A new initiative seeks to close the religious-secular gap in Israeli society.
Religious or secular? The question seems to divide our country along serious fault lines. The conventional wisdom is that the religious and secular societies in Israel are each increasingly becoming more radical and fundamentalist in their beliefs, and more intolerant of those on the other side of what is viewed as an unbridgeable divide.
Community schools throughout the world are successfully navigating the admittedly difficult task of creating educational communities in which everyone, from the secular to the religious and everyone in between, can participate equally. A dozen schools in Israel are attempting to integrate society by combining our schools, seeking ways of educating our children together. But until such schools become available throughout the country it is only a select few who can avail themselves of the opportunity.
Until now, no such school has existed in Tel Aviv. For more than a year, I have been part of a group of people in Tel Aviv from all parts of the religious spectrum that has been attempting to create an integrated school in the city. After intensive efforts, it appears that we have been successful, and that the Municipality of Tel Aviv will finally create an option that will enable all Tel Aviv residents, religious and secular, to educate their children together in an appropriate manner, without needing to label them first in any way. At Meshutaf, all students will receive the same education, including a full curriculum of Judaic studies and humanities, with no compromises. Most importantly, our children will be educated there of tolerance, respect and mutual responsibility for all of Israel.