There must be increased funding for youth groups in lower-income areas,
Education Minister Shai Piron told the Knesset Caucus for Youth Groups and
Informal Education Monday, which was filled with lawmakers in youth group
Caucus leaders MKs Michal Biran (Labor) and Ronen Hoffman (Yesh
Atid) came in shirts for Working and Studying Youth and the Scouts,
respectively, and MK Motti Yogev (Bayit Yehudi), former leader of Bnei Akiva,
came in the religious Zionist youth group’s uniform.
Piron said his
office is considering differential funding for youth group chapters so that
those in the periphery and those whose parents can’t pay as much for activities
get more funding.
“If we look at the problems that we try to solve every
day, like violence among youth, these groups have a key role in dealing with
them,” Piron said, “which is why, first and foremost, we should set a goal of
increasing the number of youth group members.”
The Education minister
called for a greater connection between youth groups and his ministry, saying
that a separation between formal and informal education “belongs in the
eighties” and that the two must be combined.
“Youth groups are an
essential and significant part of building children’s perception and values and
we should do all we can to protect them and increase their activities,” Hoffman
Biran said she was a member of Working and Studying Youth for 17
years, and was a counselor and the head of the Negev region and alumni
“That is the experience that built my world view and
values. There is no replacement for the experience of being in a youth
group, which gives independence to examine the world of adults and choose a path
in life,” she said.