Photo Credit: Gershon Elinson / Flash 90
The Orot Etzion school in Efrat reopens. May 3, 2020

Starting Sunday at 5 pm, the nation of Israel enters its third lockdown, with residents being required to stay within one kilometer of their homes, customer-facing businesses shutting down for the duration and no one allowed to visit the home of anyone other than a member of one’s nuclear family.

Pretty much the same routine as the previous two lockdowns – except for one important difference – this time, Israeli school children in kindergartens, grades 1-4 (including afterschool programs and grades 11-12 will continue to attend their full school day classes under the routine format.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and Education Minister Yoav Galant held consultations during the day on Thursday to discuss the issue of school attendance and agreed that children needed to remain in school, a statement from the Health Ministry said.

“Educational institutions are safe and supervised, both for students and for education and teaching staff,” Gallant wrote on his Facebook page during the day Thursday.

“I will continue to fight for the vaccination of all teaching staff and to carry out testing inside educational facilities. For the continuation of a safe study routine for the future generations of the State of Israel.”

Children in grades 5-10 will move to distance learning in remote format from home, according to the ministry. However, there is a chance that decision may still chance by the time it goes to the Knesset for final approval early next week. Classes in any grade will not be open in communities listed in “red” or “orange” status, however.

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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 Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.