When A Staffer At An Orthodox School Marries A Non-Jew

Joe emails: “What should a modern orthodox school do when a jewish staff member marries a non jewish staff member? Legally they can terminate both of them, but what SHOULD they do? Shalhevet has long had a female Jewish secular studies (English) teacher married to a goy who is Principal of General Studies. On the website it even mentions the name of the Jewish teacher to whom he is married. Not only do they not care, the publicize this shanda! There was another couple that met at YULA many years ago. YULA said one of you must go. Mr. Katz the math teacher stayed. YULA got rid of the female non-Jewish Spanish teacher.”

I asked around and was told “no other orthodox school that I know of allows such a thing.”

Andy, an attorney, emails: “Joe is wrong. Legally they cannot be fired. The church exception to the laws against religious discrimination apply only to discrimination against ministers and the like. We have won cases against churches that discriminated against secular studies teachers. And that is how it should be.

“If there was a blanket policy about no marriage between any employees I believe it would be enforceable. And religious institutions are exempt from the anti discrimination laws but only in connection with employees serving a religious function such as rabbi, pastor, teacher of religious subjects. But they cannot fire the janitor because she is Mexican and they cannot fire either or both staff people because of who they marry unless the staff person(s) they wish to fire is serving in a religious capacity. Or rather they can fire them, but that’s a case I would take.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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