The special and festive event, joining graduates, educational staff, families and guests, matched the unique spirit of the school
The Society for Advancement of Education’s Reut High School celebrated its 20th anniversary in a festive and special event, one that matched the unique spirit of the school. Graduates, families, students, educational staff and members of the SAE gathered at the Jerusalem school to mark the special occasion.
A pluralistic community school, Reut was established in 1999 by pedagogic visionary Dr. Aryeh Geiger z”l under the banner of Jewish learning, social action and mutual respect. Students and teachers come from all streams of Judaism and respect and have an appreciation of the history and traditions of the different Jewish streams. Reut opened a world of possibilities for Israel’s youngest citizens and for a new breed of educators committed to reducing social and educational polarization. Reut is actively involved in supporting the community.
Erez Amber, the school’s principal, said that the school’s slogan “Different Opinions, One People” is not just a slogan, but reflects what happens at the school every day. “Here we do not ask anyone to define themselves. The various opinions encourage development, and the connections in Israeli society take place every day.”
Rabbi Michael Melchior, founder of the Meitarim education network, a former Member of Knesset, and an advocate and supporter of Reut since its inception, recalled how the idea of establishing a high school in Jerusalem that would be open to religious, secular, and traditional Jewish students was ground-breaking. “Reut is not just a school”, he said, but a pluralistic idea that unites and strengthens Israel.”
Rabbi Melchior paid tribute to the late Dr.Aryeh Geiger, Reut’s founding father and first principal, to Eitan Moran, the executive director of the SAE, that stepped in to assume responsibility for Reut a decade ago at a time of crisis, and current principal Erez Amber, who is continuing the path forward.
Member of the Knesset Yoaz Hendel said that “Reut, in my opinion, is breaking the monopoly on Judaism and saying that it belongs to everyone, which is a symbol of what is beautiful in Israeli society.”
Eitan Moran spoke about his first meeting with Dr. Geiger and about how the school has progressed from the time it opened until today. Reut is special, he said, since it encourages its students to follow their own path. "All it takes is to give a child the freedom to believe in whatever s/he chooses – and Reut School provides that opportunity each and every day."
The ceremony, which was MCed by Avraham Laufer and Ilanit Baruchi, the school’s vice principals, also included the school band, a student singing group and Neta Ohana – a teacher who sang beautifully as well as representatives of the parents and of Reut graduates.