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Teacher Sues London Chabad Nursery over Firing

A former teacher at a Chabad nursery school in London is suing the institution for religious discrimination, claiming she was fired for living with her boyfriend.

From the JTA:

Zelda de Groen, 24, is suing the Gan Menachem Nursery in Hendon, North London, for more than $26,000 charging religious and sexual discrimination, according to British media.

The nursery for children under the age of 8 is described as “ultra-Orthodox” in the lawsuit.

DeGroen grew up in a haredi Orthodox home in Stamford Hill in London, but left “after many years of significant discontent.” She moved in with her boyfriend in April 2016.

De Groen, who has since married her boyfriend, said managers subjected her to a ‘humiliating’ hour-long interview in which they said it was time for her to get married, the Daily Mail reported. She also described their tone as “threatening.”

Click here to continue reading at the JTA.


  • 1. Hellenist, not wrote:

    This woman should be sued for subjecting innocent children to her aberrant lifestyle. The Rebbe said every school must hire only religiously observant teacher. Sleeping with your boyfriend or even living together with him totally invalidates that premise.
    This is not an assault on the school that fired her. This is an assault on Yiddishkeit.
    This is the Hellenistic culture encroaching once again on the Orthodox Jews and must be stopped in its footsteps. Sue the woman.

  • 2. Turn the tables wrote:

    Hmmm, now then, what if a very wealthy donor wanted to make a large donation to the school, and that donor was known to be cohabiting out of wedlock. would the school accept the donation or not accept?

    • 3. Milhouse wrote:

      Why should they not accept a donation from such a person? What has that to do with hiring him or her as a teacher?

    • 4. To "turn" wrote:

      Might does not make right.
      Wealth does not erase sin.
      Throughout our history there has been worthy organizations who refused donations from people who knowingly and willfully didn’t keep Shabbos.
      Still you are turning the table! This woman was in direct contact with innocent children. She was influencing them with her aberrant lifestyle every day.

    • 5. Milhouse wrote:

      Who refuses donations from mechalelei shabbos? And why? What has one thing got to do with the other? Because someone breaks shabbos they shouldn’t give tzedokoh?! Would you also say that because someone doesn’t give tzedokoh they shouldn’t keep shabbos?! But no responsible Jewish school would hire a mechalel shabbos as a teacher.

  • 6. larry wrote:

    The school should know who they are hiring next time if they have issues with such things.

    • 7. 2016 wrote:

      True. But apparently this woman changed her morals while she was teaching, not before, as she only moved in with him last year

  • 8. What the heck wrote:

    is wrong with you people? They hired her, she wasn’t frum. That’s their problem, not hers. If they didn’t like that she wasn’t frum and didn’t act according to halacha, don’t hire her in the first place.

    • 9. Milhouse wrote:

      First, they didn’t know she was going to behave like this.

      Second, there is no difference between not hiring her for such a reason and firing her for it. It’s the same discrimination either way.

  • 10. another unhappy person wrote:

    another unhappy person attacking yiddishkeit.

    if she is a good teacher and a happy person she would not want to teach in a school that according to her report “mistreated” her.
    a normal person goes on with their life and finds a job where they can make a difference and be appreciated.

    • 11. We all do avairos wrote:

      What is it their business what avaira she is doing?? We are all doing avairos! Who is to say who’s avaira is worse then theirs? Oh and it took them a month to analyze her avaira before firing her hemm. She obviously was not influencing the kids with her secret avaira

  • 13. ? wrote:

    If this woman is as she claims coming from an orthodox home then she knows well enough that her lifestyle would not be accepted in a frum environment. Why then was she teaching there? provocation and means to easy money. There are other jobs out there including in other less religious schools. When I was in Lubavitch in London even the non Jewish teachers had to adhere to a code of dress. In any line of work there are dress and moral codes (apart from some unfortunate ones). I don’t see my local banker in shorts and sandals, nor the lawyer, pharmacist etc etc.
    Shame on this woman for the shander she is causing.
    Much hatzlacha to Beis Gavriel and it’s tireless director, head teacher and the others who strive to make it the success it is.

    • 14. ? wrote:

      Shame on you!! She was not dressing untznious!! In her private life away from the school they had a problem. Do you not do any bad stuff when nobody’s looking??????

  • 16. Street sweeper wrote:

    Sue their pants off …. stop this religious abuse of human rights and stand up for the hundreds being abused by the fraudulent orthodox school system . I’m with you

    • 17. Milhouse wrote:

      There is no such thing as a human right to be employed in a school while undermining the students’ values. The only purpose for which the school exists is to impart proper Jewish values to the children; how can that happen when the children see a teacher openly flouting those values?

  • 18. Not a Chabadnik wrote:

    The issue here is British law. If you’ve following the news you know that the Brits have been coming down hard on Chassidishe schools. Chabad is going to lose this case because she is going to claim that her personal life doesn’t affect her performance in the classroom.

    • 19. Milhouse wrote:

      Of course it does. How could it not? The only purpose for which the school exists is to raise children with Jewish values; having a teacher who openly flouts those values destroys any possibility of doing so.

