Wahat al-Salam - Neve Shalom
This year the regional council of Gezer, which abuts our own Mateh Yehuda Council area, upped its opposition against enrolling students from its precincts at the Wahat al-Salam - Neve Shalom school. It refused point-blank to to allow 1st graders from the Council area to study at the school.
Initially, 19 students from Gezer registered to the School for the 2017-2018 first grade class. Since Gezer is a major source of students at the Primary School, and the number of Palestinian students that can enrol is affected by the need to enrol a similar number of Jewish students, the sudden decline would mean that it would be possible for us to open only one first grade class for the 2017 - 2018 school year - reversing a trend of recent years to open two classes
Parents of some 16 of the students affected by this decision mounted a legal challenge against the decision, and this was backed up by reports in two media outlets: an article in Haaretz (Hebrew only) and an item in the popular Channel 10 London & Kirshenbaum show (view with English subtitles)
The campaign, and popular pressure in particular following the item on London & Kirshenbaum, was apparently effective, since Gezer temporarily backed down and will allow the students to enrol at the school. Yet the Council’s intimidation partly worked, since the number of parents willing to send their students to the school under these conditions, diminished from 19 to15. Yet, with a similar number of Palestinian students this is still enough to open two classes as planned.
In the coming year, we will seek to obtain status as an "extra-regional school", which, if we are successful, will make it harder for Regional Councils like Gezer to prevent students from attending the school.