A member of the Board of Deputies for 30 years, Mr Shloimovitz is still remembered for his long- and hard-fought campaign to have such definitions of the noun Jew as "extortionate moneylender ... miser" and of the obnoxious verb "to jew" as "to cheat, swindle or defraud" from English dictionaries.
In his struggle he was opposed, even mocked, by many of the lily-livered, don't-rock-the-boat types that have all too often bedeviled the "leadership" circles of the Anglo-Jewish community.
But he was supported by many non-Jewish public figures (including household names from Parliament and the judiciary), and his efforts were endorsed by successive Israeli prime ministers.
As a result of Mr Shloimovitz's tenacity and determination, most dictionaries at last either removed the definitions objected to, or qualified their continuing presence with apologetic explanations.
Although such pejorative usages were in the dictionary, the Holocaust had already made utterance of them infinitely more shocking than they had been before, and they were accordingly shunned by all decent people, appalled at the depraved and murderous depths to which Judeophobia can lead.
Even so, the terms obviously continued in some households, for, shamefully, they have sprung into renewed life among schoolchildren.
Notes the historian Professor Geoffrey Alderman in his latest column in the Jewish Chronicle:
'Last November, in my capacity as a visiting professor at York St John University, I had the privilege of hearing a presentation by doctoral student Joy Schmack. Mrs Schmack, an extremely experienced teacher and inspector of secondary-school religious education, is researching the use of the word "Jew" in teenage classrooms in the north-west of England. She presented chilling evidence of the unmistakeable revival of the word "Jew" as a common term of abuse amongst teenagers, who apparently habitually use it as a synonym for "cheat" or "swindler", or "snitch". "Don't you dare Jew me", one Merseyside youngster might say to another - perhaps hardly realising the significance of these words.
Scarcely four months after hearing this presentation I received a communication from a retired gentleman whose family escaped from Nazi Germany in 1934 and who now devotes his retirement to talking about antisemitism to youngsters in schools in Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire. He had been moved to write to me because of his experience at one such school, where his presentation was discourteously received and where a teacher confessed to him that the word "Jew" had now replaced the word "gay" as a playground term of abuse. The teacher said: "If kids wish to insult each other, they now use (the word) Jew" [Emphasis added].
The school in question is the notorious educational establishment located in the Manchester suburb of Didsbury and known as Parrs Wood. Readers of this column will recall that it was this very school that was the subject of my column on February 3, when I drew attention to the hostility to Israel and to the contempt for Jews displayed by its students, abetted by certain of its staff. Now we are told that its pupils routinely use the word "Jew" as a term of abuse and that this usage is (once again) becoming commonplace.'This state school, which, as is obvious from its online videos, has an ethnically diverse student body, produced in its magazine a highly disturbing, in places downright mendacious, timeline of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the tone of which is indicated by the following outrageous inaccuracy in the introduction:
"The problem started with Palestine being an Arab, Muslim state [sic!]; however, over the years, more and more Jewish migrants have been settling there and creating their own state named ‘Israel’"Parrs Wood has also hit the headlines for other unfortunate reasons connected with the Middle East, being obliged in February to cancel a scheduled women-only event by Human Appeal International, a charity with reported links to Hamas. And in 2009 the same charity held at the school a "Day for Gaza" fundraising event.
In his earlier previously-mentioned column, written before the cancellation of the women-only event, Professor Alderman had some harsh things to say about the school and its headmaster:
'...Shakos has now brought himself to confess that, "it was perhaps a mistake to allow such an over-simplification of a complex issue to be addressed by one of our junior contributors and we certainly apologise for any upset caused by its publication".
But I'm afraid however many apologies are now issued as the complaints roll in, the matter cannot be permitted to rest there.
I am, for example, led to wonder just what sort of racialised rubbish is taught in the name of history at this school. I am led to ask why this school permits itself (as it will again, this month) to be used for the dubious fund-raising objectives of HAI. Above all, I am led to wonder whether, in showing such poor judgment and leadership, Andrew Shakos is really fit to be the school's head-teacher.'Hadar Sela is one of the most perceptive and trenchant Middle East commentators in cyberspace: read her incisive piece regarding Parrs Wood, including her exchange with Parrs Wood headmaster Andrew Shakos, here
As Ms Sela observed in relation to the timeline published in the school magazine:
'The problem of course is that almost 2,500 pupils have by now read and absorbed the politically-charged inaccuracies served up by the institution upon which they rely for knowledge. An apology will not remedy that disinformation.'It seems reasonable to conclude that the "disinformation" in question will have confirmed many a pupil in the antisemitic attitudes inherent in the "Jew" slur that is apparently so widespread at Parrs Wood (and apparently at schools elsewhere).
Surely, headmaster Shakos should launch an investigation into the apparent Judeophobia, suggested by the racist use of "Jew" and "to jew" as insults at his school, and surely the official leadership of the Anglo-Jewish community should liaise with both him and the relevant educational authorities to ensure that he does so.
In tolerating such insults, the school may well be in violation of legislation regarding racial hatred and incitement to racial hatred. It is certainly in violation of its moral and ethical obligations if it allows such repellent slurs to persist among the student body unchallenged.
Note: On 27 January 2014 Manchester Jewish community leader Joy Wolfe drew to my attention in a comment (qv) information unavailable to me at the time of writing the blog that puts a different perspective on matters. Please view that comment.