Bialik Rogozin School or The New Israelies
posted: November 29, 2009
The school is 'home' to children who have their origins in 48 countries. Children of foreign workers, refuges from Darfur, immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Arab families and many more.
Many or even most students come from low socio-econominc status and live in the southern neighborhoods of Tel Aviv. Some are Israelli born and only speak hebrew (even if their look is different) while other are newcomers.
The school led by its amazing Principal Karen Tal is constantly battling various problems: parents (in the rare case they are both present) who are at work till the late hours of the day, pending court orders to expel kids from the country for illegal status of their parents and just plain language barriers are just some of their challenges.
The school has decided to have an educational responsibility for students throughout the whole day, and is open till 730PM every day. It is inspiring to see how dedicated the school staff is.
A wonderfully dedicated task-force of volunteers and private donors from the Israeli High Tech Industry and from Jewish Communities abroad has helped the school during the last years so that it could accommodate all its special needs. I'm proud to be now somehow a part of this task-force! The school is a beautiful mosaic of people. Its multiculturalism very unusual and almost surreal in the Israeli landscape.
I have to say that the response of cheers from the kids when I showed my Obama portrait was specially meaningful in this place.
In a way this school is a litmus test for Israel and its vision of the future.
If you want to read more about the school, here's an article from The Jewish Journal.
Thanks Yavin Dror and Dani Vardi for the great photos. I think they speak for themselves.