September 1st is the real “New Year” holiday of Israel. It’s the date school starts, following a long summer vacation. Every child and parent knows this day. It’s a true celebration.
Alas, it’s not the “school system” that starts on September 1st… It’s several different systems, some even start at different dates. Some children study in Hebrew and learn the Hebrew culture; others study mainly in Arabic and learn the local Arabic culture. There is the “national religious” education system, and there’s the ultra-Orthodox religious system, which is not really an “education” system, as it teaches very little non-religious stuff, if any. Ultra-Orthodox “Ashkenazi” Jews (of European origin) shall not be mixed with “Sephardic” Jews (of African or Arab origin). Boys shall not mix with girls… It’s not even clear how many systems are there.
And then there is the “national” education system – the one which is not officially religious, and at the same time is anything but “secular”. Young children absorb lots of religious indoctrination, disguised as “tradition”, and hardly any science – not to mention evolution, or the real history of the Bible.
The refugees from all these systems will be the Israeli voters of the next decades. Can you guess which “education” will they promote?