The secular-religious divide in Israel reached a new low this week when parents of children at the city-run Elroy kindergarten in Katamon, Jerusalem, complained about a substitute teacher who allowed Chabad volunteers to distribute flyers about last week’s Lag B’Omer parade.
The flyers advertised a fun event with prizes and stated that the children would recite the Twelve Pesukim.
“Involving little children in such a publicity stunt is a scandal,” one mother told local newspaper Zman Yerushalayim. “It’s chareidi advertising inside our kindergarten.”
The incident occurred on the Friday before the parade when Chabad volunteers walked into the kindergarten undisturbed and handed out flyers to the children in front of the substitute teacher.
The flyer advertised a program for Lag B’Omer that included a circus, a juggler, a lottery offering big prizes, and a gift for each participant. It stated that all the children needed to do was recite the Twelve Pesukim. “Yechi” appeared at the bottom of the flyer.
When the Chabad volunteers asked the substitute teacher to explain what was written on the flyer, she did so. The children brought the flyers home to their parents, many of whom have since complained about the incident.
“It was very hard to explain to the children why we didn’t want them to go to the parade,” said the parents. “The children thought it looked like fun, and they would get prizes, so why not? But we won’t allow them to get involved in something like this. We won’t let our children to get pulled into such things.”
The Education Ministry has said that the schools’ inspector will investigate the incident.
[Hat Tip: Joel Katz.]