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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Ministry of Education’

MISHPACHTONIM – Israel’s Children are Your Children.

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

As Israel continues to be the epicenter of the world and to explode in a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds, she is compelled to keep up with the fast paced, growing demand of a multi-cultural and diverse society which means that the complex challenges she faces, must be addressed. Migdal Ohr is once again at the forefront of the revolution by supporting over 3,000 children in need of a better home.

Every year, thousands of Israeli children are placed into Children’s residences throughout the country. Today, there are over 10,000 children who are living out of their home environments. This has created a burgeoning need to build infrastructures to cope with the problem. Migdal Ohr offers a fulltime loving home and excellent education to children ranging from the ages of 1-18 years by supporting them in their educational facilities in the city of Migdal Ha’Emek in the North of Israel with over 350 living on campus

From the time Migdal Ohr was established in 1972, it functioned as a standard boarding school/orphanage for boys and girls. Traditionally, the Migdal Ohr style boarding school had a dorm family and each floor has its own dorm counselor. While this format worked well for many years, a new model was piloted in 2015. Following its unprecedented success, the Ministry of Education recently approved the establishment of a new and unique service at Migdal Ohr – a Children’s Residence Framework known as a Mishpachton.

The Mishpachton is an unusual model for residential care. It is headed by a married couple who usually have their own children and together the family unit scaffolds the children as a surrogate family. The Mishpachton is staffed by a social worker who stays in close contact with the biological parents; a psychologist who ensures that various therapies involving art, music, pet, group, etc.—are made available and a teacher who is responsible to ensure each child is prepared for school.

Migdal Ohr’s therapeutic residential facility represents what is for many the first real home they have ever known. Children are provided with complete care of their physical and emotional needs which are provided also by genuine and devoted staff. The nurturing environment, is for many is their first experience of love which translates into their basic needs being met, in the form of regular meals, homework supervision and family excursions; all of which help to create a stable living environment.

Migdal Ohr is rigorous in the selection of the appropriate couples who are carefully chosen according to their educational and therapeutic experience, as well as their personality profiles. They are responsible for caring for all of the children’s physical, emotional, social and educational needs and are required to maintain ongoing contact with the school and to instill discipline and good values into the children.

The children′s daily routine is structured around the family, particularly the home. They eat together as a family, receive separate therapy sessions and attend special events/go on trips as a family.

Currently, there are 2 families living in the Mishpachtonim with 24 students aged 12 – 14 under their care. Following the evident success of this model and urgent need to provide a warm home for many more children at risk, Migdal Ohr is planning to roll out 12 additional Mishpachtonim which will house an additional 144 children ages 12 – 18, bringing the total to 168.

As momentum continues to grow, we invite you, our international partners to join hands with us and partner in this holy and important work. Support Migdal Ohr by purchasing letters in the Torah Scroll that will be written in honor of Rabbi Grossman’s 70th Birthday. The proceeds will go towards building a Children’s Residence for Israeli kids at risk. Click here and help Save a child Change a life.

Jewish Press Staff

Analysis: Thursday the Hon. Judge Joseph Haim Shapira Decided to Outlaw Hate

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

“Racism is baseless hatred of the stranger just for being a stranger, on the basis of difference in race or national ethnicity,” opens the Special Audit Report “Education for a Shared Society and Prevention of Racism,” submitted Thursday by State Comptroller and Ombudsman, the Hon. Judge Joseph Haim Shapira.

That’s not the dictionary’s definition of the term, it is, “Racism is the belief that some races of people are better than others (Webster).” According to this calmer and probably more useful definition, it’s OK for me to believe that my race (or ethnicity or any other form of identity) is better than anyone else’s, and as long as I don’t advocate harm to those others, I am entitled to my belief.

But Israeli law, according to Judge Shapira, defines as racism “persecution, humiliation, debasement, expression of hatred, hostility or violence, or causing a quarrel with a group or parts of the population, all because of color or race or national-ethnic origin.”

