Meitarim is Making News

According to article called "The Importance of Individualized Identities", published in EJewishPhilanthropy.comon July 27, 2016, it has been clearly documented in research both outside and inside the Jewish community that learning in an environment that highlights exposure to multiple perspectives promotes the development of both robust individual identity and strong communal sentiment.

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By ELLI WOHLGELERNTER,FORWARD CORRESPONDENT

JERUSALEM — The proposed creation of a network of Israeli schools is being hailed by supporters as a move that could revolutionize relations between the religious and secular populations.

A Knesset bill calling for the creation of a government-sanctioned educational track is set to be introduced next week by a Labor lawmaker, Rabbi Michael Melchior.

Since 2000, Meitarim has been providing an educational framework, organizational support, and political legitimacy to communities who want to start new schools that serve as an alternative to the current two- track state school system. Meitarim takes it upon itself to identify, train, and if necessary, supplement the income of qualified administrators and teachers.

In July 2008, the Knesset formally passed legislation for pluralistic Jewish public schools, pushed forward by Rabbi Melchior, based on the Meitarim model. However, the law was not immediately implemented. Since 2009, Meitarim has answered the societal need for pluralistic education by subsidizing the additional school hours for Jewish studies built into the network’s pedagogical model. Also over the past three years, Meitarim, along with similar institutions, participated in a task force, which has strategized with the Israeli government in order to find the best way to implement the law.

In 2009 Meitarim initiated the foundation of a task force including organizations and institutions that, similar to Meitarim, are supporting serious pluralistic education in their school networks in a multitude of capacities. These frameworks include important organizations such as Tali, Morasha, the Be’eri Hartman Schools, and Keshet, among others. Presently, the task force consists of over 250 schools with more than 100,000 children.

Early on, Meitarim recognized the need to create its own original Jewish educational material and curricula. All of this material is presently available online, along with free lesson plans and social media tools for Jewish educators.

Meitarim has joined forces with ORT Israel, in creating what will be the most comprehensive Jewish learning and conversation website in the world. 70 Panim, Meitarim’s social media network, connects Jews of every background from around the world. 70 Panim means 70 faces, referring to the 70 faces of the Torah, a concept suggesting a multitude of personalities within Torah learning and throughout the Jewish world.

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