In Jerusalem, a School for Ultra-Orthodox Who Don’t Quite Fit In

Dec. 22, 2014

Source: Haaretz


Rabbi Dov Rozman runs a revolutionary school, Amalenu, for young men, who can’t adapt to the world of yeshiva learning. Quietly, and avoiding controversy, he tailors his program to devote more hours to math and technology than to religious study.


Rabbi Rozman connected with the Amal school network, which agreed to establish appropriate educational institutions for Haredim. Together they established a school in Jerusalem’s Kiryat Yovel neighborhood, where many conflicts between the religious and the nonreligious are being played out.


There, behind the nonreligious Amal high school, the Amalenu school opened, the product of Rozman’s vision.


The school is a pioneer in Haredi education in Israel, giving these young men the secular education and the tools that will enable them to join the workforce. Some 90% of them complete a full vocational matriculation certificate (bagrut) and 30% receive an academic matriculation certificate.


The sign that welcomes visitors to the school may say it is a “yeshiva framework” of Amal, but it is not a traditional ultra-Orthodox yeshiva, in which the students spend day and night in religious studies and prayer. Students at Amalenu - the name translates to “our effort” - spend most of their time on math, vocational and technological studies.


In the Haredi world, the school is indeed revolutionary. The vast majority of Haredi parents and community leaders believe in separating themselves from the outside world and dedicate themselves almost wholly to Torah, even if it comes at the price of many young people dropping out because they can’t succeed.


Amalenu has paved the way for other frameworks for the weaker segments of the Haredi population, within the Amal school system and the ORT system. A few are intended for Haredi girls who dropped out.


Read more at Haaretz.

Updated: Dec. 31, 2014