Cultural pluralism and education: The Israeli case

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3 Scopus citations


Israeli society is often viewed as a Western democracy committed to values characteristic of this type of political system. Cultural pluralism is one of these values. The purpose of this paper is to examine the place of this value in the context of Israeli society, and in particular in its educational system. The paper raises serious doubts about the commitment of Israeli society to the value of cultural pluralism, especially in the educational domain. It is argued that the guiding ideology of the Israeli educational system is that of "nation building," which aspires to cultivate a shared system of national values and common culture and inculcate them in its school children, thus leaving little room for the value of cultural pluralism. Furthermore, it is argued that the proposed integrative national and cultural agenda leaves no room for Israeli Palestinians, and favours the culture and traditions of Jews of European and American origin and is biased against the cultures and traditions of Jews of Asian and African origin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-365
Number of pages17
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Ashkenazi Jews
  • Oriental Jews
  • Palestinians
  • communitarianism
  • democracy
  • education
  • liberalism
  • pluralism
  • social justice
  • solidarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Social Sciences
  • Law


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