally,” she said.

“I felt sad for the students, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who had been exposed to such blatant anti-Semitism.

“In an era where enormous emphasis is placed on diversity and political correctness in childcare centres in particular, I was stunned this takes place in our TAFE education system.

“As an educator myself, this is not the message we should be imparting to our students.”

In a statement, a spokesman for the DEC said at no time was any offence intended. “The leaflet in question has been used for more than 10 years with the intention to maximise the benefits of child care student placements to the participating local centres and students,” the spokesman said.

He said the question was included at the request of a former Moriah College employee, but the retired educator, who asked not to be named, said no such request was made. While Moriah has not had a policy like this, the DEC spokesman said that the request was made verbally.

“At no time was any offence or discrimination intended against Jewish child care services, the Jewish religion or followers of Judaism,” the DEC spokesman said.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive officer Vic Alhadeff welcomed the decision to review the form’s content.

“Clearly, standards have improved over the years and questions which would cause offence today seemingly did not in previous years. We commend Randwick TAFE for moving to withdraw this leaflet from circulation as soon as it was brought to their attention.”

EVAN ZLATKIS

The leaflet.