Test score praise
Sir, – Minister of Education Gideon Sa’ar and his staff
deserve praise for providing the money and leadership that resulted in dramatic
rises in test scores (“Israeli children post impressive improvements in math,
science, reading,” December 12).
Since 2009 Sa’ar has fought to increase
the budget for these subjects from NIS 38 million to NIS 450m. Now the results
are coming in. In other advanced countries education budgets are
More is never achieved with less.
Teachers in the
classrooms, principals, parents and students deserve special recognition for
these achievements. Their hard work put the money to good use.
the next government will do three things to build on the momentum:
1. Keep Sa’ar
in his current position. Nothing ensures successful turnarounds over the
longterm like continuity of the top people.
2. Continue to expand the
STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) budget and curricula to children
in all grades in public and private schools.
3. Consider appointing a
special community advisory board that will advocate for even greater commitments
from the government and private sector, and advise these folks on how best they
might invest their resources.
Higher education programs generously
supplement the ministry’s initiatives, while private companies and NGOs donate
money and the expertise of their employees for special school
The writer has a doctorate in
education and is an adviser to schools and NGOs.
Sir, – Regarding
“American Jews: Beware ‘high-fiving the PLO’” (Center Field, December 12), B’nai
Jeshrun’s rabbis are not new at the game of attempting to place Israel in a
One Saturday morning while visiting New York City I went
to pray at the synagogue. The speaker after the Torah reading was a leading Arab
member of Knesset.
The MK explained how the peace treaty with Egypt had
been the result of Arab-Israelis. In a 25- minute harangue he never mentioned
the fact that Menachem Begin was a leading player in the event.
the services by demanding the privilege of asking a question. The rabbi
immediately asked if I was a member of the congregation. I asked whether the MK
had deliberately forgotten to mention Menachem Begin.
The rabbi said the
issue would be discussed at the kiddush. It never was, and many members came up
to me to say thank you for stopping the kind of defamation these rabbis
MURRAY S. GREENFIELD
Sir, – I want to
compliment Issamar Ginzberg for “Looking back” (Tips for Entrepreneurs, December
His sound advice is a life lesson for everyone, and not just about
financial decisions. His thoughtful words always help me find a moral compass in
this hectic world.
Sir, – Walking
around Jerusalem on a Hanukka evening it is delightful seeing the myriad
visitors rejoicing in this beautiful festival. We watch them admiring the
hanukkiot (Hanukka menorahs) on top of our famous buildings, in the windows of
homes and in crannies outside many others. It is a wonderful, light-filled
To our consternation, disappointment and annoyance, this year
there is no hanukkia outside the president’s official residence.
previous years there were, and they were usually ornate and
Last year there was a tiny one, just like the ones adorning the
lamp posts of the city’s major thoroughfares.
This year, absolutely
What a disgrace!