FORMER RA’ANANA mayor and MK Ze’ev Bielski 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
For a school that strives to develop a sense of community among a diverse group
of students and parents, it was no surprise that Meitarim Ra’anana’s traditional
annual Tikkun Shavuot epitomized its pluralistic educational
Educators, who came from Israel and the US, represented
secular, orthodox and traditional viewpoints.
This year’s program, the
ninth since the school’s founding in 2003, was held Monday evening, the night
before Shavuot, with the theme ‘Beyond Mount Sinai – the Torah’s influence on
cultures and societies through the ages.’ This theme was partially inspired by
President Barack Obama’s declaration of this month as Jewish Heritage Month. He
stated, “teachings from the Torah lit the way toward a more perfect Union, from
women’s rights to workers’ rights to the end of segregation.”
of speakers and topics on the program mirror both our students’ hashkafa
(philosophy) and that of the broader Ra’anana community,” said Ilana Mushkin,
chairwoman of Meitarim’s Parents’Association for Pluralistic Education. “We want
the parents and students who participate to take away both deeper thinking and
practical insights from the evening.”
One of the keynote speakers was the
renowned writer and feminist leader, Blu Greenberg, who discussed the Torah’s
consideration of universal human rights. “If you Google ‘Torah and human rights’
you don’t find much,” she explained to a standingroom- only
However, she added, the Torah’s treatment of prisoners, slaves and
bystanders is a model for what emerged in the 20th century as universal human
rights. Several of Greenberg’s 23 grandchildren have been Meitarim
Another keynote speaker was Ze’ev Bielski, former Ra’anana
mayor, Jewish Agency chairman and member of Knesset. Bielski expounded on Torah
and leadership, weaving quotations from Tanach with often humorous anecdotes of
his own life and education.
“It’s kind of cool to compare how Moshe
Rabeinu led Bnei Yisrael with how we look at our leaders now,” said Jonah Lakin,
a ninth-grader at the school.
Lainie Cogan, one of Meitarim’s English
teachers, implored students and parents to consider the influence of Torah on
popular Anglo culture.
She led a lively discussion about allusions to
Torah in the world’s great literature.
The entire lineup of speakers
exemplified the vibrant and tolerant atmosphere at Meitarim Ra’anana, an
accredited six-year pluralistic junior high and high school nestled in a
northern neighborhood of the city.
Students from all over the Sharon and
Tel Aviv area converge there to study in a demanding academic environment of
tolerance for fellow Jews.
The small classrooms, in which each student’s
voice is valued, encourage personal excellence and critical
Community service is also an integral part of the
For many this is a dream come true where Jews learn as brothers
and sisters in mutual admiration and respect.
“The pre-Shavuot program
creates a dialogue for everyone to participate without imposing a particular
view,” said Lorre Goldberg, parent of a tenth-grader. “It shows the best of our
teachers and our students, all within a traditional night of
Meitarim Ra’anana currently is enrolling students for next
For more information, visit the school’s website at
www.meitarimraanana.com Pamela Braverman is a parent of a 9th-grade
student at Meitarim Ra’anana.