Sabba – And studying it should be more important than science for us as well. Had our ancestors done that, we would probably not be standing at the edge of hell right now.
I-24 NEWS – ‘This is the next chapter in our Zionist vision…how we’ll return to being a light unto the nations’
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday told an audience in Jerusalem that studying Judaism is more important than studying math and sciences, Haaretzreports.
“Studying Judaism and excelling in it is more important to me than studying math and sciences,” Haaretz quoted Bennett as saying at the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Tali Foundation, which funds Jewish study programs in secular schools.
“Even as a high-tech power that exports knowledge and innovations to the world, we must be a spiritual power and export spiritual knowledge to the world,” he continued.
“This is the next chapter in our Zionist vision. That’s how we’ll return to being a light unto the nations. From Zion shall come forth Torah and the word of God from Jerusalem,” Bennett added.
He continued: “What you’re seeking to do here at Tali is to restore the days of everyone to the days of yore, because you know that Judaism belongs to everyone. No sector has a monopoly on Judaism and this creation belongs to the entire Jewish people equally.”
Bennett’s party, Habayit Hayehudi, has previously presented plans to increase the number of hours dedicated to studying Judaism in the nation’s schools. In April last year, just before Bennett started his role as education minister, the Education Ministry announced that the number of classroom hours spent on core subjects such as language, science and mathematics would be reduced, with more teaching hours on Jewish values and civic duty to take their place.
However, Bennett has also invested in increasing math studies, with one of his key programs to almost double to 18,000 the number of high school students taking the highest-level math matriculation exam, Haaretz reports. The number of pupils taking the exam has dropped to fewer than 10,000 in the last few years.
At the same time, the Education Ministry has increased the budgets of Jewish identity centers within secular schools, according to Haaretz. Out of the NIS 30 million going to fund activities at these centers, 90 percent goes to Orthodox-affiliated organizations.