Train Up Your Children
| by David & Orit Shishkoff |

Mekor Hatikva Day School Students and Teachers
[David and Orit are the parents of 4 young boys. Orit is the director of the children's program of Ahavat Yeshua Congregation, and as a certified teacher also volunteers in an advisory role at Mekor HaTikva Day School.]

Over the last 2 decades the number of Messianic believers and congregations in Israel has grown phenomenally. There are now dozens of congregations all over the country. These congregations are in the midst of a gradual process of indigenization, as a new blend of culture and worship develops. Part of this indigenization is the exciting and challenging process of raising our children as Hebrew speaking Israelis and as believers in Yeshua.

HOME

As is the case everywhere, the family and the home are the first and most important places to nourish children. It is there that we must create an environment and a way of being that will remain part of the children no matter where they go. In Israel, we are acutely aware of the permissive parenting culture in most of the society around us. The home must foster a stable environment of love, boundaries, affirmation and stability because the surrounding culture does not.

SCHOOLING

Three viable directions exist for schooling our children:
1) Home Schooling:
This is a legal option in Israel today. A small but growing number of believing families are embarking on this adventure. There is no Hebrew Messianic home schooling curriculum yet. So families typically teach their children with English home schooling materials, or use Hebrew tools such as those used in Israeli public schools. This requires patience, time and initiative, as well as a parent who is not working a job outside the home.

Orit with Congregation's children at Purim
2) Messianic Day Schools:
There are two Messianic Hebrew language day schools in Israel. Up until now they have had to operate under the umbrella of foreign Christian organizations, but we are hopeful that their growth will help them become recognized as viable Israeli schools by the Ministry of Education. The larger of these day schools is Mekor HaTikva here in Jerusalem. This school has been operating for 17 years now, and has begun to develop great momentum, with the student body swelling to 90 children from kindergarten through 7th grade. The school operates entirely in Hebrew, using Israeli public school text books. The classes are small and attention is given to each child.
[With your help, Revive Israel has supported Mekor HaTikva over the last few years. For contact or direct support of this school: www.mekorhatikva.org & colin@mekorhatikva.org]

3) Mainstream Public Schools: Most believing families send their children to public schools. Many families do not have much choice, with both parents working, and no Messianic day schools in their community. There is no question that children in public schools are on the frontlines of cultural interaction, for better or for worse. Believers in the schools interact all the time with the society, and many have given a strong witness for their faith. Others have had a much harder time living out the faith and morals their parents sought to instill in them. Especially for children in public schools, it is critical that congregational forums provide children with fellowship and identity. This can take place in children's Bible lessons, fellowship among families, and special activities geared for children such as summer/holiday children's camps. While much has been pioneered in this area, it remains a critical field in need of more strengthening and creativity.

Please pray for believing Israeli parents and children at home and school.

By David Shishkoff



Please continue to pray for Congregation Ahavat Yeshua, the discipleship training center, regular evangelism ministry, preaching ministry throughout Israel and abroad, our fund for needy believers in Israel, the Messianic Jewish Alliance of Israel, outreach center in Jerusalem, etc.

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Also in this issue of the newsletter:

Daniel Juster: Judeo-Christian Values
Martin Shoub: From Shia to Yeshua
Eitan Shishkoff: Fire on the Mountain
Youval Yanay: Sensation in Scandinavia