The Education Spirit Movement
Our purpose is for the essence of humanity, the search for meaning and purpose and the aspiration to grow and develop mentally, morally and spiritually, to be a natural part of the cultural and educational environment, and of the hearts, minds and lives of teachers and students in Israel. Thus we wish to contribute to the creation of more conscious, enlightened, responsible and moral human beings and society.
We believe that the key to improving education in Israel is the cultivation of its spirit. The spiritual dimension is essential for the success of various new learning and tuition programs; it has the power to motivate students in their studies and in their relationship to school and to the society; and it can make school culture a fertile ground for individual and societal development.
The spiritual dimension in education is inclusive and inviting: it includes transcendence, wholeness, sensitivity and depth of experience, selfhood and self-knowledge, consciousness, the search for meaning and purpose, authenticity, humanness, affinity to the sublime and the sacred, and so on. The common denominator in all these can be found in a concept of education that aims at and touches on the highest human sphere, humanity’s noblest aspirations, and which questions the purpose of human existence, as an individual, as part of society and in the grand scheme of creation.
The boundaries of this term are very wide, since all ideals are born of spirit. We do hold, however, some clear boundaries: any ideology associated with racism, with political messianism or with compromising human dignity and rights is, to us, a distortion and a perverse exploitation of the essence of spirituality.
The spiritual dimension is an integral part of culture. It exists and functions within a particular culture, and from that culture it selects contents, values and symbols, which contribute to and empower the human element and encourage individuals to find the sublime and the sacred, in themselves and in creation. And while spirituality may draw contents from a particular culture, it is open to other cultures and wishes to be in dialogue with them, especially with their spiritual sphere.
In Jewish schools in Israel, the spiritual dimension is connected to the Jewish-Israeli culture and to the human values of Judaism, including the values of pluralism and respect for the culture and rights of others. Similarly, in a non-Jewish school, the cultivation of spirit is connected to the beliefs, culture and values expressed in the school’s credo.
The movement brings together educators and many others, who see education as the key to the character of our society, in order to cultivate the spirit of education, without being associated with any specific spiritual path or methodology. We invite every woman and man, who identify with the goals of the movement, to join it and contribute from their heart and experience to the cultivation of the spirit of education.
The EducationSpirit Movement website is: http://eduspirit.org.il