20—Friday, August 4, 1967
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
loo l s
Israe 1' s S choo
Itayiin Greenberg Slade Director, WifeGet Inside Look at
the and kibutzim. The kibutz schools
The eight-year course would be ment cannot afford to take
By PAUL BERNSTEIN
financed by the federal govern- full financial responsibility for
For 25 years as director of the ment, municipalities and local secondary education for the time
are controlled by the govern-
ment, but kibutz leaders are al-
lowed to conduct classes.
SAVE 25% ON
Ilayim Greenberg-Yiddish Shule,
being. The ministry of educaion
Movsas Goldoftas has concerned councils. Secondary schools (age plans to take over financial re-
Mrs. Goldoftas visited a great
himself with Jewish education in 14-18) would be privately owned sponsibility gradually, a grade number of nurseries and kinder-
the United States. A year ago, he or owned by the local municipali- every year, and in the next six or gartens of Moezet Hapoalot
and his wife visited Israel. Gold-
ministry of eight years to have secondary edu- (Pioneer Women). (Mrs. Goldof-
oftas took a year's sabbatical to to the control of the
cation compulsory and free. The tas was a kindergarten teacher
study the primary and secondary education.
for 12 years in Europe and at the
The early schools were con- hope that in the next decade it
educational system in Israel.
Farband Camp at Chelsea, Michi-
will be accomplished."
"My main target," Goldoftas trolled by political parties, but
have The secondary schools follow gan for 18 years.)
said, "was to find out how they since 1953, the public schools
The Goldoftases first visited Is-
teach Hebrew subjects in the secu- been devoid of all politics. All the curriculum recommended by
rael in 1947-1948. Mrs. Goldoftas
primary schools fall under two the ministry of education's divi-
lar and religious elementary and
was impressed by the "love, un-
categories: state secular
derstanding, integration, devotion,"
submit to its supervision. The
and state religious schools.
given the pre-schoolers. "It is just
secondary schools are divided
The objective of the law, accord-
as good now," she said, "as it was
into academic, vocational and
MR. AND !FIRS. GOLDOFTAS
high schools, what method they use
and what the difference is in their
attitude and approach to the sub-
ject of Humash (Bible) or Mishna.
"I was also interested to see
how they solved the problem of
integrating the children from
North Africa and Near East
"I was also very much inter-
ested in finding out for myself
what the attitude of the school
youth is towards Jews in Dias-
pora, especially in the United
States and what they really
know about us."
With the passage of the educa-
cation bill in the summer of 1949,
Israel established free compulsory
education for all of its citizens
between the ages of 5 and 14.
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ing to the Education Development
booklet, was "To base primary
Most students in Israel enter
education on the values of Jewish
culture and the achievements of some form of secondary school
graduation from primary
science, on love and loyalty to
the country and the Jewish people, school. At the end of four years'
on practice in agriculture work study at the secondary school
and handicraft, on pioneer train- level, bagrut (matriculation) ex-
ing and on striving for a society aminations are given. The bagrut
built on freedom, equality, toler- certificate entitles one to enter
ance, mutual assistance and love institutes of higher learning in
Israel. Last year 9,500 students
Israel is divided into six took the bagrut tests. Of these,
per cent passed.
school districts (Jerusalem,
"In addition to government vo
Southern, Tel Aviv, Central,
cational and agricultural schools,"
Haifa and Northern districts),
Goldoftas said, "the Histadrut
each headed by a supervisor.
and Moezet Hapoalot conduct and
Each supervisor has under him
support many vocational schools
inspectors for each 30 schools.
Approximately 750,000 students especially in the areas of new-
attend prim a r y and secondary
Despite strict curriculum con-
schools in 1966-1967.
are allowed to in-
The budget of the ministry of
education is the second largest in dulge in a variety of special ac-
the Israeli budget. Last year, Is- tivities. Goldoftas said: "All stu-
rael spent 500,000,000 pounds dents in Israel have a school uni-
($166,666,667) on education. The form—a blue shirt or blouse. One
budget includes one year of pre- school will be very strict about
maintaining a strict discipline
school education (age 5).
while another school (such as those
Since the passage of the 1953 on kibutzim) would rather give
bill, the government has been able more attention to social relation-
to standardize the curriculum used ship and friendship between the
by the schools. In the early days, students. Still another school will
schools had a generally free hand prefer to emphasize sports, club
in choosing their curriculum. work, school. magazines or special
Hashomer Hatzair schools would study of a subject.
develop its students under a gen-
"I was particularly impressed
eral left-wing, anti-religious theme,
by two activities in two differ-
while the ultra-religious Naturei
cities. In the classrooms of
Karta forbade the teaching of
a primary school in Tel Aviv,
especially in the younger grades,
Today, the government has con-
I was surprised to see blind
trol over the curriculum used by
children sitting side by side with
the school. Subjects like arith-
the other pupils, reading humash
metic. geography, history are com-
from a Braille script, reading
pulsory. Hebrew is taught in all
and explaining the text, the same
schools, with English as the sec-
as any other student in class.
ond language introduced early in
The amazing part was that the
students accepted them as equal
Under the 1953 law, the par-
friends, did not pay any special
ents are given a choice as to
which school, state-secular or
state-religious, they want their
children to attend. The religious
schools are allowed to add more
hours of religious teaching in
the curriculum. "There is no
antagonism," Goldoftas said, "no
conflict between the two sectors.
The only competition permitted
is what sector can achieve a
higher standard. However, facil-
ities and supervision are pro-
vided for all school equally.
"It is interesting to note," he
attention to them in the class-
rooms and played with them
during recess period.
"In a primary school in Haifa
I found mute and deaf pupils to-
gether with normal children in
the classrooms and there was the
same attitude of the fellow stu-
Handicapped children are also
given special help in separate
rooms with specially trained teach-
ers after classes.
Goldoftas stresses the great
said, "that the ministry of educa- bonds between Israelis and Ameri-
tion has 34 schools for the semi- cans. Many of the Israeli students,
nomadic Bedoin. Most of the he said, are eager to learn all
schools have five to six classes. they can about life and education
The students come to school rid- in the United States, and they con-
ing on donkeys — and return the stantly ask why American youth
is not coming to settle in Israel.
"Even if you made him think
Secondary education in Israel
is nongovernmental. "It is sup- about American Jews," he said,
ported," Goldoftas said, "by the "and even if you told them that
municipalities, by parents and or- about 2,000 Americans and Cana-
ganizations, and by the ministry dians do come and settle in Israel
of education indirectly through the each year, they shook their heads
graded tuition system for needy and were not satisfied. In my heart
and gifted students." The money I blessed them. It was delightful
received is not given directly to to sit and discuss with them. I
the school, but to the local gov- adored the Israeli youth!"
While in Israel, the Goloftases
ernment in charge of the school.
visited 41 primary schools (25
Goldoftas sees the day when the
secular and 16 state-re-
ligious); 20 secular schools, in-
over the high schools, making them
eluding four religious high
compulsory and free. "The reason
schools; four vocational, four
it is not financed fully by the
agriculaural and eight academic
ministry of education," he said,
high schools in 17 communities
"is the lack of funds. The govern-
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DR. ABBA GEFEN, counselor
of the Israel Embassy in Argen-
tina, has been nominated as Israel
consul-general in Toronto. He is
assuming his new duties this
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