The Education Ministry plans to introduce a new subject into the school curriculum, “Jewish-Israeli culture,” which ministry sources say will be pluralistic and not strictly Orthodox Jewish. In the first stage, due to begin this year, teachers, students and parents at all grade levels will take part in “learning and experience sessions” focused on Jewish texts. Next year, the subject will become a formal part of the curriculum from kindergarten through 10th grade in all secular Jewish state schools.
Internal ministry documents obtained by Haaretz say the program aims to “develop and shape a Jewish-Israeli identity” and “develop a feeling of belonging and responsibility toward Jewish-Israeli heritage via a pluralistic, open and critical approach.”
The sessions will generally include the study of a text along with some other activity. The topics will be chosen by the schools and will be run “primarily” by the school staff – wording critics view as an opening for the involvement of outside groups.
On November 20, the advisory committee charged with drafting the new subject’s curriculum will hold its first meeting. The panel is expected to be chaired by Prof. Ron Margolin of Tel Aviv University, who also drafted a Jewish studies curriculum for another former education minister, the Labor Party’s Yuli Tamir.
Read more at Haaretz.