The Education and Diaspora Affairs Ministries plan to spend as much as 136 million shekels ($35.8 million) over the next four years to develop programs for Jewish schools overseas, the first time Israel has engaged in such a big educational undertaking in diaspora schools. The two ministries, which are both led by Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett, plan to develop programs on Israel, the Hebrew language and Jewish history as well as provide schools with expert advice, teacher training and pedagogical services. Initially the program will be offered to 65 Jewish schools in Europe and countries of the former Soviet Union.
“Ensuring the existence of Jewish communities in the Diaspora depends entirely on Jews’ desire and decision to live as Jews. Today, the majority of Jews ages six to 18 do not study at Jewish schools,” the two ministries said in a statement. The aim of the program is “to strengthen Jewish identity and connection to Israel on the part of students at Jewish schools around the world by building a systematic pedagogic strategy in these areas inside Jewish schools,” they said.
Administration of the program was awarded without competitive bidding to a non-profit company called Matach (The Center for Education Technology), http://www.home.cet.ac.il/cet-world/ which is committed to spending 135 million shekels of its own money on the project.
Read more at Haaretz.