Admission to schools and Certificate of Religious Practice (CRP)
Following the adverse judement in the Court of Appeal some of our Jewish schools have been forced to adopt a religious practice test.
We understand that in some cases the schools will be asking you to complete a Certificate of Religious Practice (CRP), which includes verification of synagogue attendance. We are therefore asking that everyone, whether a member of Bushey Synagogue or not, who wishes to have their attendance at synagogue verified for school admissions purposes complies with a set procedure (copy below), which includes:
1. Pre-registration of attendance
2. Making oneself known to an authorised official when attending
3. Receiving a signed CRP only if attendance has been verified
4. All records will be confidential and will only be used to enable the authorised official to sign the CRP, although the Synagogue may contact you in connection with the promotion of its events.
Preregistration: You will need to register with Bushey Synagogue so that we can capture when your children attend. To register please download and fill out the Schools Registration Application Form 2017-18 and email it to our . We would really appreciate you using this email address, as at this time of year the office telephone lines are extremely busy. Please register by 2pm on the Thursday before the Shabbat from which you wish your attendance to start being recorded. You only have to register once, not every week.
When registering we will need the following pieces of information in order to register your child:
- Parents name
- Home address
- Email address
- Phone number (home & mobile)
- Each child’s Name
- Each child’s date of birth
Importantly, registration will only capture attendance at Bushey Synagogue. If you are attending a different synagogue for any reason and wish your attendance to be recorded there, you must register with that synagogue by 10.00 am on the preceding Thursday. They will then in turn inform us of your attendance.
Please also note that each school has slightly differing conditions and deadlines and you should consult the schools you wish your child to enter for their individual criteria.
We have been advised that siblings of current pupils and those wishing to enter the sixth form from a different school need to take part in this process. You only have to register once for each child.
Attending synagogue. On Shabbat morning there will be a desk outside the classrooms in the nursery area (the Gan) that will be open between 10.40 am – 10.55am only. We ask, therefore, that you ensure that you arrive in Shul in plenty of time to register before 10.55am – this will allow the children’s services to start on time. Unfortunately, in the interest of fairness, no exceptions can be made for people who arrive after this time.
Please note that attendance on Chagim will not be recorded.
Attendance at another synagogue
We recognise that many of you may not be at home, or will have guests over the high holidays. The United Synagogue has put in place the following arrangements to help those who want to register at other synagogues:
Attendance at other US synagogues: If you will be attending more than one US synagogue over the next few months you need to pre-register at each synagogue you attend. When submitting your CRP for completion you should indicate which US synagogues you have attended. The RO will then check the attendance register at those synagogues before completing the CRP. Please submit the CRP for completion by the synagogue, which you have attended most often during the relevant period. (Typically this will be your home synagogue.)
Attendance at non – US member synagogues: We regret that it will not be possible for us to certify your attendance at a synagogue that is not a member of the US. Where you have attended a non-US member synagogue over the relevant period, we suggest that you also ask the Rabbi of the other synagogue(s) to complete a CRP and then send both certificates to the school with a note of explanation. We can only sign the CRP form for which we have direct evidence.
Reasonable Evidence of Attendance at a non-US member synagogue: We have been asked whether a parent who can provide evidence of attendance at a non-US member synagogue (eg. A note from the rabbi of that synagogue) could then ask a US rabbi or official to provide the necessary certificate of attendance. Despite our original interpretation we have now been advised that administering and verifying such attendance would make it very difficult for the synagogue to ensure that it is acting fairly and consistently to all. Hence the guidance to submit two CRPs to the school you are applying to.
The task of registering synagogue attendance is one that we would much rather we were not being asked to undertake. However, we wish to provide assistance to our Jewish schools as they have been placed in an incredibly difficult situation forced upon them, because, and only because, of the Court of Appeal’s decision. It is important therefore to point out that this process does not confirm Jewish status.
If you have any questions in relation to this process, or just want to talk with the Registering Officers please contact the synagogue office who will pass your enquiry directly to us.
We look forward to welcoming you to our synagogue and hope that by following this simple procedure we can minimize the disruption and discomfort that this process will create.