Education minister takes back lessons from London

Gideon Sa’ar with JCoSS head Jeremy Stowe-Lindner

Gideon Sa’ar with JCoSS head Jeremy Stowe-Lindner

Israel's Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar concluded a short trip to the UK on an optimistic note after visiting JCoSS in East Barnet and the Independent Jewish Day School in Hendon.

He said he was surprised to learn that as many as two thirds of UK Jewish children now attended a Jewish day school.

"That's a quite high percentage taking into comparison other countries, specifically Western countries," he said.

"It is not only the high percentage, but the numbers are growing.

"If you want to keep the identity of the next generation without giving them Jewish education, it's almost impossible."

A question and answer session in Hebrew with IJDS pupils also left him impressed. "One of them asked me which is the better electoral system, the Israeli or British. I said the British."

Mr Sa'ar met Schools Secretary Michael Gove, thanking him for his support for Israel and particularly for allocating funds for security for Jewish schools.

He planned to send over Israeli education officials to learn more about Mr Gove's reforms of school discipline and inspection.

Mr Sa'ar also raised the issue of incitement against Israel in Palestinian school textbooks, showing examples.

He said he hoped to welcome Mr Gove on a first visit to Israel later this year.

    Last updated: 2:23pm, May 19 2011