Dr. Shai Fruchtman
Director of Education, Municipality of Netanya
The Jewish culture can be defined by how one relates to his fellow man. Victor Frankel tells us that each human strives for a sense of purpose. Judaism is what gives us that sense of purpose.
Our jobs as educators is to cultivate the children and help them find that sense of purpose and identity as Jews and as people that they seek. We have to answer all sorts of questions such as: why are we here? Why do we belong in Israel? What helps me connect to my land? What unites us when it seems as though there are a lot of dividing factors?
Currently, we must face a glaring reality where there has become a culture of indifference and evasiveness from the army (for various reasons) in addition to a culture of alienation and lack of solidarity. These problems could be solved by actively teaching Zionism and by connecting the children of today to their Jewish heritage.
Our children start school with very little life experience and it is the job of our schools to enlighten them, open their worlds and teach them to look at the world through inquiries fueled by curiosity.
I personally am asking for the children to be imbued with a Jewish identity, culture, and Zionism even in a public school environment. Not an anti-religious environment but an environment with Jewish values and culture.
Again, I would like to thank Dr. Yaakov Rosenwasser for his tremendous contribution to our city’s education. I also would like to thank Mrs. Diti Prower, the principal of the Leah Goldberg girl’s school and her staff.
It is our hope that through this website our project will grow and be used to enrich students in other cities and countries as well.