    • 20. To Milhouse wrote:

      She was not doing something “openly”! It seams like you should teach at the chareidy schools in London. So you can sneak up woman’s skirts to see if everything is kosher

    • 21. Big T wrote:

      how would kinder-gardeners know about a teachers personal life. its not like she came to teach in pants and tank tops.

      she obviously wasn’t hired as a limudei kodesh teacher and i fail to see how her personal choices have any bearing on her ability to teach general studies.

    • 22. Milhouse wrote:

      She was not doing something “openly”!

      What? Do you imagine she’s living with this fellow secretly?! Do they keep up a pretense of separate addresses, like some 1950s comedy?! Do they not present themselves as a couple?! If she really were keeping this a secret how could the school have found out? Do you imagine they hired a detective to spy on her?! Don’t be ridiculous.

      how would kinder-gardeners know about a teachers personal life.

      How would they not? What class doesn’t know such basic facts about their teacher’s life? It’s not as if she was hiding it.

      she obviously wasn’t hired as a limudei kodesh teacher

      How is that relevant? Are there different standards for teachers of different subjects?! The purpose of the entire school, all subjects, is to raise good Jewish children. Having a teacher openly contradict the school’s message inherently undermines it.

      The Rebbe’s instructions are clear: when hiring teachers, given a choice between a secular Jew and a goy, hire the goy.

  • 23. privacy vs. publicity wrote:

    Not to condone her behavior, but considering that is her private affair, that did not necessarily reflect on her teaching or interactions with the children — where is there a problem? Are you all free from guilt yourself? There are a lot of worse things that people who call themselves religious do and yet, are not subjected to social criticism or punishment. Schools should worry about how the teachers conduct themselves with the students, instead of intruding upon their peer-interactions, that occur in the privacy of their homes.

    • 24. Milhouse wrote:

      It is not her private affair. The whole point is that she is openly living in this arrangement, and the children know it. That destroys any possibility of their learning the lessons which are the school’s only reason for existing.

    • 25. Anonymous wrote:

      The Rebbe says that there is a misconception about teachers for young children.
      People think that st thst she it doesn’t matter ergo the teacher is but the opposite is the truth.
      It matters so much as children get influenced by who the teacher is amd it’s values.
      Therefore you would want the best role model problem.
      This one a dugma chaya was not

  • 26. The kangeroo wrote:

    In my opinion they should have asked her politely to leave and pay a month severance pay.You should not insult or hurt people.after all mistakes were made even if well intended.

    • 27. Milhouse wrote:

      What makes you think they weren’t polite? She is offended that they made this demand at all, not at the words they used to make it. She doesn’t want to resign, and sees no reason to accept a month’s pay when she can get so much more by suing.

  • 28. ch resident wrote:

    um this is most probably loshon hora but i know her personally. she was a horrible teacher. When she started teaching she was a frum girl gradually going down in her yiddishkeit. The school did not fire her but spoke to her very nicely. The camel that broke the straw was when she started walking around in pants and that is when the school told her very nicely that either she wears proper clothing that befits the school or she leaves. She chose to leave and now she is suing for a choice that was hers. Absolutely ludicrous

  • 29. Milhouse wrote:

    In the USA such a lawsuit would be dismissed on sight, because teachers at religious schools are ministers of religion, and religions are entitled to make whatever rules they like for their ministers’ conduct and qualifications.

  • 31. Moishe pipek wrote:

    Milhouse! Before I read your comments my sympathy was with chabad after reading your comments i hope the teacher wins.Personally I could not care less.

    • 32. Milhouse wrote:

      You obviously have no Jewish values so I couldn’t care less about your sympathy. You probably want your children to grow up thinking it’s perfectly OK to live like that, and that they should feel free to do so themselves if it suits them.

  • 33. To no: 10 wrote:

    There is a lot missing from this story, my words are justified so please get down off your high horse. You do not know the ins and outs, this was not just a matter of her living with her boyfriend. I can not say more but please be assured that I know more than you and therefore can be as morally outraged as is merited. Chag Sameach to you and yours.

  • 34. shlomo wrote:

    Do not understand many of commentators. are you people live in CH or on the moon? it is a very typical story. Girl from Chabad family educate to be a teacher and she is frum but can’t marry, so she going down in Yiddishkeit till he finds someone that agree be with her. just be honest. every one of us knew at least some girls like this, neighbors family members, workers etc.
    btw some married woman in CH going on the streets in skirts shorter than regular man underwear but in a wig.
    So stop playing HAKOLBESEDER and star repair situation and obviously stop playing big Hasidim and give dowry to your daughters as regular Jew gives)))
    Every case like this will put government (any) to dismiss our religious rights so at least try to get agreements before people going to the court

  • 35. What about CH? wrote:

    About time we get rid of our teachers who refused to dress and act the way our Rebbe instructed.
    What harm you say comes from these teachers?
    Just ask the OTD kids and see how many left because of hypocritical teachers who insist the kids keep the rules but who themselves flount them.
    Ask the Lite community why they insist on using a non existent Eruv that every Rov of in this community insists does not exist. It’s because of insincere teachers and our community is falling through the cracks of the sewer.
    Wake up people. We must save our children by giving them a solid chassidic Torah education, taught by frum erhlich teachers.

  • 36. Real World wrote:

    More important to make sure children are safe from abuse, unlike what we have witnessed in some Chabad educatuonal institutions in recent times.


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