Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Israeli School Faces Economic Discrimination Claims

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

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.