School Requires Students to Pray with Ashkenazi Accent

The radio reported yesterday morning that a Beit Yaakov high school in Jerusalem was requiring future students to sign a form confirming that they will pray with an Ashkenazi accent. Walla has a report on the story. Here are a few of the questions and conditions listed: Preference is given to … [Read more...]

Questions to Ask When Choosing a School for Your Children

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This post originally appeared in January, 2009. Here is an update, including the original comments. When parents are choosing a school for their oldest child, they might imagine that they will find the perfect school. Compromise is more likely. But once you decide your priorities, you can go … [Read more...]

Surprises from the First Day of School

Did summer feel short to you? For the first time in history, Israeli schools didn't start on the first of September. Starting on the 27th of August gave us back five extra days of vacation during the last school year. My vacation went like this: New York niece came for 3.5 weeks, husband and son … [Read more...]

Should You Join the Schoolbook Borrowing Program?

Reader Nati asked me whether I knew of a downside to participating in the education ministry's  new schoolbook borrowing plan. Parents have been complaining about the high cost of schoolbooks as long as I've had kids in school. The books get pricier every year, the schools change curricula … [Read more...]

Channel 2 Documentary on Beit Shemesh School Battle

I had mixed feelings about translating and re-uploading this documentary about the school situation in  Beit Shemesh, which has been going on in September. There is a lot of anti-haredi feeling in the country right now, and I fear that it could get out of hand. However, we can't let people get … [Read more...]

Video: Israeli School Supplies Guide

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  Today was the first day of school for most children here in Israel. My kids are all in the same schools as last year so the transition has been smooth. If you're a new (or not so new) immigrant it might be a different story! The school supplies, especially the notebooks and folders, are … [Read more...]

Beit Shemesh School Battle

School conflicts and strikes are a normal part of Israeli life at this time of year. Today we take you to Beit Shemesh (again). Several years ago the education ministry and the municipality of Beit Shemesh built a new building for  the girls of Orot, a state-religious elementary school. The new … [Read more...]

Sex Separation in State Religious Schools a National Issue

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The story brewing over the last few months regards the character of the state religious schools, known in Hebrew by the acronym MM"D or mamad (not to be confused with safe rooms that use the same acronym and pronunciation). And like so many previous educational struggles involving mamad, this one … [Read more...]

Scandal of the Schoolbooks

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It started with a boycott of cottage cheese. Next were protests against high apartment prices and rentals. Then there was daycare, baby items (!) and now electricity. Israelis are protesting high prices everywhere. I'm not sure there is an easy way to solve most of these problems. Health care is … [Read more...]

The "Bayit Ham" Social Experiment

This year the education ministry started a new project known as Bayit Ham, or "warm house." A few times a year groups of 4-5 children meet at one of their homes for an activity planned by the parents. Considering how much parental involvement is for the project, I'm surprised at the level … [Read more...]