Parents look at options as costs, protests increase

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Protests at universities and rising costs of education in South Africa are propelling Jewish parents to reconsider their education options - and, in most cases, Israel is proving to be the ideal option - if SA parents can let go. It is certainly in the best choice for their teens. The co-author, Raisel Druxman, is the public relations manager for IMP International who are the marketing agents for the Na’ale Elite Academy which offers free high school in Israel in English.
by RAIZEL DRUXMAN & ANT KATZ | Nov 15, 2016

Rising costs of higher education in South Africa, and recent violent protests on many of the mainstream universities are a new cause for concern for Jewish parents. Not wanting to send their teens to a volatile campus, Jewish parents are considering other options for their teens.

These issues stem from the education gap that begins in primary school. The public school system’s subpar education has left South Africa with a 52 percent matriculation rate, which includes private schools.

Cohen Morgan lowresThis year has accentuated the deep economic gap and available opportunities between the poor and the middle class in South Africa, and the Jewish community is not immune to the chaos surrounding the education system.

RIGHT: SA Na’ale graduate Morgan Cohen says Na’ale was a great opportunity. “There is a lot of freedom here but you have to follow the rules as well,” she says

Although extremely costly, Jewish families must send their kids to private school in order to ensure they receive a decent education. Average cost per year for each child is R120,000, which means that families are spending the bulk of their salary on education and medical aid. If parents want to send their kids to a university abroad, they might need to come up with a new plan for high school.

There is a new trend for teens to study abroad for the last few years of high school and new programs opening up every year that offer low-cost or even free options for parents and their teens. Na’ale Elite Academy is a popular option for Jewish families - run in conjunction with the Jewish Agency.

Does the thought sound daunting?

It may sound a bit daunting to send teens to study abroad, but this challenge is a powerful opportunity for personal development and prompts incredible self-growth and transformation. 

Morgan Cohen, a 2016 Na’ale graduate from South Africa understands the opportunity she has. “You must be able to accept rules,” Cohen said. “There is a lot of freedom here but you have to follow the rules as well. The staff at Na’ale really care about us so any rules are for our own good.”

Well-respected US educator, Dr Jessie Voights, weighed in on the benefits of high school students studying abroad. He found that study abroad “results in a huge return on investment, from intellectual and emotional development to ultimate career prospects.”


Naale students show their Israel pride

Na'ale students show off their Israeli pride

Students on a tour to the Kotel. Israeli history comprises a large part of the regular field trips undertaken by the high-schoolers

Na’ale’s program also includes learning Hebrew language, music, sports and special trips to learn more about the history of Israel and explore the country.

Users will find more on Na'ale elite Academy, with links to how to see more and contact them, on JR Online here: FIVE SA YOUTHS SETTLE IN THEIR ISRAELI SCHOOLS



  1. 2 Choni 15 Nov
    Have I not been promoting this idea for the last seven years? Come on Rabbis, do the right thing for Jewish youth.
  2. 1 Choni 15 Nov
    I believe ironic that the main obstacle to Aliyah amongst religious Jewish are the Rabbis.


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