Grapevine: Interrupted Education

This week's round-up of cultural news.

Orbaum triplets 248.88 (photo credit: Debbi Cooper)
Orbaum triplets 248.88
(photo credit: Debbi Cooper)
Salaries in Israel’s universities and colleges are low, especially for untenured teachers and lecturers whose work load is similar to that of tenured faculty. After many threats, they finally went on strike. Israeli students already have a lot of catching up to do compared to their peers in countries where national service is not mandatory.
Jerusalemite Nomi Orbaum wrote that she is one of 30,000 students in Israel affected by the strike. A fourth-year environmental technologies engineering student at the Azrieli College of Engineering, Jerusalem, she is one of those who answered the call for more women to study engineering. She fears that negotiations between the teachers, lecturers, college committees and the government are not even under way, and these parties express little interest in the disruption they are causing to the lives of so many students. She also finds it strange that the media pay so little attention to the plight of the students and underpaid lecturers.
Writing comes naturally to Orbaum, the daughter of two journalists. Her late father was Sam Orbaum, a talented Jerusalem Post journalist and features editor who founded the Jerusalem Scrabble Club who died in 2002 at the age of 46 of an infection following a bone-marrow transplant. However, he did live long enough to celebrate the bat mitzvah of his triplet daughters Odelia, Donna and Nomi, about whom he wrote frequently from the time they were still in the womb of their mother, journalist Wendy Elliman.
All three of his daughters served in the Israel Air Force. Like all of the 30,000 students who are victims of the strike, they have already done a great deal for their country. It’s now time for their country to do the right thing by them and for the parties involved: to sit down and negotiate.


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