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Britain’s most successful Jewish school told the supreme court today it had discriminated against a 12-year-old boy on religious rather than racial grounds.

Lord Pannick QC, representing the JFS, told nine judges and a standing-room-only crowd that the school denied the boy a place because the chief rabbi regarded his mother’s conversion to Judaism as invalid. The court heard the JFS had twice the number of applicants to places, so children whose mothers were recognised as Jewish by the chief rabbi were prioritised. The boy, known as M, did not fall into this category. Pannick told the court: “The chief rabbi is not involved in some kind of sham. He is only interested in the application of religious law.”

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