The Anthroposophy school in Neot Kedumim in the center of Israel
In the wake of a recent Jerusalem District Court ruling ordering the closure of a school that teaches Anthroposophy, Yad L'Achim has asked the Education Ministry to investigate other schools that adhere to the cult's guidelines.
Anthroposophy, founded by German philosopher Rudolf Steiner, advocates use of meditation to reach spiritual levels that allow one to "comprehend his own eternality and be born again."
There are dozens of kindergartens in the center of the country that teach Anthroposophy. Dr. Ilan Gur-Ze'ev, of Haifa University, has warned that parents "are sending their children to participate in an experiment whose effects are unknown. It definitely raises questions regarding the responsibility of these parents."
In the recent court case, an Anthroposophy school in Kibbutz Revadim asked the court to overturn an Education Ministry order shutting it down. The ministry's decision followed a special report filed by one of its senior supervisors who visited the school and raised serious questions about its program.
"The school principal has no training or educational experience (with the exception of a seminar at the Yellin College in Anthroposophy) and the two teachers lack experience in anything to do with working with children."
If that weren't enough, the report highlighted other serious flaws in the program. For example, a "boy in first grade is not required to acquire the ability to read and write." Moreover, the principles of the cult take priority over normative educational goals.
The court rejected the cult's petition, removing the last hurdle to the school's closure.
In response, Yad L'Achim chairman Harav Yisrael Lifschitz wrote Education Minister Gideon Saar asking that he conduct a thorough check of other schools run by the cult.
"There is no doubt that an investigation will produce identical findings in other schools as regards the qualifications of principals and teachers, the nature of the unacceptable educational experience and the dubious messages that are transmitted to the students."
Yad L'Achim reminded the education minister that France and Belgium set up commissions that sharply criticized Anthroposophy and asked, "Why in Israel are these cults allowed to wreak havoc with young, delicate souls?"
Yad L'Achim this week expressed hope that its appeal will fall on receptive ears and that an end will be put to the spread of the Anthroposophy movement, which, despite its setback in the court, has every intention of expanding its school network and spreading its poisonous message.