The new Atid ("Future") private elementary school in Yahud closed its doors this week after the city's mayor, Yossi Ben-David, gave instructions to shut it down. Anti-missionary and cult NGO Yad L'Achim reports that the school, which opened its doors in September, was Israel's first and only school run in accordance with the precepts of the scientology cult.
The schools' scientology connection was not known until recently. Yad L'Achim says that the father of a pupil in the school noticed that a schoolbook his son received was not recognized by the Ministry of Education. The father – who is an educator himself – turned to Yad L'Achim, which found that the book is based upon the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, scientology's founder.
Once this became known, residents of Yahud began holding protests outside the Yahud-Monoson municipality and next to the school. At their request, the mayor convened an urgent meeting on the subject. In the meeting, residents reportedly showed him evidence of a direct connection between the school and a scientology front organization called "The Amuta [non-profit organization – ed.] for Advanced Education in Israel."