More than a hundred kindergarten groups are working according to Waldorf ideas and principles. The number of children in groups varies. The groups are spread all over the country. Many are in cities, but one can find quite a number also in rural surroundings. Most groups speak Hebrew, a few speak Arabic, and some groups have both languages. The situations of the kindergartens are quite diverse: many kindergartens are private, some are partly recognized and supported by the government, and there are some with full government recognition.
There are more than twenty primary and upper schools in different stages of development. Some of the more established have two parallel classes and six have an upper school. Quite a number of the schools have the full recognition of the state (Ministry of Education).
Collaboration: There are at least two country conferences each year.
Short History. The first Waldorf Kindergarten group started to work in 1985 and many others followed immediately in various locations. The first Waldorf School opened a first grade in 1989. The first Upper School began in 1997. The growth of the Waldorf movement has been rather quick.
Birth to Three. There are many groups with good quality that are working with young children. Since nearly all of them are privately run, there is no real registration and a lot of fluctuation. The birth to three training is included in the early childhood training (birth to seven), but there is still much to do, such as offering professional courses, giving more weight to this age-group in the trainings, and creating the possibility for continuing study.
Training. There are several training courses for Waldorf education throughout the country. All of them are part-time. There is only one training course that offers a Waldorf training exclusively for early childhood.
Burning Issues. There is an ongoing “dialogue” with the Ministry of Education; it is not possible to know where it will lead, and there is still much work to do in deepening the trainings and widening the possibilities for continuation courses.
Stefanie Allon is the founder of the first Waldorf kindergarten in Israel and internationally active trainer. She is a member of the IASWECE Council.