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Meytarim schools

Meytarim currently supports a network of Jewish pluralistic schools throughout Israel.  Over 2,000 students learn in an environment which promotes academic excellence and achievement alongside an atmosphere which promotes Judaism, pluralism, and democracy.

In six short years Meytarim has not only provided its students with the opportunity to move forward academically, but has also given each child the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and understanding of a relevant Judaism in their lives, while at the same time learning to respect their classmates' often differing interpretation and religious practices.  This philosophy of pluralism, combined with the values of tolerance, humanism, and Jewish peoplehood encompasses not only religious diversity but has expanded its definition of pluralism to include children with disabilities (a Meytarim school recently matriculated Israel's first student with Down's Syndrome in the country), children from low socio-economic classes, varied ethnic backgrounds, and both native born Israelis and immigrants.

Meytarim's success has also been acknowledged by the Ministry of Education.  After a thorough investigation by the senior pedagogical staff of the ministry, the ministry's Director General recently issued a directive granting formal accreditation of Meytarim as a state sanctioned educational network.  This directive will give Meytarim the opportunity to bring pluralistic education to tens of thousands of children all over the country.

We have proven that the model works.  The pilot phase is over.  Meytarim is seeking a group of new donors who can help it grow from its successful start up phase to the next level.  In principle, we do not believe that philanthropy can implement a paradigm shift on the national level.  Only the government can do that.  We do believe, however, that philanthropy can build a successful model to show the government that an alternative is feasible.  This is what we are trying to do with our current donors, and we would be honored if you would join us in this effort.      

The community support surrounding the school is just as critical for our success.  Each school is officially run by an amutat horim and their input is one of the key factors for the school's success.  The parents of Meytarim students have shown enormous amounts of courage by choosing to take their child out of their natural school environment and place them in an experiment called Meytarim.  Parents have created their own Beit Midrash in the schools in order to learn together about pluralistic Judaism, and to set the tempo for the school.

Meytarim's responsibility for its students does not end at graduation.  Meitarim encourages each of its 12th grade graduating students to attend a mechina (post high school/pre military service institute).  Attendance is these mechinot have proven to give graduates an advantage over their peers in their military service.  Unfortunately, many high school graduates from the periphery end up serving three years in non combat supporting roles, such as drivers and cooks.  They serve in theses mundane roles, while their peers who are mechina graduates, serve in higher quality positions, gaining skills such as leadership, management, and responsibility.

Mechina graduates come more prepared academically, ideologically and physically for their three years of military service.  A disproportionate amount of mechina graduates serve in frontline combat units and also enroll in officer school.  Where someone served in the military plays an immense role in where they will learn for higher education or seek employment.  Needless to say, a successful military service greatly enhances the chances of a Meytarim graduate succeeding in his/her adult life. 

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