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Israeli Schools to Teach “Jewish Culture and Heritage”

900 teachers will be trained to teach new compulsory class
By: Sammy Hudes
Published: August 11th, 2011 in News » Israel
Education Minister, Gideon Sa'arPic: Knesset

Beginning in the upcoming school year in Israel, a new mandatory course titled “Jewish Culture and Heritage” will be a part of the curriculum, according to Ynet.

As indicated by studies and surveys conducted over the past few years, there is a certain ignorance and lack of knowledge in basic concepts of Jewish culture and heritage, among Israeli youth. Education Ministry officials are hoping that the new portion of the curriculum will eliminate this problem.

Around 900 teachers will be trained to teach the subject over the next three years, after the Education Ministry decided that teaching the course requires special training. Following the completion of their studies, teachers will receive a diploma which would expand their teaching license.

Starting this year, 300 teachers per year will undergo training in order to meet the three-year goal of the ministry, which will fund the teachers’ tuition fees.

Education Minister, Gideon Sa’ar initiated the new subject with the objective of “strengthening the Jewish, Zionist and democratic values among students,” as he declared upon taking office.

Each class will dedicate two hours per week towards the Jewish heritage course. Fifth to eighth grade students will study the Jewish calendar and holidays, weekly Torah portions, the Declaration of Independence, Jewish motifs in State symbols, love of the land, Jerusalem and Jewish life in the Diaspora.

Sa’ar says that he seeks to gradually implement the new subject in the curriculums of the fourth and ninth grades as well.

According to the Education Ministry, the program aims to “provide knowledge of Jewish culture, create a sense of belonging and responsibility toward the Jewish people and State of Israel, cultivate a human moral commitment, create openness to lifestyles expressing the Israeli culture and acquire tools for designing a personal worldview.”

In addition to classroom studies, students will visit museums and national parks on field trips, and will also go on exciting excursions across the country.

Related articles: Israel, Schools, Education, Education Ministry, Jewish Culture and Heritage, Gideon Sa’ar, Teachers, Heritage, Culture, Jewish, Judaism
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