Friday, June 4, 2010

Fashion Friday: Uniforms Edition

They’re baaaack!

Or, rather, they WILL be back, come September 1st.

I’m talking, of course, about school uniforms.

You see, back in the early days of the State, virtually every Israeli school had a uniform.

But during the mid to late 1980’s, most schools began to phase them out, and by the 1990’s, school uniforms had become a thing of the past (except in the Bais Yaakov school system, where they never really disappeared).

However, over the past 5-10 years, uniforms have started to enjoy a bit of a mini-revival – as a number of mainly secular high schools across the country voluntarily adopted some sort of uniform (usually, just matching t-shirts).

And, then, several months ago, the Education Minister decided to take this grassroots initiative to the next level and decreed that uniforms would be mandatory for the 5771 (2010-2011) school year.

According to the official directive, each individual school has considerable leeway as to the precise nature of the uniform (i.e. tilboshet achidah – תלבושת אחידה - for the Hebraically-oriented among you), and here’s where it gets interesting.

Because while some schools immediately got to work and made all the necessary arrangements, others are only now beginning to weigh the implications and ramifications of the new edict.

How are your children’s schools handling this issue? What are your feelings about school uniforms?

!שבת שלום ומבורך


  1. Wow - I hadn't heard about this - thanks for the heads up! I personally think uniforms are a good thing. But then again, maybe that's because I never had them growing up...

    Shavua tov!

  2. mowbimI didn't know tere used to be uniforms in Israel. I quite like the idea too but I only wore one for one year, in the UK.

  3. We've had the school shirts already for years and years in our mamlachti dati elementary school - at least 7 or 8 if not longer (before my kids were in school). They even were restricted in colour choices to dark blue, burgendy and white (for friday & rosh hodesh) but they expanded to allow light blue, medium blue, orange and green 2 years ago after a big student council push.

    But I think it was already 5 years ago that they made it a city wide rule here including the high schools. Except for hinukh atzma'i, the uniform is simply the school shirt.

    I'm all for the uniform shirts - firstly, easier hand me downs as they never go out of style. Plus no arguments about what to wear, etc. (My boys are also fine with the long shorts rule and otherwise don't much care about what they wear anyway).


  4. Somehow I volunteered (was drafted) to be on the vaad and have been working on this for a few months already..


  5. Toby - I hope your kids' schools give you enough warning before the start of the school year...

    Ilana-Davita - I had a uniform during the two years we lived here when I was in elementary school, and AFAIR, I didn't really mind.

    Shoshana - That's interesting that uniforms are already the rule in your town. From what I understand, the uniform here is also just going to be the top.

    RCT - Has your vaad made any decisions yet? Does the new rule also apply to YAT?

  6. From what I understand from Misrad Hachinuch the law for now only applies for students in grades 1-6. Their requirements are very vague and we are working on some nicer quality shirts, instead of any t-shirt with a printed school logo. I have learned a lot about fabrics/material and color swatches as well as how the Chinese clothing factories work. Fun times....

  7. sorry forgot to sign the last comment


  8. I've had a link to your blog on my blog for about a year...I usually enjoy your posts....I was a yeshiva bocher in my late teens, then an IDF soldier, now a G?d centred Jew who works to liberate HaShem from the exploitation of religion ...

    here's my latest post

  9. RCT - "how the Chinese clothing factories work"
    LOL! :-)

    Manofestoyomi - Welcome to the blog, and thanks for the link!

  10. My elementary-aged kids always had uniforms, and my ulpanistit does too, as of two years ago. They are all only t-shirts, pants/skirts must be blue. It's hard for teen girls to find appropriate shirts.

    My advice--unless you live in Jerusalem (and maybe even if you do) don't buy sweatshirts, only thin long-sleeved shirts for winter. Classrooms are overheated, and you can always put a warm undershirt underneath. The jackets/sweatshirts just get lost and most schools only care about the shirt.

  11. Mother in Israel - Thanks for the excellent advice!

    But I'm not sure I understood what you meant by, "It's hard for teen girls to find appropriate shirts."
    How can your daughter's ulpanah mandate uniform shirts without first ensuring that appropriate ones are available?

  12. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. Should have said that it used to be hard to find appropriate shirts.

  13. MiI - Ah! Now I get it. Thanks for the clarification.

  14. the advantage of allowing t-shirts with logos is that you know your kids. If they spill everything and anything and totally ruin clothes, you can get them shirts for 5-7 shekels a piece. (look around, b/c not all 5 shekel shirts are created equal - some will last 3 washes, while others will last 20 or more.)

    If they're really careful with their clothes, you can shop around and find higher quality ones for 15-20. In either case, they're going to be cheaper than almost anything else.

  15. LeahGG - 15-20 NIS for good-quality shirts? That IS a great price!


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