The World Jewish Congress and Israel’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations launched the fourth installment of the Education Without Borders exhibition this week, at the UN headquarters in New York. The exhibition, which is open to the public through May 12, showcases a unique Israeli initiative to provide education to children of all backgrounds hospitalized for more than three days, as mandated by Israeli law.
The Education Without Borders initiative is a partnership of Israel’s Ministry of Education, SASA Setton Kav Or, and World ORT, run in 35 hospitals across Israel. Through computer-based applications and other activities, children can pursue the studies despite their prolonged absence from school. The program is open to all children in Israel, irrespective of their background and including refugees from Syria and other places.
According to the Education Ministry's directives, every child hospitalized in Israel for over three days is entitled to free education. The exhibition, featuring photographs by Shahar Azran, aims to highlight Israel's uniqueness with regard to human rights, particularly concerning the support and protection of children.
“In Israel, education is not merely a privilege, it is a human and civil right entitled to by all children, without exception. Hundreds of thousands of children hospitalized in Israel, including Syrian refugees and Palestinians, have already benefited from this important initiative,” said World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer. “We thank the United Nations for allowing us to host this exhibition at its headquarters in New York, and to expose the true face of Israel to the family of nations.”
The exhibition first launched at the Palais de Nations in Geneva in September 2015, and has since run at the Hotel de Ville in Strasbourg, and the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
Details in the catalog that accompanies the exhibit:
Every year, 120,000 children and teenagers are hospitalized in Israel for periods of over three days. In addition to taking care of their physical needs, the medical system has the medical system has joined together with the SASA Setton Foundation, the Ministry of Education, World ORT in Israel ("Kadima Mada") provide a comprehensive educational solution for each of these children, ensuring that they continue their studies and keep connected with their schools and friends, and that they are kept occupied with enriching activities and positive experiences throughout their hospital stay.Here are some of the photos from the catalog.
While hospital and medical staff are concerned with the physical healing of their patients, schools and teachers usually focus on educating entire classes and large numbers of students. Neither profession is accustomed to delivering educational solutions for individual, isolated children suffering from trauma. It is both a pedagogical and logistical challenge, with thousands of children of a wide range of ages and backgrounds spread across large medical campuses.
For two decades, the Kav-Or organization has been developing unique computer systems and curricula, which enable children and teenagers to continue their schooling – even during lengthy hospital stays – and to study, play and enjoy new and exciting experiences, despite going through the most difficult time of their young lives.