The state-funded Zionist Orthodox Ramabam grade school in Kiryat Gat sent out invitations to its girls 2nd grade graduation to parents, but the invitations ban fathers and older male siblings from attending, despite a state policy forbidding this stype of gender exclusion.
Above: file photo
Zionist Orthodox Grade School Bans Fathers From Attending Daughter’s Graduation
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The state-funded Zionist Orthodox Ramabam grade school in Kiryat Gat sent out invitations to its girls 2nd grade graduation to parents, but the invitations ban fathers and older male siblings from attending, Ma’ariv reported late last week.
The gender segregated graduation will be held despite a government policy forbidding it.
"My husband really was offended," a mother of one of the students told Ma’ariv. “It’s like they suspect him of pedophilia, as if he were sitting in the audience and girls aged 7-12 will appear and [the school thinks] he won’t be able to control himself,” she said.
The woman added that her daughter was disappointed by the gender exclusion but wasn’t surprised by it because this wasn’t the first time the school had excluded one gender from events.
"On Memorial Day, for example, girls were not allowed to attend at all…,” the mother said.
She also noted that the school gave the girls no explanation for banning their fathers.
“If they are big enough to tempt their fathers, then they are mature enough to understand the reasons,” she said.
She also noted that Rambam’s gender exclusion is not alone among Zionist Orthodox schools
"Unfortunately it is not unusual.…I talked to other moms who have daughters in schools in different cities, and it really has become a phenomenon. Our society has a covert competition: Who is getting worse,” the mother added.
Two years ago, Chairman of the State Zionist Orthodox Educational Council Rabbi Avraham “Avi” Geiser spoke out harshly against gender exclusion in state-funded Zionist Orthodox schools at a conference of educational leaders in Jerusalem, reportedly insisting that all family members, regardless of gender, are welcome at graduations and similar ceremonies like bar and bat mitzvah parties.
"I stand here and say what was decided by the Board of the State Council…[these] are family events… [and] therefore we do not distinguish between fathers and mothers and sons and daughters at a school's events," Geiser reportedly said then.
But only a week after Geiser made that speech, he was at the Noam HaRoeh school’s Garden Party Bat Mitzvah fathers where the girls’ fathers were not allowed to enter.
When that incident was made public, the Ministry of Education was forced to explain the gap between its supposed policy and the actual – and very different – reality on the ground.
The ministry claimed its policy forbidding gender exclusion was firm, but it said that would take time for “the new guidelines to soak into the surface."
More than two years have passed since that claim and, if anything, the situation has only gotten worse.
In response to the gender exclusion at the Rambam school, the Education Ministry told Ma’ariv last week that the main graduation ceremony for all Rambam students held at the end of the school year will include both genders, and only events where girls dance or sing exclude men.
The Rambam school in Kiryat Gat reportedly declined to comment.