Sa’ar stresses Jewish values in schools

Education minister says "It is very difficult to create national ethos with three different educational streams" at ECJC conference in Berlin.

October 26, 2010 02:26
1 minute read.
European Council of Jewish Communities

Gideon Sa'ar at ECJC in Berlin 311. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)

BERLIN – The divergent tracks in Israel’s education system are the biggest problem facing the nation’s schools, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar said on Monday.

“The system where we have different streams – religious streams, secular streams, and Arab streams – cannot, by definition, be efficient. It is very difficult to create a national ethos with three different educational streams,” the minister said.

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“The streams aren’t always equal and this is our greatest problem,” he added.

Sa’ar’s spoke during a question and answer session following a speech he gave at a European Council of Jewish Communities conference in the German capital. The conference, “Leading Jewish Europe Together Now,” is being held from Sunday through Tuesday.

There are four tracks in the Israel education system; the state secular, the state religious, the haredi and the Arab tracks. In addition, many students study in private schools. They have different curricula, and not all teach the core courses.

Sa’ar also spoke of his desire to include – and fortify – values in the Israeli curriculum, saying “passing our heritage on to the next generation is vital in our dynamic, global world.”

Israel’s “Jewish, Zionist, democratic, and social values” were vital subjects for Israel’s pupils, he said.

When asked how he’d like to see the education system in 10 years, Sa’ar said he hoped it would be one of the top 10 in the world, and that he would work to improve the system by every measure.

At the conference on Monday, which brought together the heads of Jewish communities from 25 countries in Europe and the former Soviet Union, the European Council of Jewish Communities announced that Igor Kolomoisky, president of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, will be the ECJS’s new president, taking over from outgoing president Jonathan Joseph.

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