Zalman Shazar, Israel’s first Education Minister (and third President)
Zalman Shazar, Israel’s first Education Minister (and third President)
Center for Israel Education

September 18, 1949

The Compulsory Education Law which had been passed on September 12th, enters into law.  The law required that all children between the ages of 5 and 15 were required to attend a recognized educational institution. The law also established that all children of compulsory age would be “entitled to free elementary education at an official educational institution.”

Zalman Shazar, Israel’s first Education Minister (and third President)
Zalman Shazar, Israel’s first Education Minister (and third President)

While providing for free education at a recognized school, the law gave parents the right to choose an institution that belonged to a recognized trend.  The law stated that the Minister of Education may require local education authorities to open schools of certain trends if there was sufficient needs.

As a result of allowing for school’s of recognized trends, Israel now has separate public school systems for Arabs and druze as well as Religious Jews.

In 2009, the Law was amended extending the age of compulsory education through grade 12.

For the original 1949 Law, click here