It’s a flawed definition, which inevitably leads to bad laws and bad audit reports, which, in the end, will have nothing to do, in the end, with any noticeable shift in people’s behavior. The proof is in the pudding, which in our case are the Auditor’s recommendations. They read like the welcome wall at a re-education camp on the outskirts of Saigon, circa 1975.

For instance, the Ministry of Education must create one body that will be authorized to impose education for a shared society and prevention of racism, complete with a high-level steering committee to set policy and for follow-up on implementation, with established metrics for a methodical examination of racism in the education system. This superior body will prepare a long-term and mandatory system-wide action plan to promote education for a shared society between Jews and Arabs, with the necessary budget and human resource allocation.

Just reading this paragraph, you know there’s nothing real in it. You know not one teacher or one child will actually change the way they examine the reality of their identity, but a small army of teachers and the bureaucrats that watch them will take home a paycheck.

I searched the Shapira report for the word “Arabic.” It is not mentioned once. The fact is that most Arab kids know more Hebrew than do Jewish kids, who aren’t particularly interested in the Arabs’ culture or language. That’s not racism, that’s ignorance. And ignorance is exactly the kind of problem the ministry of education can manage. How about a mandatory five weekly hours of Arabic for the Jewish students? Being versatile with the other’s language is the most essential step towards acknowledging and even understanding the other. If hatred is borne by fear and fear in turn is borne by the unknown, just force those students to learn the other side’s language.

The second auditor’s recommendation brings up education for a shared society and prevention of racism through a required cluster of knowledge courses such as civics, homeland and history, to insure that all students in the education system will be exposed to the issue and its different aspects throughout their years in the system.

What happens when the information in this additional knowledge course conflicts with other courses being taught concurrently? Jews study about the 1948 War of Independence, Arabs about the 1948 Catastrophe. These lessons in history always come packed with identity and with a strong negative notion of the other. Judge Shapira insists that “the Ministry of Education must act and turn the subject [of preventing racism] into an inseparable part of educators’ training process.” Do teachers now obscure the parts of history that may fail to qualify as enhancing the love of the other? How do we teach about the 1929 Hebron massacre without value judgments? Were there hateful people in Nazi Germany? If hate is defined as a value to be discouraged, how should we hate evil?

Judge Shapira has one good idea, which doesn’t really require a whole pro-love administration to make it happen. He recommends that the Ministry of Education increase the opportunities for inter-sectorial meetings and integrate teachers from different sectors in the framework of education of the “other” sector, and especially, increase the number of meetings between Arabs and Jews and the number of Arab teachers employed in the framework of Jewish education and vice-a-versa.

It’s a splendid idea, although not for the faint of heart. Assigning Jewish school jobs to Arab teachers fresh out of college and likewise Arab school jobs to new Jewish teachers would likely make them better teachers—unless they quit because their tires were cut for the fourth time in the school parking lot. They will probably become better citizens as well.

The politics of the left rears its ugly head in several spots along the report, and it is most noticeable in Judge Shapira’s recommendation that the Ministry of Education must cooperate with the numerous NGOs “working for a shared society and prevention of racism. This process should be conducted in partnership with the organizations themselves and in accordance with a consistent, long-term policy,” instructs Judge Shapira.

Because, let’s face it, no one knows better than Israel’s leftwing NGOs how to spread peace and the love of the other — provided he or she are not settlers.

David Israel

Knesset Committee Discovers Significant Drop in Immigrant Youth Crime

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

The past 15 years have seen a significant decline in crime committed by immigrant youth – from 23% of all minors involved in crime in 2001, to only 6% in 2013, this according to a study commissioned by the Yedidim social services organization. These figures were revealed during Monday’s meeting of the Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, and Committee Chairman MK Avraham Neguise (Likud) stressed that “in light of the success of the organization’s ‘A Second Chance (Sikuim)’ program, the Education, Welfare, Immigrant Absorption and Public Security ministries must significantly increase their support for the program, mainly because rehabilitation and prevention save the state hundreds of thousands of shekels.”

