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A Lesson in Compassion






First Seminar

Second Seminar


First Classes

Talks by religious leaders about

Press Releases:

27 March 2013

21 October 2012

1 April 2012

Media Coverage:

Quaker Concern for Animals,
15 August 2013

Jerusalem Post,
10 May 2013

Reshet TV,
19 April 2013

Panet,15 April 2013

Panet, 6 April 2013

Panet, 21 Oct 2012

Karmel Portal, 22 October 2012

Kol Israel Radio interview, 26 May 2012

Kol Israel interview partial transcript, 26 May 2012

Ma'ariv, 30 March 2012






Teaching respect and responsibility for all living beings.  Photo credit: Ma'ariv Shutterstock


By Omri Maniv


30 March 2012

Translated from Hebrew


Next school year, a syllabus will be introduced in elementary schools aimed at encouraging a humane attitude to animals. The objective: to reduce the steep increase in cases of mistreatment


Against the background of the increased number of cases of mistreatment of animals in Israel, a syllabus will be introduced in elementary schools in Israel in the coming school year aimed at encouraging a humane attitude towards dogs and cats.


During 2011, the Ministry of Agriculture received an average of 20 complaints a day concerning mistreatment of animals a steep increase over previous years. Many other cases of abuse were reported to the police and to animal welfare associations. Although the government has enacted legislation for dealing severely with abusers, these figures continue to rise.


The new syllabus aims to try and improve the situation by teaching children a different approach to four-legged creatures. The syllabus, "Expanding the Crcle of Compassion," will try, among other things, to instill empathy for dogs, cats and other animals among the students by explaining about their inner and emotional world. It will also teach respect and responsibility towards all living beings. The lessons have been planned to be hands-on and to enable the students to fully understand concepts and values such as compassion and tolerance, in creative ways, and through critical thinking.


"There have been a number of occasions when students have told me about hurting animals, thinking that this is a good story that I would be pleased to hear," says Shai, a teacher in Jerusalem. "They don't understand at all that this is wrong. Education on the subject will enable them to understand the significance of harming a living creature, from a young age."


Ray Sikora, who has developed the program, explains: "The students will be given a background with regard to the implications of their actions and who is affected by them. In many societies, they say they care about the environment, about animals, but the actions they take are not necessarily in line with their words." According to her, "The aim is to increase the circle of compassion of the students, through an understanding of animals."


The syllabus will be introduced in schools in the next school year in the Arab sector. The Hakol Chai Association, which works to promote a humane approach to animals, will hold seminars for the teachers, who will then teach the lesson plans to fourth-grade students. On Sunday, the association will be holding an educational seminar on the subject, to be attended by some 70 school principals and teachers.