Seventh graders at the Katzir School in Rehovot were recently handed a mandatory assignment as part of their history class, to construct models of Christian symbols. The children were told to choose from five options:
1. A model of the Last Supper
2. A model of the miracle of bread and fish or any other miracle
3. A portrait of Jesus
4. A depiction of Mary’s meeting with the angel Gabriel
5. A model of John the Baptist
Diana, the mother of one of the children in the class, was very upset, and told Makor Rishon: “Christians bow down to these images, worship them and pray to them. I know exactly what it’s based on. I am a convert, I converted when I was ten. I grew up among Christians – this is missionary work.”
As part of the assignment, the students were divided into groups and each group chose one option related to Christianity. The parents only became aware of this after the children had prepared the assignment whose submission date was Wednesday of this week.
“It’s already been done,” said Diana. “I had a picture of Jesus in the middle of my house for two days! I have never had a picture of Jesus at home.”
“At first he tried to hide from me,” she said about her son. “He knows what’s Jesus is and what’s Christianity. They can’t do such terrible coercion, to try to interject it into the soul of the children, that’s why I’m saying it’s missionary. If they were talking about history, then fine. But they did not tell the truth and did not talk about history, they spoke about Christianity in an attractive way until the children said ‘it was fun,’ it simply shocked us.”
Elad Tzadikov, CEO of Ofek Israel, an organization that works to strengthen Jewish identity in education, culture, and the media, Told Makor Rishon that “This is not the first time. The education system in Israel is under a progressive attack. The goal is to detach the children from their Jewish heritage. They do this by blurring the idea of family and gender, and they blur their Jewish identity.”
“We are at a point where history lessons have become a branch of Middle Eastern studies,” Tzadikov said. “They fill the studies with distinct Christian content. This ends up with a child in middle school learning about Christianity in great detail, while he is unable to recite any parallels in his Jewish heritage.”
Several parents sent an email to the school administration in protest, and Diana told Makor Rishon that the principal entered the classroom and demanded to know which of the children objected to the study material. She asked them to “tell their parents to chill.”
The school issued a response, saying, “This is a class of young diplomats, in which students are exposed to different nations, different cultures, different religions, and different worldviews. It is deep learning out of respect for the other, and not out of a desire to promote this or that perception, or God forbid, to impose this or that opinion. The work is part of the summary of the students’ in-depth learning process.”
Then the school added this line: “As for Bible study at school, that subject is taught in a way that all Bible study hours are given in the eighth and ninth grades.”
No Old Testament studies for Israeli seventh graders, only the New stuff.