Arab teacher (illustrative)
Arab teacher (illustrative) Israel news photo: Flash 90

The government has announced a plan to solve the shortage of teachers in Jewish schools by hiring 500 teachers from the Arab sector. While posts in Jewish state schools are currently open to all teachers, Arabs included, in practice Arab teachers have not been integrated into non-Arab school systems.

Former Education Minister Rabbi Yitzchak Levy lauded the plan. “We need to get used to showing respect and behaving properly, we need to reduce hate,” he told Arutz Sheva. “We don’t hate Arabs.”

The proposal could definitely be put into practice, he said, “if it is possible to maintain codes of modesty and all the other things” customary in religious Jewish schools.

The shortage of Jewish teachers for core subjects such as mathematics was to be expected, Levy said. “In my time there was no shortage. Today apparently more people go to learn economics and business administration… The teaching profession is not attractive,” he said.

“Maybe Ofek Hadash will make conditions better,” he added, referring to a new program that has improved teachers’ salaries.

Rabbi Levy also discussed the issue of separating Arabs and Jews at recreation sites. The issue has been in the news following the revelation last week that the Superland theme park had designated separate days for Arab and Jewish students to visit due to fears of violence.

“Segregation is not the right thing to do,” he argued. “There is a large Arab minority here, and we do not want a war with them.”

“There is violence between Jews and Jews, too,” he added.

Rabbi Levy served with the Mafdal party, which later joined the Ichud Leumi (National Union) faction to create the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party.