Israel’s religious schools push a Greater Israel agenda and contempt for “Reformim”. The Diaspora is warned: Schoolchildren wave Israeli flags at the Western Wall on Jerusalem Day. May 24, 2017Ariel Schalit/AP

“Greater Israel” indoctrination of Diaspora children

Israel’s “highly politicized and fundamentalist religious education system” to be exported to Jewish communities abroad. ▪️ Israel will pay for “Israeli experts in Jewish education” to advise Jewish day schools in the Diaspora to help them improve the quality of their Jewish education, reduce intermarriage, and “inculcate Zionism” and the idea of “Greater Israel.”

(Excerpt from article by Alex Sinclair, Haaretz Jul 26, 2017)

Israel’s Education Ministry is not content only, so it seems, with injecting Orthodox Jewish ideology into the curriculum of Israeli secular schools. A recent Haaretz report reveals that it also wishes to extend its influence over Jewish day schools in the Diaspora.

A new program, pushed forward by Naftali Bennett, head of the right-wing religious nationalist Bayit HaYehudi party, will pay for “Israeli experts in Jewish education” to advise Jewish day schools in the Diaspora to help them improve the quality of their Jewish education, reduce intermarriage, and “inculcate Zionism”.

The vast majority of secular Israelis and liberal Diaspora Jews have no idea just how extreme, political, and religiously fundamentalist the Israeli Orthodox education system is.

Our son has had teachers who have ridiculed evolution and science (“Big Bang, Schmig Bang”, one of them famously declared in class). The school curriculum, both formal and informal, is infused with a right-wing Greater Israel ideology, which is seen as taken for granted and obvious. This manifests itself in trips to the territories, statements by teachers in class, and snide comments by both faculty and other students about “Leftists” and “Seculars”.

If you want to understand Israel today, you have to understand this Orthodox educational machine. It is a juggernaut. It is, of course, wrong. But it is winning.