After many abortive attempts to create the subject of Jewish Culture into the Israeli school curriculum, Internal ministry documents obtained by the on line journal Haaretz say there is a new initiative which aims to “develop and shape a Jewish-Israeli identity” and “develop a feeling of belonging and responsibility toward Jewish-Israeli heritage via a pluralistic, open and critical approach.”

The sessions will generally include the study of a text along with some other activity. The topics will be chosen by the schools and will be run “primarily” by the school staff – wording critics view as an opening for the involvement of outside groups.

The documents suggest a long list of possible session topics. For instance, kindergartners can learn Bible stories such as Noah’s ark or “the values of Shabbat” via the prayer book.

Topics for first- and second-graders include receiving the Torah or Talmudic stories about interpersonal relations; for third- and fourth-graders Jerusalem or “social responsibility” in the context of the sabbatical year; and for fifth- and sixth-graders Zionist heritage or the weekly Torah portion.

Topics for seventh- and eighth-graders include honoring one’s parents, attitudes toward the other or observing Shabbat; for ninth- and 10th-graders various Jewish movements (such as Orthodox, Conservative and Reform) or social justice in connection with the values of the sabbatical year; and for 11th- and 12th-graders Hasidic stories or tikkun olam (repairing the world).