Tel Aviv Schools Drop Exchange Program With L.A. Jewish Schools

Source at Gordon elementary school: Trip does not make pupils 'better Jews.'

Two Tel Aviv elementary schools - the School for Nature, Environment and Society and the A.D. Gordon School - have decided to cease participation in a program where students visit Jewish schools in the Los Angeles area.

According to a source at the Gordon School, after a few years in the program, it became apparent that the trip "doesn't make the children better Jews or better citizens, and it hurts the children who [don't participate and] remain in Israel."

Last week Haaretz reported similar criticism from parents of children at the Magen School in Tel Aviv who traveled to Los Angeles with the program.

In response to the decision by the School for Nature and the Gordon School to drop the program, project director Bruria Agrest said the new principal at the School for Nature didn't want to get involved with the program while the Gordon School was still considering whether to continue participating.

She added that most of the parents of Magen School participants had been very satisfied, and said scholarship money was available for children from families who could otherwise not afford to participate.