Saving Hebrew

18th October 1996 at 01:00
I was somewhat surprised to read "Jews face loss of heritage" (TES, September 27) concerning the uncertain future of GCSE modern Hebrew.

For more than over a year, the Board of Deputies of British Jews has been aware of the proposed plan to phase out GCSE Modern Hebrew and has been working thereafter to secure an assured future for its continuation. Acting in a brokerage role, on behalf of the Jewish community, the board has been in continuous negotiation with the Northern Examination and Assessment Board.

A financial agreement was subsequently reached whereby the board of deputies guaranteed to raise funding to cover the direct costs of the examination and would assist the NEAB to find suitably qualified examiners. Although the board is aware of the difficulties attached to the task of finding such a team, it has widely advertised for potential applicants to approach the NEAB and advised the Hebrew departments of universities to consult with their academic staff.

Contrary to Elaine Carlton's article, the Jewish community has shown to have successfully organised itself to respond to the threat of the cessation of GCSE modern Hebrew.

DANIEL SUMMERFIELD

Acting director of education The Board of Deputies of British Jews London WC1

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