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MK: Jewish Values are Israel’s ‘Core Curriculum’

MK Chetboun wonders why the government is pushing English and math, but not Jewish values, Torah and Zionism.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 6/18/2013, 4:30 PM

MK Yoni Chetboun
MK Yoni Chetboun
Israel news photo: Flash 90

MK Yoni Chetboun of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) faction expressed strong concern Monday night over the direction of Israeli schools.

Chetboun used his speaking time during a debate on the 2013 budget to warn that Israel is forgetting to pass its values on to the next generation.

“Teachers are afraid to talk about Zionism, about tradition and love of the homeland. It’s not fashionable,” he declared.

While there is an aggressive campaign to get a secular “core curriculum” into all state-funded schools, other core topics are being neglected, he warned.

“The formula is simple, whoever does not teach English, physics and math will not get funding, because he is not teaching core values. Are these the nation of Israel’s core subjects?” Chetboun asked.

He answered his own question, “Jewish values, the Torah, these are core subjects, the heart of the nation of Israel. Otherwise what are we doing here, instead of in Uganda?”

“A country that denies its source loses itself,” he warned. He added that statements like those in the 2013 budget law regarding core curriculum “put us on the slippery slope toward ‘a state of all its citizens’” rather than a Jewish state.

“We must tell the truth, and put the issues on the table. The world talks about pushing off retirement age, the Jewish state is likely to retire at age 65,” he added.

The budget will be approved in the first hearing, he concluded, but MKs must fight in the various committee meetings set to follow to keep the “Jewish heart” in the state budget.