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Raising kids in Israel

Hello everyone,

How is raising kids in Israel different from raising kids in your home country?

What are the activities that your kids seem to enjoy the most in Israel?

Do you feel that the country is "family-friendly"?

Do you recommend Israel as a good place to raise kids? Why or why not?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

How is raising kids in Israel different from raising kids in your home country?

The first thing that comes to mind is the education. I'm from London, England. My brothers and I did not "adapt" well to the Israeli schools (elementary and high school) and we were all three of us taken out of the regular government-paid-for schools, (from Bialik to Sharet and Tschernehovsky in Netanya) and put into private school in Jaffa. We all ended up attending Tabeetha, Church of Scotland School, which was not much different than the schools we had been attending in London (Kingsbury Green School) and more what we were used to. School is certainly a factor, that kids can either grow accustomed to, by adapting to the new way which might be drastically different from what they're used to, or there are always other options (if you can afford to send them to a private school, that is!) Am not stating here that there is anything wrong with the public school, or that we disliked it for any particular reason, it is just that we were glad our parents had the option to allow us to be grateful for being able to go to Tabeetha and want to explain that it is not easy to get accepted into the Israeli educational "culture" by other Israeli students, as we all found out the hard way (I was ridiculed to tears because of my Hebrew mistakes, and even my brothers were bullied, they weren't twins, but one was born Sep beginning of the school year, the other Aug, end of same year and they were conveniently placed together, in the same class as if they were twins (the two Handlers) and they looked and dressed somewhat similar, and wore identical-looking glasses, and were singled out, whereas in England they were each attending different classes, and for the most part, seemed to blend in to the rest of the class, although there was still the issue of antisemitism, meaning that there is always a plus and a negative, isn't there?)... Anyway, am very grateful to have experienced a small amount of the Israeli school system, and also appreciate being able to continue with English, as the main language, at Tabeetha, knowing that financially not everyone is privileged to do so, and I am very glad for both types of experience!

What are the activities that your kids seem to enjoy the most in Israel? I think sports was a big attraction all around, for us kids, and of course, our living in Netanya, on King David Street, such a very short walking distance from the beach was the greatest fun of all!

Do you feel that the country is "family-friendly"? Definitely. Especially apparent Friday night around the Shabbat candle-lit table!

Do you recommend Israel as a good place to raise kids? Why or why not? Yes, if you don't mind your children having to serve in the military after high school when the time comes... My brothers and I did our duty, and served in Zahal. My middle brother just like what we read about from the Prayer book, and Haggadah of Passover was delivered out of Egypt himself, returned P.O.W. where he had been tortured in the Egyptian prison camp and are proud Israelis. My oldest brother was a liaison officer to the UN. I served in the National Defence College in Kfar Shmaryahu, which to me was an occasion that I cried when it was time to go back to "civilian life" after having finished serving my two years obligatory service. I wouldn't have exchanged it for the world! I do not see this as a negative. It was a good learning experience in one's life, for one certainly "grows up fast" entering still while teenagers, into the military, and then after serving (two for girls, and three years for boys, which was the case, when we were in it) which resulted in our being released as adults, isn't that right?

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