Photo Credit: Marc Israel Sellem / POOL
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the "Bible Study Club" held at the PM's official Jerusalem residence, in a class on October 13, 2016. Netanyahu revived the tradition in 2011, started by Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Sunday (Sept. 4) for more educators who can teach Tanach – Bible studies – in the public school system.

Netanyahu made the appeal towards the end of his opening remarks at this week’s weekly government cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.


Ultimately there is one more important discipline if we want to ensure our future here, we need to know our past here, the whole foundation of the heritage and values on which we are rooted, and this foundation is the Tanach,” he said with a smile, spreading his hands and looking up to heaven.

“I ask once again – I call once again – for to bring about a situation in which there are more teachers, of higher quality, to this vital profession,” he said.

“And I do exactly as I say: ‘I practice what I preach’,” he added. Netanyahu holds a weekly Bible study class at his official residence in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu restarted the class in September 2011, a tradition kept by Prime Minister Menachem Begin and before him, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.

Netanyahu resumed the tradition to mark the thirtieth day following the passing of his father-in-law, the late Shmuel Ben-Artzi, for whom he named the Bible study class. Ben-Artzi was a researcher, educator and Bible teacher who also was a writer and poet who wrote several books on the Bible.

“Ben-Gurion believed that every boy and girl in Israel must learn the Bible; they must be familiar with it and draw inspiration from it – from its cultural, linguistic and spiritual treasures. He was a devotee of the Bible and the Hebrew language, but not at the expense of general and scientific studies,” Netanyahu said at the time.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.