On the Value of Mutli-Culturalism...
What's not to love about a program dedicated to teaching children to read and write; to count and create - all by fun and friendly Muppets...
Well, Sesame Street (Rechov Sumsum) is scheduled to return to the air in Israel, and these aren't your mother's Muppets.
The new program will consist of 40 episodes and feature the first-ever Arab-Israeli Muppet character, 5-year-old Mahboub, who exhibits unstoppable curiosity and a musical talent. The program’s creators said his inclusion is designed to contribute to the show’s effort to model an inclusive Israel. Human characters will include a native Jewish Israeli, Tzachi, an Arab Israeli, Ibtisam, and Irina, a Russian Jewish immigrant who owns the street’s Magic Trick Shop.
Why not teach children growing up in the Jewish State of Israel that Israel is the home of the Jewish People throughout the world; of the modern day miracle of the ingathering of the Exiles? Jewish children could learn of the different languages, cultures and customs of Jews throughout the world who now call the Jewish State home.
Maybe, throughout the year, there could be a Muppet or human character visiting from overseas, who is coming to spend one of the holidays in Jerusalem, and the children could then learn about the various Jewish communities throughout the world.
Sadly, it seems, that these are not the educational values that Rechov Sumsum is seeking to impart to children growing up in the Jewish State.
“The original funders of ‘Rechov Sumsum’ came back to Sesame Workshop and said “Rechov Sumsum” did so much for Israeli children in helping them to appreciate the diversity in Israel’s multicultural society, wouldn’t it be great if ‘Rechov Sumsum’ could once again help prepare Israeli children for what was about to unfold — hopefully the opening of the doors in relations with our Palestinian neighbors,” Rosenfeld recalled.
We, as Jews, don't need to run after Arab puppets to become multi-cultural when true Jewish multi-culturalism begins at home, with the Jewish People in the Land of Israel.