Israeli School Faces Economic Discrimination Claims

By Haaretz

Published April 12, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Parents in Petah Tikva’s old inner city say they will refuse to enroll their children in a middle school that the city is setting aside for their children while opening a new one in a prosperous neighborhood, allegedly for the purpose of separating pupils by socioeconomic background.

“The city council is behaving in the same pattern as before,” said Itzik Luzon, head of the parents committee at the inner city Pika elementary school. Alluding to a city policy of discrimination against students of Ethiopian origin that stirred nationwide controversy last year, he said the city “is bent on disposing of integrationist policies in Petah Tikva’s education system. It started with the Ethiopians, then the Russians, and now they’re ruthlessly excluding the lower class.”

Inner city parents say Petah Tikva’s education department bowed to the pressure of parents in the prosperous Em Hamoshavot neighborhood to set up a new school there, while children living in the city center — who went to elementary school with the kids from Em Hamoshavot — will be segregated in the Ahad Ha’am middle school.

A source in the Petah Tikva municipality said Mayor Yitzhak Ohayon chose to placate Em Hamoshavot residents to win their electoral support. “Integration has been an official policy here for 40-odd years,” the source said, “but recently the mayor realized that he gets very little support in Em Hamoshavot. He asked residents what they think could be improved, and they said they want their children to study in the neighborhood.”

The source said that’s why four elementary schools - and now the new middle school - were built in Em Hamoshavot since Ohayon was elected in 1999. However, the source said allegations of segregation are an exaggeration and that the decision was not made in bad faith.

A spokesman for Petah Tikva municipality said “the decision resulted from strictly demographic considerations.”

For more, go to Haaretz.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Sigal Samuel's family amulet isn't just rumored to have magical powers. It's also a symbol of how Jewish and Indian rituals became intertwined over the centuries. http://jd.fo/a3BvD Only three days left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.