The Education Ministry's budget for Jewish culture last year was NIS 218 million ($60,191,895), an all-time high, Haaretz reported on Saturday night.
The report said that in the last four years in which Naftali Bennett (New Right) served as Education Minister, the division's budget had jumped by more than NIS 50 million ($13,805,481). Haaretz added that the Jewish Culture Department "is considered a central factor in the efforts to overthrow the educational system, funding dozens of organizations and associations that are affiliated with Religious Zionism and which operate in secular schools."
In recent years, Haaretz has published many reports of Bennett's activity as Education Minister. For example, in January it reported that the Education Ministry encourages high schools to integrate religious and secular Jews and promises to allocate an additional budget in order to "reinforce Jewish and Zionist studies." In April 2018, the Education Ministry demanded the separation of boys and girls during sports activities in Tel Aviv elementary schools.
Furthermore, the Education Ministry began including Jewish sources in textbooks, without connection to the material studied. For example, information about the prayer for rain was added to a science textbook.
In May 2016, the Education Ministry published a new textbook on citizenship, which emphasized a "more Jewish and less democratic" state.
On the flip side, in March 2017, the Education Ministry urged Israeli preschools to drop references to "Mom and Dad," change "Shabbat Mom" and "Shabbat Dad" to "children of the week," and introduce LGBT coloring pages. This, however, was omitted from Haaretz's article.