Neguise noted that some 30% of imprisoned immigrant teenagers are of Ethiopian descent. Many of them have been to prison before, he said.

Yedidim’s website describes the second chance program as “a strategic partnership between the Ministry of Immigrant Integration, the police, the Ministry of Welfare, local municipalities and Yedidim designed to offer [immigrant juvenile delinquents] an opportunity for a fresh start and a clean slate.”

Yedidim Executive Director Shimon Siani said the program is aimed at “saving children and their families from a general deterioration.”

Professor David Leiser of Ben-Gurion University, who conducted the study, noted that for every shekel the state invests in preventing delinquency or rehabilitating a juvenile delinquent, it will save 5-10 shekels in the future by avoiding the delinquent’s imprisonment, compensating those hurt by the delinquent, etc.

Adva Meltzer, a social worker in charge of the program, spoke about the rehabilitation of 620 youths with the help of 400 tutors who are in charge of re-integrating the youths in the community. The tutors volunteer and assist weaker communities, provide life-skills and accompany parents, with an emphasis on multiculturalism.

Ilan Shemesh, manager of the National Youth Advancement department in the Ministry of Education, also praised the program, its success and the student-tutor guidance. However, he said his office grants only a modest amount of funds for the program. This is not the case in the instances of imprisoned youth, youth villages and rehab villages, in which the office invests hundreds of millions of shekels, and as a result many of the youths enrolled there complete their education and are entitled to a high school matriculation exam certificate.

According to Sarah Cohen, head of the Welfare Services Department at the Absorption Ministry, the program began as an initiative of the government, which manages it. She explained that Yedidim was chosen as an operational organization, and “does so successfully and with dedication.” She noted that the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and Galilee assisted in funding the program in other cities.

JNi.Media

Turkish Government Fires Tens of Thousands After Coup Attempt

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Tens of thousands of government employees have been dismissed by the Turkish government in the wake of last week’s failed coup attempt.

Every department, every area of government has been affected by the event, from the judiciary to security to administration.

Some 9,000 judges, prosecutors, security personnel, religious leaders and others were arrested and taken into custody earlier in the week. The courts ordered 85 generals and admirals jailed as well. In addition, 9,000 police officers were fired Monday by the Interior Ministry, which then dismissed another 8,777 more employees on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Education fired 15,200 employees, and the Board of Higher Education “requested” the resignation of 1,577 university deans across the country.

At least 3,000 military personnel were arrested and held in custody over the weekend. Nearly 500 clerics, imams and religious instructors were dismissed by the Directorate of Religious Affairs. Nearly 400 staff members were fired by the Ministry of Family and Social Policy.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meanwhile has continued to advocate for the restoration of the death penalty. His government has formally submitted an extradition request to the United States for the deportation of elderly Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by the Turkish leader of fomenting and driving the attempted coup.

Gulen has denied any involvement in the plot and has said he will cooperate with the extradition if the U.S. decides to expel him.

Secretary of State John Kerry responded to the Turkish government with a request for concrete evidence connecting Gulen to the coup as a condition for cooperation by the U.S. with the extradition request.

Hana Levi Julian

One Third of Public Complaints to Israel’s Ombudsman ‘Justified’

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Retired Judge Joseph Shapira, who serves as both State Comptroller and Ombudsman, on Monday submitted his annual Report to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

Edelstein noted that the number of public complaints filed with the Ombudsman’s office last year – 15,000, marks an increase from 2014.

“This is a positive statistic which shows that the citizens are fighting bureaucracy and foolishness, but it also shows that there are many more issues which must be dealt with, particularly when a third of the complaints were found to be justified,” said the Knesset speaker.

“The complaints were handled in a professional, thorough and fair manner, and perhaps this will motivate citizens to file more complaints,” Edelstein added, saying, “I am certain that the people in the State Comptroller’s Office, whom I thank for their dedicated work, will provide the appropriate professional service wherever necessary.”

