Israel's Official Policy with Regard to Teaching Evolution in Public Schools

July, 2014

Source: International Journal of Jewish Education Research (IJJER), 2014 (7), 93-111


One of the main aspects of the creation–evolution controversy is the educational one, which deals with the question which explanation should be provided to students, mainly in public education, for the present form of life on Earth. This educational aspect is fertile ground for research; however, the official policy of various states’ educational systems regarding the instruction of evolutionary theory has hardly been investigated. In addition, research about the way in which Jewish education deals with this topic is meager. This article explores the policy of the Israeli Ministry of Education regarding this issue.

Findings show that the Israeli Ministry of Education, as well as its Administration of Religious Education, considers evolutionary theory to be the only option for scientifically explaining the formation of the animal kingdom and the human race, without dealing in any way with the seeming contradiction between this theory and the Genesis creation story. Since the Israeli population is mostly traditional, it is argued here that it would be advisable to revise the policy of the Israeli Ministry of Education so that it includes an explanation of why the evolution theory and the Genesis creation story need not contradict each other.

Updated: Sep. 23, 2014