Global, Identity, Israel, Politics

Petakh Tikvah schools reject Ethiopian students

Haaretz reports,

Eighty Ethiopian immigrant children, whose families transferred in recent months from absorption centers to permanent homes in Petah Tikvah, are still looking for schools that will agree to accept them for the upcoming school year.
The immigrants cannot be accepted to state secular schools as they have yet to finish their conversion process. The state-religious schools – where they are supposed to finish the conversion process – are not willing to accept them either, since the local authorities are concerned that they will scare off other students to private religious schools, leaving only the poverty stricken children in the state-religious schools.
Private religious schools in Petah Tikva are also unwilling to receive them.

Full story.

12 thoughts on “Petakh Tikvah schools reject Ethiopian students

  1. This is disgusting, and a good reminder of why I don’t live in Israel. This is not only embarassing but pretty much, flat out asshole behavior. Congratulations, Petach Tikvah, for buoying up the fantasies of hysterical anti-Israelis all over the world. Enjoy your lily-white school system.

  2. By the way, can someone please explain to me what use secular school systems are if you can’t send people who “haven’t finished their conversion process yet” to them?

  3. what use secular school systems are if you can’t send people who “haven’t finished their conversion process yet” to them?
    You *can* send anyone to them – but the rabbanut, being a religious body, theoretically anyway, insist that candidates for conversion be in a religious setting. Conversion being a religious process and all.
    Its not a religious thing at all, nor is it racism. Its a class thing: ethiopians are poor, uneducated immigrants, and nobody wants to pick up the tab. How surprising.
    (and, sarah, don’t say you don’t live in Israel for moral reasons. Your tax money funds Iraq).

  4. Wow, I guess Israel is the only country in the world that occasionally exhibits stupidity, class consciousness, and the like. Definitely sounds like a good reason to avoid her!

  5. Sorry if this seems like a dumb question, but is free public education a civil right in Israel (at least for those who want it and don’t opt out for some sort of private school, religious or otherwise)? Am I missing something here? No one said these people are illegal immigrants, so how can there even be a discussion about this? Amit says “nobody wants to pick up the tab.” Well, yes, most school districts in the United States would prefer not to have to pick up the tab either, but a legally-mandated obligation of government must be carried out either way.

  6. Gregg – I believe that it is in the news because it is controversial and at odds with the way the school system is supposed to work with Israel’s citizens.
    Incorrect – for sure Israel isn’t the only country where such problems exist. I don’t even need to get into examples. It’s in the news every day. But I thank God that Israel is a place where the media can publish that fact and that it isn’t a silent issue letting the neediest people in society suffer. And I am also pretty damn thankful that it was brought to the attention of readers of Jewschool. If these things aren’t brought to our attention then they cannot be addressed – in Israel or anywhere else.
    Amit – I see your point about the class things. For sure. But I think it also stinks of racism. The ethiopian community is not the first to experience such problems in the state of Israel. It fits the pattern.

  7. My conscience is doing just fine living in the US. Let’s compare apples to apples, eh? My school system got forced to offer education to poor black people 50 years ago. And gee, I’m so proud.

  8. The same poor black people to whom you deny health insurance? The majority of Ethiopians in Israel do not have this problem – it is a local issue which will be solved soon. American blacks have been, and still are, discriminated against in more ways than I can think of, and there’s still the matter of Iraq.

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