I am well aware that Israel invests large sums of money in education and other large sums of money to entice young Jews to come to Israel to study.
In fact, many say that the State of Israel is an advantageous place to raise children.
Why is Israel doing so? Because the future of every nation is in the hands of its youths.
Clarity on such topic comes to life when you meet a person like Talia Priel Tuch, the West Coast Representative of American Friends of KIDUM. KIDUM’s slogan is “empowering Israeli youth from disadvantaged communities through education.”
Talia speaks enthusiastically about education opportunities in Israel – religious and secular – aimed not exclusively for Israeli youths, rather, for Jewish youths, inclusively.
Israel’s Approach to Education
In 1963, guided by then Israel’s Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, Israel’s Ministry of Education established the Society for Advancement of Education (SAE) to help realize Ben Gurion’s dream of free high school education for all.
The drive for this decision was the scarcity of high schools in Israel’s periphery. Capable Israeli teens were left out of getting a full twelve years basic education.
SAE was mandated with building an educational institute, modeled on USA and Europe’s boarding schools, to attract capable students whose educational advancement was being hampered by the great distances between their homes and quality schools in Israel’s population centers.
Among SAE’s goals, which was to assist with integration, if pupils were newcomers to the land, produce an ongoing skilled workforce and prepare committed soldiers ready to serve in the IDF. It was also a goal to break the generational poverty cycle; equip youth with leadership capability, who, in return, will bolster Israeli society in academia, business, civil society, culture, diplomatic corps, and in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) to which every Israeli – man and woman – conscripts.
SAE went on to become an independent, registered non-profit organizational network of schools, offering youth access to excellent education and a highly supportive environment, helping children to reach their known or unknown, full potential.
Operating under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, SAE owns and operates 14 secondary education schools and residential campuses with approximately 3,000 students.
SAE schools claim to have 90% of their students graduate with high-school matriculation certificate. As such, it creates for its students an open door for most prestigious universities in Israel and overseas.
SAE Calls On Overseas High School Students to Join
In addition, in partnership with The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), SAE also operates Na’ale that offers several innovative national educational programs across Israel, for overseas high school students. These programs impact over 13,000 youth every day, many are from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
With the Help of American Friends of Kidum
Along with the State of Israel’s vision and law to the ‘right of return of every Jew to his or her homeland’, SAE initiates and develops innovative pedagogical programs and operates national and international projects in the fields of immigration and absorption.
Along with SAE’s belief that each student is unique in his or her own way, it develops and implements innovation and excellence personalized educational responses. These individualized learning programs are intended to bring out the educational potential of students, enable them to integrate into the academic environment and, ultimately, assume positions of leadership in Israeli society.
By cultivating personal and teamwork skills, striving to create improved organizational structures, and in training and motivating educational teams, SAE institutions and programs instill social, humanistic, democratic and pluralistic values in its students that encourage respect for others and celebrate diversity.
Going back to Talia Priel Tuch, her yearly highlight point takes place when she accompanies the flight of a new group of students who made a choice to study in Israel, in one of the KIDUM programs.
In a testimony a Na’ale student wrote: “The wonderful part about being at Na’ale is the connections I’ve made with people. I have one very, very close friend here. We made friends at the interviews and we’ve been friends ever since. We had a connection from the beginning. She’s the one person that I trust completely here. I also have another really good friend. It’s very important to have one or two close friends who you can trust and really depend on.”
As I wrote above and in addition, the future of a nation is in its education. KIDUM stands strong to achieve this goal for the betterment of Israeli society and the continuation of a strong and well-educated future society of the nation of Israel.