Don’t worry, we are here to help you, says Israel’s education tsar on visit to the UK

Avi Ganon visited JFS, JCoSS, and Hasmonean on a fact finding mission


Israeli officials are “concerned” by a sharp rise in antisemitic incidents in British schools, an education ministry official has told the JC.

Avi Ganon, Deputy Director of Israel’s Education Department, said he was aware of anti-Jewish bullying in the UK.

“It’s not only in England, it’s something that’s happening worldwide and the best answer for this is a strong Jewish community,” he said.

Outlining his formula to help combat antisemitism in schools, he said:: “Strong PR, strong unity between all the Jewish forces, all the Jewish organisations. It’s absolutely a concern.

“The answer is to stand united with Jewish organisations and to fight against antisemitism.

“I’m sure that the embassy here is working. We as a state of Israel absolutely condemn this and every tool or every help that is necessary obviously we will provide.”

The former chief executive of educational charity World ORT was speaking while in the UK on a fact finding-mission to Jewish schools.

Mr Ganon met with senior community leaders and visited JFS, JCoSS, and Hasmonean, examining how stronger links could be built between Israel and the diaspora.

He said that one of his chief concerns was a “huge red alert” that the Anglo-Jewish community is at risk of assimilation: “I think the Jewish community have a great challenge: it is to keep the Jewish children and to give them to Jewish tradition. As Rabbi Sacks said one of his worries was if our grandchildren will be Jewish.

“So this is the main concern: how will you keep the Jewish children and the next generation inside the Jewish world?” He said fighting the trend is a major strategic aim of the state Israel.

He said: “That’s going to be a big challenge for the Jewish community.

“How to keep the connection with the Jews in the diaspora very strong, and to try to fight assimilation and to keep the next generation in the Jewish world.”

Projects like Birthright – the charity which helps young people visit Israel and discover their Jewish identity – could help, he said, but they needed to be “more meaningful”.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive