(JNS.org) Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman signed a petition against child poverty in Israel while she was on a visit to the Jewish state.
The petition, which was started by teenagers from the HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed (translated from Hebrew as "working and studying youth") movement, has received more than 12,000 other signatures. It calls for Israeli children of low economic means to receive three meals a day in school, for the cancellation of school tuition for families in need, to allow children to borrow textbooks at no cost, and for the Israeli government to fund all medical medications and dental procedures for children until the age of 19. These demands’ total cost is projected to be NIS 9 billion (about $2.25 billion).
"When I heard about the 'Million Kids' petition, I immediately realized that I should support this important initiative to end poverty among children," Portman said.
"We are demanding that the politicians end the poverty now. We are very close to the elections, and the public discourse has reached a very low level. It is dealing mainly with who will be here, not with what will be here. We are seeing empty slogans and campaigns, but they are not talking about the civilians and the public,” added Hila Hoffman, a 12th grader from the Carmel Zevulun High School in Kiryat Tivon, one of the petition's leaders, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.