Jewish life now

Jewish life now

Clifton College continues to welcome Jewish pupils, boys and girls, in both The Upper School and The Preparatory School. They are given the opportunity and encouraged to explore their Jewish identity through the Polack Centre, communal prayers, celebration of Jewish holidays and access to kosher catering. The Polack Centre operates as a repositary of the history of Jewish education at Clifton College as well as a contemporary cultural and religious centre, including a synagogue.

Jewish actitivies are integrated throughout the school including:

  • During morning chapel services, Jewish pupils attend Hebrew prayers in the synagogue in the Polack Centre
  • Shabbat is welcomed with Friday night prayers, dinner and a lively debate on a topical issue. We encourage guests to join us and have a Rabbi visit regularly
  • During Shabbat and festivals, pupils can attend one of the local synagogues and be excused from classes
  • The Polack Centre's synagogue has an Ark that houses a unique Czech Memorial Scroll. This was saved from the Nazi’s during the Holocaust and has been on long term loan to the Polack’s House community since 1967
  • Clifton College participates in the Holocaust Educational Trust programme for schools. This involves educational lectures at the school, selecting two pupils to participate in the Annual concentration camp visits organised by the Trust. In addition, the school annually marks Holocaust Memorial Day with a service in the Chapel led by one of the Jewish students
  • Jewish pupils are invited to work with the chefs on kosher menu suggestions for Shabbat meals. The current menu of choice is felafel and humous!
  • Interfaith activities are encouraged widely throughout the school and the Polack's pupils and staff engage in year round events to share Jewish beliefs and educate the wider school population
  • In the Pre there is a fun social group called 'The Chutzpah Club' which is held regularly to allow the Jewish pupils to get to know each other, do some creative Jewish centred activities and share stories about being Jewish 
  • Hebrew School for pre 13’s and post 13's, Bar / Bat Mitzvah preparation, Shiur and learned guest speakers are all part of Jewish life at Clifton College