Jul 24, 2017
The Israeli government plans to subsidize Jewish day schools abroad, which it has determined have not fulfilled their mission of strengthening Jewish identity and engagement with Israel. In the first phase, assistance will be extended to Jewish day schools in Europe and South America.
Speaking in the Knesset on Monday, Ministry of Diaspora Affairs Director General Dvir Kahane revealed details of the new initiative, to be run in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and the Center for Educational Technology, an Israeli organization that creates and distributes pedagogical material and trains teachers.
Kahane told members of the Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs that each Jewish day school that qualifies for support from the government will receive a package of services and learning materials valued at $150,000 a year for a period of five years – a total of $750,000 per school for the duration of the program. There would be no direct cash handouts, he added.
Among the factors examined to determine whether the day schools offer what Kahane called a “Jewish return on investment” were rates of intermarriage among graduates, and levels of engagement with the local Jewish community in the Diaspora and with Israel.
He explained that the government has decided first to focus on Europe (excluding the United Kingdom) and South American because Jewish day schools elsewhere – particularly in North America – tend to be more effective in terms of inculcating Jewish and Zionist values.
In advance of the launch of the program, Kahane said, a new joint administration had been set up by the education and Diaspora affairs ministries, which had already begun to form regional partnerships abroad. After determining that a school qualifies for Israeli government assistance, he explained, Israeli experts in Jewish education will meet with the heads of the local Jewish community in which the institution is located, to map out a five-year plan.
Read the entire article at Haaretz.