Tel Aviv is set to portray non-heteronormative families in schools
Schools in Tel Aviv are set to update Shabbat-welcoming services held in municipal preschools to portray a variety of non-heteronormative families.
The move aims to reflect and represent families living in the city more proportionately.
LGBT and single parent family structures will be introduced to teach young children diversity and coexistence from a younger age.
A number of pre schools in the city have already taken on the recommendation and have begun to hold Shabbat-welcoming services that differ from tradition. The service welcomes Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest in the week.
Gali Shine-Tal and Itai Himmelfarb, psychologists from the public counselling service of Tel Aviv, said that sending a message of diversity from a young age is incredibly important for children’s development.
Himmelfarb explained: “It’s important to us that the social climate in preschool be positive and encouraging to the families. Our goal is to produce thinking that takes into account LGBT families.”
Shine-Tao reported a mixed response from teachers and schools across the city. While a majority of the response was positive, some teachers displayed a less tolerant view of changing the service.
“We’re trying to render the positions more flexible and enable accepting reference because this is important to children’s development,” she explained. “We’re telling them that they need to distinguish between personal views and the educational views.”
Both the psychologists stressed that especially in Tel Aviv “it’s important to strengthen the children’s expressing of empathy for the feelings of every child, and on the other hand, to strengthen (the sentiment) that their family is worthwhile, good, complete, proper and loving.”
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