Ethiopian students banned from studying in religious school (archives)
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Rabbis, intellectuals against private schools

Dozens of rabbis, educators, academicians and public figures sign petition calling on government to strengthen state-religious education, urging religious public to protest 'privatization and elitism'

Every religious child is entitled to study in any religious education system, and we must not allow the classification of students for irrelevant reasons, states a new petition signed by dozens of rabbis, educators, academicians and public figures calling on the government to strengthen the state-religious education.


Due to the multitude of private schools, the petition signatories urge the State to "stop the privatization process religious education is undergoing," explaining that "this is our responsibility for social justice."


The document, which was recently composed by the Ne’emanei Torah VaAvodah movement, goes on to say that "we, men and women from all parts of Religious Zionism, believe that religious education should be shared by everyone.


"Our concern for real education requires our children to study in a system which is open and accepts different groups. The right education for a life of Torah and mitzvoth, which includes the ability to cope in the modern world, can become possible particularly in a place where the child lives with students from different communities.


"Our responsibility for all the children of Israel compels all education institutions of the religious public to car for students on all levels and in all existing groups, while maintaining the school's high religious level."

The petition's draftsmen call on the entire religious public to "show responsibility and send its sons and daughters to this education system."


They say they expect the government "to strengthen the state-religious education in order to allow it to accomplish its important missions."


'Running away from challenges of holy Torah'

More than 600 people have signed the document, and its initiators' goal is 1,000 signatures.


Meanwhile, Ne’emanei Torah VaAvodah Director Shmuel Shetach on Friday published an article in the movement's bulletin "Et Lidrosh", in which he called for the creation of "extensive support in the face of the privatization and elitism trends."


"The claim that for the sake of education there is no choice but to raise children in a hothouse is empirically wrong, and constitutes an escape from the challenges of our holy Torah. It is a mistake to believe that a better remedy for the problems of education can be found in the private fields."


Shetach explained that the petition was aimed at strengthening the state-religious education, opening its gates and improve its prestige among the public.


"There is nothing like a natural organization by parents in their residential areas, who take responsibility in order to break the flocking phenomenon," he wrote.


"We have seen how with good will, understanding, mutual respect and creative idea, a school's religious level can be strengthened, while remaining open and accepting to the variety of publics entitled to religious education."


פרסום ראשון: 05.30.08, 13:02
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