Click here for a full list of terms you will come across when navigating the Israeli school system.
Regardless of school choice and potential acceptance prior to your Aliyah, school-aged children must also be registered with the local Education Department (מחלקת החינוך) at the Iriyah (Municipality).
You will need to bring the following documents:
- Teudat Zehut
- Rental contract
- Teudat Oleh
When registering your child for a local public or religious public school, make sure to specify which grade your child is entering. Registration for school in Israel is determined by your child’s Hebrew birthday. The cut-off date in Israel is Aleph Tevet. Therefore the English cut-off date varies each calendar year. Once all the details are entered into the system, you will receive paperwork. The registration process will then be completed once you provide your school with registration information. At the same time as you provide the school with registration information, you can also bring documentation with copies of your child’s IEP or other evaluations. Don’t leave without a booklist, school supply list, information about the school uniform, and subscription to the school email system where relevant.
The book lists are typically sent out at the end of each school year. You will most likely receive it when you visit the school to register your child. If you were able to register your children before physically moving to your city, make sure to get information regarding where families in your school purchase books. Some stores have an agreement with the school; others have a book rental program. It is common to buy text books second-hand.
Note: As a new Oleh, you may not need to purchase the entire booklist as your child may not be responsible for every subject in his/her first year of Aliyah. Check with the Yoetzet (guidance counselor) prior to purchasing.
Many schools in Israel offer a book rental program. For a fraction of the cost of purchasing all the books, your child receives most of the books s/he needs for the year, and simply needs to return them in good condition at the end of the year. Included in the program are all the חוברות (workbooks) and textbooks (but not the Sifrei Kodesh if you are registering for a religious school). Covering books with book covers is part of the school supply purchase.
In order to participate in the program you must register at the end of the previous school year. You may have missed out as a new Oleh, but will be able to register for the following year. Speak to your school directly for more information.
Many schools in Israel offer a school supplies program so that all children will have identical supplies. The orders are placed by parents online during the summer, and the supplies are available for pick-up at school the week before school starts. The school supplies program means that you will avoid the stress of buying the supplies on your own. Each grade has as different list, so make sure to purchase what is necessary for your child. Everything is included, with the exception of backpacks and pencil cases.
By law every school must have a Va’adat Horim (parent committee). The Va’ad is made up of parent representatives from the broader population of the school. They help the school with everything to do with operations, and operate as the liaison between the school and the parent body in all areas where the school needs parental involvement. The Va’ad is there to help support parents in all areas where the school is unable to help.
The Va’ad Kita is made up of a group of parents in each class who are the liaison with the home room teacher (michanech/michanechet). A fee is paid to the Va’ad at the beginning of the year, and the teachers use this money for different things during the year. The Va’ad Kita will help the teacher organize different activities/events during the year.
Sha’ot Ulpan are hours during school time designated for separate Hebrew language instruction for new immigrants. It is not unusual for this benefit to begin after the holiday season in the fall. The number of hours of “Ulpan” your child receives – which is essentially hours during school designated for separate Hebrew instruction – depends on a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to, the size of your municipality, the number of Olim in that municipality, the number of children in the school, the percentage of Olim that makes up the total number of children in the school. Some municipalities offer a group-oriented Ulpan for all Oleh children in the city. Speak to your Municipal Oleh Counselor where relevant. For more information you can call the Olim Department at Misrad Hachinuch directly: 02-5603620 or 02-5603619.
We all have expectations from those involved in our child’s educational success. As the year begins, you will notice differences in rhythm, discipline management and communication with teachers. As your child’s best advocate, be proactive in introducing yourself to your child’s teacher and establish a line of communication (phone, written, meetings) that works well for both of you in building a partnership toward educational success for your child.
Some schools offer in-house tutoring available for an extra fee, other schools may have lists of local tutors to turn to for the extra help your child may need. Your school and/or municipality may have resources to assist with homework help for new Olim.
The orientation evening usually takes place within the first two weeks of school. Ask your teacher in advance if an Israeli parent already in the system can “buddy up” and be there by your side during the evening to fill in the blanks. The purpose of this evening is to present the curriculum for the year, and for the teacher to give a brief overview of his or her teaching philosophy. It is also the forum for parents to voice their opinions. The Va’ad Kita will collect money from you, which will go toward various class activities during the year.
Is there a parents’ WhatsApp group? A class phone/email list? Just as you have encouraged your child to be friendly and make new friends, this is your opportunity to do the same. Introducing yourself to the teacher gives a face to the name of the new Oleh family in the classroom.