The ministry's pedagogical department ruled last year that a program funded by philanthropist Lev Leviev to introduce Jewish concepts to secular schools presented an orthodox approach to Judaism, rather than the secular-humanist approach. Despite the rejection, according to Haaretz, the program, Zeman Masa, is being taught in more than 70 secular schools.
Meanwhile, Education Minister Yuli Tamir, who has publicly invited the Reform movement to take advantage of her tenure to make gains in the school system, approved a new-age program for kindergartens and elementary schools.
According to Tamir, there is no problem with either the curriculum or its teachers – both “fit the requirements of the Ministry of Education,” she said.
The cult, known as Anthroposophy, is ostensibly a “new-age” style meditation technique – but in actuality contains significant elements of Paganism. The curriculum is not unique to Israel; cult members have established elementary schools dedicated to the philosophy in 14 countries around the world, partially sponsored by UNESCO, the U.N.'s child welfare organization.
In a parliamentary question to Tamir, MK Rabbi Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism) referred to a study by Yad L'Achim, which notes that the organizer of the over 150-year-old cult, Rudolf Steiner, called it “the true Christianity.” Steiner was a white supremacist who wrote several books and pamphlets describing the Jews as “a secretive close group that has had an awful influence on Western culture. ... There is no justification whatsoever for the continued existence of the Jews in the family of nations.”
In his question to Tamir, MK Rabbi Porush demanded to know how such a program could “fit the criteria of the proper values being taught by the Education Ministry in it schools.”
MK Rabbi Porush continued: “We are witness to a terrible tragedy. On the one hand, the Education Ministry does whatever it can to derail the pure and proper chareidi education institutions – and on the other, it allows the souls of innocent Jewish children to be polluted with the values of the Reform or of an anti-Semitic Pagan cult.
Is this what the Jewish State was founded for?”