From the desk of Moshe Bibas – Chairman of the Maccabim-Reut Local Authority
Since its inception, the “Meitarim” network aims to be the address for the establishment of educational institutions that promote shared community life and inclusive education. As part of this activity, the network accompanies the inclusive schools in Israel where students from religious, secular and traditional homes are taught together. As part of this, the schools benefit from professional pedagogical guidance from teachers and administrators, who assist them in writing inclusive education curricula, assist in the establishment of additional inclusive kindergartens and schools throughout the country, and accompany inclusive communities where families from different Jewish backgrounds live together.
Modi’in Maccabim Reut, headed by me, is a pluralistic city that is a home where secular, traditional, religious and ultra-Orthodox live together in fraternity. We believe that every person has the right to live his life as he sees fit, in accordance with the policy of acceptance and inclusion of all the populations living here and providing assistance and advancement of the needs of the different populations, regardless of their identity. Therefore, it is not surprising that Modi’in Maccabim Reut was one of the first cities in which emerged, via members of the Yachad community, the tiding of “tribe of brothers together”, a community centered on a school, based on a lifestyle that combines worldviews and socio-educational approaches with the aim of providing a diverse, original, in-depth and creative Jewish education that imparts knowledge, ways of thinking and dealing with Jewish sources, that is integrated into a school climate of values in recognition of the importance of Jewish heritage and culture.
The Yachad community was established in 2000 and since then has served as a social and moral beacon that encourages striving to integrate the variety of students from different backgrounds, while maintaining a respectful, appreciative and empowering discourse, and developing a framework that meets the variety of students’ worldviews needs. Yachad’s schools incorporated the issue of encouraging their students to take responsibility with the aim of fostering a responsible graduate to lead the idea of inclusion in Israeli society, and to voice the fact that there are a selection of programs that enable each student to respectfully express his or her unique voice and tradition.
One of the key values that schools lead is the concern for children with special needs. With the leadership of the municipality and in full cooperation with the Yachad community, we have established, at the heart of the educational campus, the ‘Gvanim’ special education school, which is an integral part of community life.
This practice is an example for the entire educational system in Israel and consequently representatives from Israel and around the world come here to learn how students can actually be integrated into social circles, recognizing that each student can achieve impressive achievements despite the difficulties, by providing unique and individualized treatment to each pupil in the learning aspect and the emotional aspect in a variety of frameworks that bring out the students’ talents.
The academic year 2019-2020 is the 20th anniversary of the Yachad school in Modi’in. In the first two decades the school served as a home to thousands of students, while alongside the blessed value-added activities, the school also serves as an example of excellence and it is not surprising that it was awarded the National Education Award for Outstanding Educational Institutions in Israel for the year 2015.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Meitarim network for their close assistance to 120 educational institutions across the country from the Golan Heights to Yeruham. I am confident that the cooperation between Meitarim and all the cities in which it operates will continue to be fruitful will enable a wide range of Jewish-Israeli populations to study in an optimal educational climate, empowering everyone to shape their identity and contribute their part in building a better world, and one with values.
Chairman of the Local Authority Center & Mayor of Modi’in, Maccabim Reut