The influence of teachers extends beyond the classroom, well into the future.
— F. Sionil Jose
Making the decision to transfer your teaching license to Israel and enter a new school system is not an easy one. There are many challenges you will have to deal with – converting your degrees, getting used to a new system, new culture, and new language to name a few. But, as you bring your knowledge and experience with you to Israel, your influence will extend beyond the classroom and will contribute to building the next generation of Israelis.
The Israeli educational system is divided into Jewish, Arab and Christian sectors. The Jewish sector is further divided into Secular (“Mamlachti”), Religious (“Mamlachti Dati,”), Independent (“Atzmai” – Beit Yaakov and Haredi) and semi-private schools.
Hebrew is the language of instruction in all schools therefore fluency is a must. Teachers of English as a second language also need to speak Hebrew but not on the same level as those who teach other subjects. The Ministry of Education offers specialized Ulpan for teachers on a semi-regular basis.
- Grades 1 to 6: 30 hours per week is considered a full time position.
- Grades 7 to 12: 24 hours per week is considered full time.
- College Level: 16 hours per week is considered full time.
Anything beyond this number of hours is considered overtime. It is also possible to work part time. Note that mothers of children under age 14 need to work fewer hours for the same pay: For grade school, after 24 hours add another 10%. For grades 7-12, after 19 hours add another 10%. For example, if a mother works 19 hours in 8th grade, she will get paid as if she worked 21 hours.
Some schools supplement the elementary school hours to be comparable to high school.
If you do army service in Israel each year, your service is counted as additional experience. In addition, certain bonuses are available for teaching and/or living in certain areas, and this should be verified through individual schools.
Additional studies such as outside degree work can give you points towards your salary.
Perhaps it goes without saying that if you work overtime, you receive a higher salary. Note that overtime is determined according to base salary only (not according to bonuses).
To supplement a teacher’s salary, many people tutor privately in their homes. English tutors are in demand. A 45 minute English lesson can cost anywhere between 80-150 NIS. Some teachers even tutor at school.
Teachers receive between 2 and 2 1/2 months paid vacation in the summer, 3 weeks before and during Pesach, a week during Sukkot, plus additional Jewish holidays including Purim and Independence Day.
Generally speaking, the school year begins on September 1st and ends on June 30th.
The benefits of working for the Ministry of Education include paid sabbaticals and additional training.
- Sabbaticals: Teachers are entitled to a sabbatical every 6 or 7 years (your choice). If you take a sabbatical after 6 years you are eligible to receive 66% of the previous year’s salary; you receive a higher salary if you take your sabbatical after 7 years. You are expected to be enrolled in a program during the sabbatical year and you are refunded for the cost of tuition. You may retain up to 1/3 of a teaching position throughout your sabbatical year.
- Additional Training: Misrad Hachinuch encourages teachers to study. Most teachers are enrolled in some kind of training program. In many cases, Misrad Hachinuch will pay part or all of the tuition for academic study. Decisions regarding funding are made by a special committee, on an individual basis.
Morim Olim: Licensing and Job Placement for Teachers
The Ministry of Education has a special “Morim Olim” program to help immigrant teachers become qualified to teach in Israel and integrate as smoothly as possible into the Israeli educational system.
Click here for information on the licensing process on becoming a teacher in Israel.
Click here for a step-by-step on the licensing process in Israel.
Click here for a 2-minute video explaining the process.
For personal guidance, we recommend you contact Ruti Sussmann, Coordinator of the Morim Olim program: email@example.com
To determine if you are eligible to receive a Teacher’s license prior to making Aliyah, see: Professional Licensing in Israel
Required degrees depend on which grade level you want to teach. In elementary or high school, a minimum of a BA (or B.Ed) and a Teudat Hora’ah (teaching certificate) are required. In order to teach on the high school level (grades 10-12) and the Bagrut, it is also recommended to get a subject specific Teudat Hora’ah. To teach in an Israeli college, a PhD is a must.
You might be able to start a teaching position without an official license but will be required to become licensed over the course of your first year of teaching. Teachers who were trained abroad might be required to undergo further training before entering the school system or while they are in their first two years of teaching.
It is strongly recommended to begin the licensing process prior to looking for a position. The licensing process takes approximately two months (not including courses you may be required to take).
Olim Teachers should contact one of the following supervisors at the Ministry of Education to review their academic and professional credentials, and to help them find a teaching position:
If you do not have a teacher’s license:
The Ministry of Education in partnership with the Ministry of Absorption offers training programs to immigrants with a BA degree who would like to become teachers in Israel. Some of these programs are subsidized depending on the particular needs of the Ministry.
Native English speakers have an advantage over their Israeli counterparts in this field, and there is currently a demand for English teachers throughout the country.
Even if you taught English in the U.S., Canada or U.K., you will be required to take some additional coursework before you can teach English in Israel. You will learn the skills associated with teaching English as a Foreign Language, and become accredited through Misrad Hachinuch.
For additional information about teaching English, you can contact Dr. Tziona Levi, the Chief Inspector for English Language Education of Misrad Hachinuch, at the following numbers: 050-651-0132 or email Z_levi@netvision.net.il.
Credit: Ministry of Education, the Department of Languages
Contact Information: Teacher Training Colleges
|District||Name of College||Website|
|Tel Aviv||Seminar HaKibbutzim||www.smkb.ac.il|
The English Teacher’s Association of Israel runs a seminar each summer.
To find a job as an English teacher, contact the English inspector of the Ministry of Education, in the geographical area where you plan to live.
When a school wishes to hire a new immigrant who has received Israeli qualification, the Ministry of Education Unit for Absorption of Immigrant Teachers may be able to provide financial assistance toward teaching hours. The principal must submit a written request for assistance. If the school provides a minimum number of hours, it can receive a limited number of matching hours from the Unit of Absorption of Immigrant Teachers. It is necessary for the teacher to apply within the time period of eligibility for assistance, and to meet all other criteria.
The English Teacher’s Association of Israel holds professional conferences throughout the school year: http://www.etai.org.il/
On-going Professional Development:
- Pedagogical counseling is available to new teachers from the English Inspectorate
- The English Inspectorate offers a wide variety of in-service courses for English teachers
For the Ministry of Education’s page on Teaching English in Israel, click here.
For licensing information, please click here.
Drushim B’Chinuch (Hebrew)
My Face (Hebrew)