Choosing a Gan, or preschool, for a child in Israel isn’t easy. From the location to price to types of food kids will be served there’s so many things parents must consider before making a decision.
It took us a while but we recently found a place we feel suits our daughter’s needs and have been trying it out hoping to warm her up for September.
This particular Gan is pretty eclectic and a couple of times a week a man known as Saba (grandfather) Meir shows up bringing toys or books he’s found around town and sometimes gives the kids some treats. I’d seen him come in a couple of times and on one occasion noticed one of the items a three-year-old pulled out of Saba Meir’s bag was a toy hand gun.
The boy picked it up and quickly ushered it over to the woman in charge of the Gan.
“What are the rules?” she asked him.
“No weapons in the gan,” said the boy.
“Very good,” she said taking the gun. She then turned to me and added, “Parents can bring home to their children whatever they want but here in the gan we don’t allow anything like this. It just sends the wrong message and is contrary to everything we are trying to accomplish.”
I marveled at the moment and how it juxtaposed with Palestinian summer camps, especially in Gaza, which push armed conflict with Israel as part of their education -even to toddlers.
For the older kids ages 12 to 16 learning how to shoot guns, kidnap Israelis, and guerrilla tactics are apparently a great way for the kids to kick off some steam. This video is in Hebrew and Arabic but you don’t have to understand a word to realize what’s going on…
Oh yes, and….