NEW YORK (Mar. 12)
Israeli MK Meir Shitrit (Likud) warned here today that unless the educational and social gap between Sephardim and Ashkenazim in Israel is narrowed, and more money and resources are channeled to improve the education of deprived youngsters, Israel’s future is at stake.
“The real threat to Israel is not from the Arabs, but from the erosion of the human advantage in Israel as a result of lack of proper education to the disadvantaged in Israel, most of them of Sephardic origin,” Shitrit, a member of the Finance and Education Committees, said.
Shitrit spoke at a press conference held by the International Sephardic Education Foundation (ISEF) to announce the launching of a campaign to establish a $1 million endowment fund for Sephardic students. He said that the issue of education “must become the priority of Israel and world Jewry, so that every child in Israel fulfills its potentials to the limit.”
In announcing the new endowment fund, Nina Weiner, ISEF president, said that its goal is to provide “increased scholarship aid to students in Israel of Sephardic background.”
She noted that since its inception, the ISEF has distributed more than $2 million for 4,000 scholarships to university students in Israel, as well as to small groups of Sephardic students in post-graduate programs throughout the world.
The ISEF was established seven years ago with the declared purpose of narrowing the educational and social gap between the ethnic groups in Israel.
Shitrit arrived here yesterday for one week to assist the ISEF in the new campaign.