Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Kol HaKavod, Tel Aviv!

It is not often that I find myself identifying with much that comes out of Tel Aviv, but today is one of those days.

I found myself in the Old City of Jerusalem today, and lo and behold, I saw hundreds upon hundreds (if not thousands) of elementary school students from Tel Aviv who were spending the day touring the area.

I inquired as to what was the occasion that so many students from Tel Aviv were in Jerusalem, and I discovered that the Tel Aviv municipality had sponsored day long trips to Jerusalem's Old City for all 7th graders.

Believe it or not, but there are tens of thousands of Jewish youth in Israel who grow up having never visited Jerusalem, and feeling absolutely no connection to her. For many, the 1st time they visit Jerusalem is during their army service.

This initiative by the Tel Aviv municipality is not only commendable, but should be modeled by schools all over the country - incorporating into the curriculum a mandatory visit to Jerusalem and other sites in Israel that will strengthen the connection of these Jewish students to their Land, people and heritage.

As I have written in numerous posts, if Israel is to have a future as a Jewish State, educational initiatives such as this one are crucial.

Kol HaKavod, Tel Aviv!


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