This morning, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the "Avivit" kindergarten and elementary school in Netanya, as Israeli schools all over the country begin the first day of the new academic year. Education Minister Shai Piron and Netanya Mayor Miriam Feirberg accompanied the Prime Minister at the meeting.
"Avivit" kindergarten opened this year in the framework of the law on free public education for children aged 3-4.
Speaking to the children Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “Now I hope that you will very much enjoy it here at Avivit; learn and become wise. I would like to welcome the 290,000 children who, as a result of the previous government's decision, are saving their parents at least NIS 8,000, and sometimes NIS 20,000, in free education from age 3, at countless new, well-lit and friendly kindergartens like this one."
"I remember going to my first kindergarten on En Gedi Street in the old Talpiyot neighborhood [in Jerusalem]," the Prime Minister reminisced. "It was not lit up like this kindergarten. I was your age and I feel like it was yesterday. There was a sandbox there and I played in it with two other children. There I learned what it is to go out of the box, but that's another thing. I very much enjoyed kindergarten.”
The politicians then visited the "Yonatan" elementary school, which was founded in 1976 and is named after Binyamin Netanyahu’s late brother, Yonatan Netanyahu. The Prime Minister told the children who greeted him, "I am very moved to be here. I think Yoni would have been very moved that you are here, as Israeli children, to learn about our country, to prepare yourselves for life. I say: Study Zionism and excellence. Each one of you can excel in your own way. I hope that you will always fly this flag high."
At a meeting with first graders, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "It was only yesterday that Yoni was in first grade, in Jerusalem, like you. We lived in one section of the city and he had to take two buses to get to first grade. He was a very curious child and a very good pupil and he very much loved the Land of Israel, Jewish holidays and the State of Israel.”
Netanyahu then encouraged all of the students to be engaged in their learning and continue studying.
“Each one of you is different. In this difference is a special uniqueness, special qualities. In order to realize them you need to study. If you study, each one of you will go very far.
"This is why we are here," he said, "We are here because there was a man named Binyamin Zeev Herzl and he said, 'If you will it, it is no dream.' If you study you will achieve your dreams. I want you to study."
The Prime Minister wrote the phrase on the board and taught the children how to write the sentence, 'If you will it, it is no dream.'
Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron, of the Yesh Atid Party, said: "We have splendid, inspiring and exciting children. We have excellent, dedicated and professional educators. Together we will do everything so that the coming years will be good for Israel's pupils and so that each pupil will be able to realize his or her talents and dreams. I wish all Israeli pupils a fruitful and successful year."
Netanya Mayor Feirberg thanked the Prime Minster and the Education Minster for coming to speak with the students. Feirberg said to the children, “Continue to be a source of pride to our city of Netanya. The Netanya municipality invests one-third of its budget in education; the kindergarten we visited today is part of the implementation of decisions by the Trajtenberg committee and one of 41 kindergartens being dedicated in Netanya today, which constitute a savings of thousands of shekels per annum for parents."