Toward Spirituality and Humanistic Values of Israeli Jewish High School Graduates

September 2017

Source: World Studies in Education, Volume 18, Number 1, pp. 23-35
In Israeli Jewish state secular schools, state religious schools and ultra-orthodox schools, religious and heritage education is the subject in the school curriculum in which spirituality and humanistic values are addressed. In the state secular educational sector, study about Jewish tradition, Jewish history, Jewish culture and Jewish laws and customs falls under the category of religious and heritage education and as such, addresses spirituality and humanistic values from the more secularized Jewish point of view. In state religious and ultra-orthodox schools, spirituality and humanistic values are studied with the emphasis on Jewish laws and customs, precepts and commands and emphasize the religious issues underlying spirituality and humanistic values.

In the present study, the levels of spirituality and humanistic values of first-year university students, graduates of state secular, state religious and ultra-orthodox schools were compared. Results of the study indicate that graduates of the state religious school sector hold higher attitudinal levels on spirituality and humanistic values than graduates of both secular and ultra-orthodox school sectors. In addition graduates of ultra-orthodox schools have higher attitudinal levels of spirituality than graduates of state secular school who in turn have higher attitudinal perceptions of humanistic values than their ultra-orthodox counterparts.

The results were analysed in light of the different emphases on spirituality and humanistic values addressed by the three respective school sectors and speculate about the reasons underlying the apparent curricular balance between the two research variables (spirituality and humanistic values), which is seemingly more evident in schools affiliated to the state religious school sector, rather than in schools that operate under the aegis of the state secular and ultra-orthodox sectors.

Updated: Feb. 26, 2018