Certificate of Religious Practice (CRP)

Certificate of Religious Practice (CRP)
Date Uploaded: 
Wednesday 29th July 2020



Certificate of Religious Practice (CRP) 

2020 Update for schools and nurseries under the religious authority of the Office of the Chief Rabbi

Schools Admissions – 2020 / 21 in-year and 2021 / 22 Special Arrangements 

We all know that this year is very challenging for parents, especially those hoping their children will start at or change to a Jewish school for school year 2021 / 22 or in-year 2020 / 21. The CRP has had to change in light of the consequences of Covid-19. Below is some helpful information to aid parents and carers wishing to apply to Jewish schools and nurseries under the religious authority of the Chief Rabbi for their children for this year only.  In particular, for in-year 2020 / 21 and 2021 / 22 only, parents need not fulfil all of the requirements of the CRP form where the application is for a sibling (as defined in the school’s admissions’ policy) of a child who has previously established faith eligibility for admission into the Jewish school for which you are applying, i.e. completed a valid CRP with the requisite number of points. However the form still must be completed in this case.

For more information, please contact the schools directly. Details can be found in the schools listing.


1. So what do I have to do? 
When applying to a Jewish school or nursery under the religious authority of the Office of the Chief Rabbi, you will need to have completed a CRP. A copy must be sent direct to the school or nursery together with relevant supporting documents and the school’s Supplementary Information Form (SIF). You should keep a copy of the CRP and its relevant supporting documents for future use. 

Normally, criteria for obtaining points on a CRP include attendance at shul, involvement in Jewish education and volunteering for a Jewish organisation.

However, this year, it will not be possible to gain points by attending Shabbat morning services in synagogue unlike in previous years, so parents and children can attend internet-based erev shabbat or erev chag services instead. In addition, as well as the education and volunteering opportunities to gain points, this year there is also the option to gain points by children and parents completing an online course prepared specifically for the purpose of providing an additional opportunity to gain points at this time.

The course is open to all applicants from any community. It will consist of 6 sessions of 30 minutes, covering topics relevant to Jewish customs and practices, festivals, kashrut, etc. All 6 sessions need to be completed in order to satisfy this section of the CRP form. The course will run in August and September 2020 and further details on how to participate will be available from 31st July 2020 on www.theus.org.uk. Families for whom online access presents difficulties are asked to contact crp@tribeuk.com or call us on 020 8343 5656 for more information on how they can participate.

2. I am a member of a synagogue, so why do I have to complete a CRP? 
In order to be a member of a synagogue, one has to pay a fee.  To become a member of an orthodox synagogue one has to be halachically Jewish. We have beenadvised that synagogue membership cannot be used as an admission criterion.

3. Does this apply to all schools and nurseries under the religious authority of the Office of the Chief Rabbi?
Almost all voluntary aided (state), free schools, academies, independent schools and independent nurseries all have CRP requirements. 

4. Have all schools adopted the same CRP?
This year, a large group of the schools and nurseries under the religious authority of Office of the Chief Rabbi, both primary and secondary, have adopted the same interim CRP form. However, not all have done so. It is important that you check the CRP requirements for each school or nursery to which you are applying.

5. Where can I get these CRP forms?
They will be available from the school’s offices and/or websites and the schools' local authority.

6. What are the new four CRP sections?

1. Online Synagogue service attendance 
2. Jewish educational activities
3. Voluntary Jewish communal, charitable or welfare activities                                                         4. Completing a specially prepared for the purpose, Office of the Chief Rabbi approved, United Synagogue online course open to all (a telephone-based alternative will be available for those without internet access).

(Each section of the form has its own specified criteria that must be fulfilled and period of time in which it must be completed)

Please note that it must be online synagogue attendance only and that in person attendance will not count this year. This ensures an equal opportunity for all applicants. When devising these temporary changes, this approach was utilised to provide maximum certainty for families, given the possibility that future Government restrictions in relation to Covid-19 could mean that synagogues would need to close again during the application window.

At secondary level, only the participation of the child is to be recorded, whereas at nursery and primary, it is the child and/or their parent/guardian. 

7. My personal circumstances or lack of internet access prevent me from attending online synagogue services enough times to gain sufficient points. What can I do? 
We recognise the many pressures that have arisen out of the current crisis. Therefore, in devising this interim system, we have sought to provide as many options and ways as possible for families to accrue the requisite number of points. There are a variety of combinations in which this can be done, and all are equally valid ways of completing the form.

8. What if my child already has a sibling in the school?                                                              

This year, if your child is a sibling (as defined in the school’s admission arrangements) of a pupil who has previously established faith eligibility for admission into the Jewish school for which you are applying, i.e. obtained a valid CRP, there is no need to fully complete the CRP form. The instructions on the form clarify which parts need to be completed.


9. I cannot attend online Jewish adult education courses in my local synagogue. What can I do? 
There are many educational opportunities organised by the majority of synagogue communities, which non-members are welcome to attend. These are often available more widely on Facebook.  There are also many other opportunities elsewhere. This is particularly the case during the Covid-19 crisis, with a wide range of online options now available. Please check with your local synagogue to see what courses are available, or the United Synagogue website www.theus.org.uk.

10. I am not sure about volunteering. What does it cover? 
Volunteering means giving your time, not your money. There is a list of volunteering opportunities on this website and your local synagogue may provide others. You should contact the synagogue's administrator or US Chesed (020 8343 5688) who will put you in touch with your synagogue's Care Coordinator. This year, there are even more local opportunities, as well as major programmes.

11. How can I volunteer as I cannot spend time away from home? 
There are many volunteering opportunities which can be carried out from home, eg by phone, on the internet, etc. Many communities have Care Coordinators. The US Chesed team will be pleased to put you in touch with those within the United Synagogue.

12. In order to undertake voluntary work, will I need a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check?

In some instances it is necessary to have a CRB, particularly if you intend to volunteer to work with children or vulnerable adults. It will be best for you to ask the organisation with which you volunteer.

13. Will my child receive preferential treatment if we achieve more than the minimum number of points required for school admission? 
No, there is no benefit to obtaining more than the number of points stipulated on the form. If you do not achieve the maximum 4 points required this year (for example, obtain 2 points), you can still apply but would be ranked lower down in the list of applicants.The CRP is not an examination, but a method of establishing whether the child/family practises the Jewish faith.

14. I've still got questions about the CRP, which I don't think you have answered. What can I do? 
Please contact the school to which you are applying.