for the first time in... oh 20 years or so, I am not starting school with the rest of the population. its a strange feeling. most israeli schools opened today for the start of the 09-10 year, and its been a crazy mess here in Israel. those of you following the news know that immigrants from ethiopia were denied entrance to some israeli private schools, on the basis that they did not have a strong enough background for their grade schools. there were protests, saying that the exclusion was race-based and unfair. as of today some 48 or so ethiopian students have been allowed into private schools in petach tikvah.
that hasnt been the only problem. the education ministry decided it wanted to once and for all remove "nabka" from arab israeli school books. the term means "disaster", and is used by many israeli arabs/palastinians to refer to the creation of israel, and is "celebrated" (mourned?) on israel independence day. as a result, many arab teachers are threatening to go on strike if the ministry follows through. i personally side with the ministry on this one. if a national textbook encouraged ONLY a "disaster" day on the 4th of July, how would the us react? you are citizens of a country... you can agree or disagree, but you still need to learn at least both sides of the story.
on a personal level, today also marked the first day of mishpacton, or daycare, for Maya. she is going to an aunts, so its not like im leaving her with strangers.. but it was still kind of hard. its only a half day, so i will go soon to see how she did. it was nice to be able to run errands without lugging around the stroller or holding her... but i will be very glad to pick her up. ulpan is supposed to start sunday, so we will see how that goes. love you all, miss you all too