Conference celebrates Biton Report

Bennet: "It's not a favor to Mizrachim, it's a favor to all the nation of Israel."

Joseph Timan ,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Education Minister Naftali Bennett addressed a conference on the Biton Commission, and announced that Israeli children will now learn the full Zionist story, in a promise to "fix" the absence of Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews' history and culture in the national narrative.

The "Biton Report" publicized the absence of Sephardic and Mizrachi (Middle Eastern Jewish) culture in the Israel history curriculum. The report recommended changing the Israeli history lens from a Ashkenazic one to one of global Jewry.

Speaking at Bar Ilan University, Bennett said: "We're not doing a favour to Mizrahim, we are doing a favour to all the nation of Israel."

The conference follows the Biton Committee's report, which Bennett will use in his educational reforms, both in the classroom, and through mandatory trips.

The report made suggestions to change the school curriculum in history, literature and civic classes to increase education and representation of the Sephardi and Mizrahi history and culture.

Among the speakers at the conference were members of the Biton Committee, journalists, and academics including Professor Zilla Sinuany-Stern from Ben Gurion University.

In her personal experience, "when I studied at Tel Aviv University, I was the only dark face."

Discussing minority under-representation in academia, Sinuany-Stern said that less that 29% of children with two Asian or African parents obtain a degree, compared to almost 50% of children from European or American descent.

Dean of Bar Ilan University, Daniel Hershkowitz, spoke of the historic failures of the Ashkenazi establishment to hear different voices and opinions. Both Hershkowitz, and former Member of Knesset Shimon Ohayon, emphasised the idea that the Jewish people are "one nation, with one heart."




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