An inquiry by Ynet revealed that the messages and materials offered in the email originated from the Church of Scientology, whose activities in schools have previously been prohibited by the Education Ministry.
Members of the association offered to give free lectures at summer camps catering to children over age seven. According to the email, “The association is voluntary, and deals with reducing violence and advancing education.”
The association offered a “new and exciting gift” to summer camp directors, but limited its offer to five camps per town.
A separate email listed the gifts that children would receive from the association. The Way to Happiness, written by the founder of the Church of Scientology, Ron Hubbard, and a poster would be given to each child.
“A guide comes and engages the children in hour-long activities, focusing on respect and caring for others, how to treat one another, and mutual help,” explained Victoria Lischinski, director of the association’s summer camp division.
Lischinski told Ynet that these activities have been available at summer camps for four years, adding that some camps work with the association on a regular basis.
Regarding the association’s connection to the Church of Scientology, Lischinski said, “We have nothing to do with Scientology … I personally am not that connected to them and I don’t really know what Scientology is.”
Lischinski mentioned a letter of approval by former Education Minister Limor Livnat in 2001, and said she was unfamiliar with any prohibition of the association’s activities by the Education Ministry since then.
An official response by the Education Ministry paints a very different picture.
“The Association for Prosperity and Security in the Middle East did not offer to run activities surrounding the issue of ‘Love children and help them’. The ministry does not know Victoria Lischinski, and did not give her the approval to run these activities in summer camps,” the response said.
“Regarding the Association for Prosperity and Security in the Middle East, we emphasize that the association’s activities are not approved by the ministry, nor is the association recognized by it.”
Moran Zelikovich contributed to this article