Children of foreign workers in Israel get a reprieve


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel has postponed the deportation of hundreds of children of foreign workers by several months.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai announced his decision Wednesday, saying he did not want to disrupt the children’s school year, according to reports.

"I have instructed the enforcement regarding families with children learning in Israeli schools to be postponed by a number of months," Yishai said.

Protests have been stepped up in recent weeks against the deportation of 400 children of foreign workers, boosted by the presentation of an Academy Award to the film “Strangers No More,” a short documentary by American filmmakers Kirk Simon and Karen Goodman that chronicles the efforts of the Bialik-Rogozin School in south Tel Aviv to educate and integrate students from 48 countries, many the children of foreign workers.

More than 100 of the school’s students are under the threat of deportation, including one of the film’s stars, Esther Aikpehae, 12, who fled with her father from South Africa after her mother was murdered.

The deportations had been expected to begin this week.

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