UnSchool of Thought

Reprinted from The Jerusalem Report, March 2005

Yoni Goldstein

More and more families are keeping their children at home and encouraging them to learn whatever suits them

“I like drumming and tae kwondo,” whispers 11-year-old Joshie as we watch Naama, 9, perform the self-penned “Be Cheerful,” which sounds something like Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” on an electronic keyboard. As Naama finishes up, Joshie wanders off, but returns two minutes later. “What I really want to be is an actor,” he confides, “or maybe an author.” Later in the talent show at Moshav Ramat Raziel, in the Jerusalem hills, Joshie plays his interpretation of “Hatikvah” on the recorder, and there are an assortment of other musical interludes.

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Posted in Mentions in the Media

Archive – Old media mentions – Some links no longer active

Jerusalem Report Article about Homeschooling in Israel

March 2005
Click to view article. (English)

Jerusalem Post Article about Homeschooling in Israel

August 29, 2004 - The Kainan, Ernstoff and Kasher families were featured in an in-depth article.

Click to view on-line at jpost.com.(English)

Hebrew Article about Israel Homeschool Families

August 15, 2003 - Our own Zinigrad family was featured in a new positive article about Homeschooling in Israel.

Click to view on-line at Makor Rishon.(Hebrew only.)

Haaretz Article Reprinted Here

Haaretz Magazine

1999 homeschooling article

Posted in Mentions in the Media, News

Archive – Old news from the early days of homeschooling in Israel

New Hebrew Web Site about Homeschooling in Israel

(April 2003) A comprehensive Hebrew web site about homeschooling in Israel has been launched by Beofen Tivi. From the link below, navigate to “Chinuch Beiti”. The site includes a list of support groups throughout Israel. You will need a web browser that supports logical Hebrew encoding.


Beofen Tivi has also published a new book in Hebrew covering all aspects of homeschooling. To order, call 04-680-0933. 68 shekels plus 5 shekels shipping.

Organized Activities

(April 2003) The Jerusalem group has several regularly scheduled activities, including ceramics, outdoor survival, and more. Contact Dina Trachtman at 02-534-1721 for the latest details.

Unschooling going strong in 5762!

(November 2001) This last year was a huge success in the growth of Israeli home education, with many new families joining the ranks, regular meetings and activities in the Jerusalem area, and a large information day in Tel Aviv.

The twice-a-month Jerusalem Zoo group continues this year, with many families who are considering homeschooling taking the opportunity to come and meet the people who are doing it. We still meet on the first and third Tuesday of the calendar month at about 10:15 AM (sometimes people arrive later) until about 1:30 PM.

A lifetime-unschooling family made aliyah from Baltimore, adding a bunch of kids to the group, and immediately set about organizing various activities. Currently, there is a weekly ceramics/pottery group, and other groups such as woodworking, sewing and more are in the works. For more info, contact Dina Trachtman at 02-534-1721 or at dina@trachtman.com.

To stay informed about trips, classes and other activities, join the mailing list.

Unfortunately, the current Minister of Education is not interested in home education, so our recommendation for those planning to homeschool is to just do it without requesting permission. We will keep you informed if anything changes.

More events planned for 5761!

(August 2000) Sara-Rivka Ernstoff is coordinating a bi-monthly zoo trip at the Jerusalem Zoo beginning this fall. While younger kids play with their parent(s) in the playground/petting zoo, the older kids will have a hands-on workshop with the zoo staff, and learn how to care for the animals. To learn more about this and other activities, join the mailing list.

Support group forming in Shomron area

(June 2000) Yana and Alexander Zinigrad are starting a support group in the Shomron/Ariel area. Contact them at: 053-425-172 or fcw@netvision.net.il

Israel Homeschooling Mailing List

(March 2000) A mailing list has been created to facilitate coordination of events among Israel Homeschoolers. To join, sign up at:groups.yahoo.com/community/israelhomeschool.

Picnic, Zoo Trip

(February 2000) Recent homeschooling events in the Jerusalem area included another successful picnic in Efrat, and a trip to the Jerusalem Zoo.

Posted in News

Home Education in Israel Blossoming in 5763!

Rosie, Tzvi, Eliezer

Rosie, Tzvi, Eliezer

(April 2003) The Jerusalem group has been meeting regularly twice a month for a few years now, and there are usually one or more new families every week! Over the course of the day, ten to twenty families will show up. It’s a great way to meet people who are homeschooling and find out if it is right for you.

April 1, 2003 was a gorgeous sunny day, and we learned to play Ultimate Frisbee with participants’ ages ranging from three years old to “over 40.”

Posted in News

Homeschooling as a Fundamental Change in Lifestyle

Ari Neuman and Aharon Aviram’s 2003 research article on homeschooling in Israel (English):


Posted in Mentions in the Media

Picnic in Efrat

(Oct. 6, 1999) The 3rd annual Home Educators Picnic in Efrat’s Omega park on October 5, 1999 (formerly the “Not-Back-To-School” Picnic) was attended by ten families, as well as by magazine and television reporters.

The kids played in the playground and had water fights, while the parents (including two fathers!) got to know each other and talk about their individual homeschooling philosophies.

The television crew was a big distraction, and most future events will not be open to the media. The kids handled the television interviews very well, as did their parents.

Kobi Ernstoff, age 13, who attendsyeshivain Jerusalem for Torah studies only, told the television reporter, “I’m the only kid in my school who hasn’t been sent to the principal. Why don’t I act up? Because I’m not forced to be there. I can leave whenever I want.”

Everyone expressed a desire to get together more often, and planning is already underway for some upcoming events.

Several families who heard about the picnic but could not attend, made contact to express their support and to find out about future events.

Posted in News

Lessons in home truths

Reprinted from Haaretz Magazine

About thirty families in Israel are taking advantage of a clause in the compulsory education law which allows them to teach their children at home. Some of the parents reveal why they are so set against formal education

By Ella Komar

August 13, 1999

It is hard to imagine that Hani Ernestoff is only eight. Her wild, curly hair, her ruddy, tanned complexion, her fiery temperament and her independent free-thinking ways (not to mention her understanding of advanced mathematics) set her aside from other girls of her age. Hani’s mother would argue that her daughter’s development is not exceptional, but rather the product of a natural education outside of the stultifying methods and expectations imposed by the classical, institutional framework of the school.

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Posted in Mentions in the Media