Waldorf-School-Harduf in Israel in need of Support!
The Waldorf School in Harduf is facing serious problems and is in need of any possible help and support. In order to describe the current situation , let us begin by some background information:
At the beginning of the 1980s, a group of young idealistic Israelies working out of Anthroposophy founded a new spiritual community in the Galilee in Israel. Harduf has since grown and nowadays, in 2003, this growing Anthroposophical community includes many different initiatives in a variety of fields such as: A Waldorf school and kindergartens, special education for children and adolescents, biodynamic agriculture, medicine, a variety of anthroposophical seminars (education, special education, arts and more).
The waldorf school in Harduf was founded in 1989 and has grown consistently since then, until in 1997 the first and only upper school in Israel was founded within it. In Israel today there are five waldorf schools and at least two more will start very soon. The school at Harduf caters today for over 450 pupils, classes1-12. The upper school has expanded to two parallel classes and there are four remedial classes as well.
Apart from dealing with all the pedagogical questions that every waldorf school encounters in our days, the school at Harduf faces many questions that arise out of its special situation within Israeli society: the question of the jewish culture and how to create a curriculum that will meet its needs and more.
How can we create an atmosphere of true, quality learning and protect childhood in a country that is in constant war? How can one run a harmonious system in such tense times? What should we do after suicide bomb attacks? And many more such uestions.
Another very important issue that we have been dealing with in our school has to do with questions of coexistence between Arabs and Jews. Harduf is situated in an area of many Arab villages and towns. We are making great efforts to intergrate Arab pupils into our classes and also to do various projects together with Arab schools in the area. We have also begun to work towards opening an Arab Waldorf school in the vicinity, so that in the future we will be able to create a joint Arab-Jewish upper school to which pupils from both lower schools will come. For this purpose we have begun this year a waldorf teachers seminar for Arab teachers and we are hoping to soon open the first waldorf kindergarten in the nearby Arab town of Shefaram. This is for us a very important direction of work in a country where almost everything goes in the opposite direction of daily confrontations and violence.
Today the school at Harduf is in a serious crisis due to an extreme shortage of buildings. The lower school was built with the support of the ministry of education but the upper school has not been built. The economical situation in Israel is very worrying and as a result the ministry of education has put on hold any further building and development. All our upper school classes are placed in caravans that are in a very bad condition.The classrooms leak in the winter rains and are extremely hot and difficult to learn in during the hot months. There is no room for a proper library, a laboratory, art rooms and workshops.We have no hall for assemblies, plays, sports and gatherings with parents.
This very difficult state of affairs in which we have been working for the past eight years is beginning to show its mark and affects our educational work. How long can one teach in an upper school that has no serious library? Sports cannot be taught properly etc. In spite of the goodwill of both pupils, teachers and parents, without urgent help we feel we cannot continue in this way.
Israel is at a serious economical crisis, the state has no money to invest in education, the local authorities collapse under serious economical burdens and the parents have less and less money to invest in special projects.
Are there people out there who would like to support waldorf education in Israel?
Every form of support will be gratefully received!
Letters, advice, donations or any replies should be sent to:
D.N. Hamovil 17930
e. mail: [email protected]