State Comptroller Shapira said in response that “it’s important that the public is showing concern and is not willing to ignore [violations]. There are companies where the percentage of justified complaints was [very high]. At the Israel Postal Company, for instance, some 69 percent of the complaints were found to be justified. It is [gratifying] to see that the public is taking this matter seriously. It contributes to a better society.”

Besides the postal service, the government bodies with the highest number of justified complaints were: Ministry of Transport and Road Safety – 52%, Broadcast Authority – 48%, the IDF – 44%, Israel Electric Company – 41%, and Ministry of Education – 40%.

Government agencies with 100 complaints or more in 2015 were: National Insurance Institute (Israel’s Social Security agency), The Israel Postal Company Ltd., Israel Police, Ministry of Economy and Industry, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Transport and Road Safety, Ministry of Housing and Construction, and Israel Tax Authority.

Shapira said that in 2015 he issued 20 orders which legally protect citizens who expose corruption, 15 temporary and 5 permanent. “This is above the average [number of orders],” he noted.

2015 saw an increase of 25% of complaints filed online.

State Control Committee Chairperson MK Karin Elharrar (Yesh Atid) said the report indicates that the complaints filed with the Ombudsman’s Office relate to the daily affairs of the country’s citizens. “I call on all the government offices to [work together] so that corruption will gradually subside,” she said.

The principal function of Israel’s state comptroller is to review the legality, regularity, efficiency, economy, and ethical conduct of public institutions. The reviews are performed by ongoing as well as spot inspections of the financial accounts and activities of all ministries, the armed forces and security services, local government agencies, and any corporations, enterprises, or organizations subsidized or managed by the state to any extent.

By law, the State Comptroller also functions as Ombudsman to whom members of the public may send complaints about actions by governmental bodies that have caused them harm.

JNi.Media

Israeli High School Students Continue Rolling ‘Strike’

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

Israeli high school students are continuing their strike in a modified version this week to protest the ongoing walkout by driving license examiners across the country.

Students in five cities are protesting the weeks’ old decision, as well as a slowdown by the Teachers’ Union that has halted field trips and extra-curricular activities.

The job action by teachers comes as part of a wrestling match between the union and the Ministry of Education.

Students plan to rotate the strike around the country, shutting down classrooms in five cities per day, in order not to disrupt preparation for the end-of-year bagrut (matriculation) exams.

Hana Levi Julian

Update: Bayit Yehudi Finally Has the Education Ministry – and Turns it Down

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

UPDATE: In a very unexpected move, the Bayit Yehudi party has turned down the Ministry of Education portfolio, as well as the Welfare ministry. The party said it was inappropriate to take over these ministerial position for such a short period of time.


Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett is slated to take over the Education Ministry, and another party official will take over the Welfare Ministry, Yediot Acharonot reported Thursday.

Bayit Yehudi, or its predecessor, the Mafdal party, hasn’t held the Education Minister’s portfolio since 1999, when Meretz took it over. Historically, the Ministry of Education has always been considered the flagship ministry for the religious-Zionist party.

After 15 years in the desert, even 3 short months of water looks good.

Both Education and Welfare ministries were held by Yesh Atid Knesset Members, who quit after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu fired their party’s leader Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, prompting new elections.

Bennett, who is Minister of Economy, has not officially responded to Netanyahu’s offer, which also includes giving the Jewish Home party the Welfare ministry. It probably will beheaded by either MK Uri Orbach or Housing Minister Uri Ariel.

Yesterday, Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) received the Ministry of Health.

Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) has been approved to receive the position of Deputy Minister of Science and Information. Hotovely is already the Deputy Minister of Transportation and Road Safety.

Ofir Akunis received responsibility for Environmental Quality as a deputy minister.

Netanyahu appointed the lawyer Ofir Nimrod to oversea the Ministry of Finance.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/bayit-yehudi-finally-has-the-education-ministry-until-elections/2014/12/25/

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