Tradition versus tradition: Mizrahi pupils in National Religious schools in Israel, 1948–1990

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Absorbing the immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa in Israel was one of the Israeli education system’s important tasks. This article deals with the way the National Religious schools treated these new immigrants and their descendants, known as Oriental Jews, Mizrahi Jews, or “Mizrahim.” The differences between Mizrahi Jews and Ashkenazi Jews (those of European ancestry) were related to differences in religious traditions, academic level, and religious observance. Educators imposed the Ashkenazi tradition on Mizrahi pupils. This created social tension and alienated Mizrahi pupils from the system. On the other side, Ashkenazi pupils who had difficulties with the heterogeneous educational environment left the public system and enrolled in more religious schools, which had a much smaller percentage of Mizrahi pupils. This segregation was even more common at the high school level. Ashkenazim attended yeshiva high schools, while Mizrahi pupils went to regular high schools. Small changes were evident by the 1990s. By that time, more Mizrahi pupils were attending the elite yeshivot, and the public system adopted a more multicultural attitude and included the Mizrahi tradition as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-155
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Modern Jewish Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Tradition versus tradition: Mizrahi pupils in National Religious schools in Israel, 1948–1990'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this