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Bill Clinton: Israeli Education Program Inspired Hillary, Spread Across America

In his speech at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, former president Bill Clinton told the story of how his wife, presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, introduced an Israeli-developed educational program in Arkansas, which later spread nationwide. “Hillary told me about a preschool program developed in Israel called HIPPY, Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters,” Bill Clinton recounted. “The idea was to teach low-income parents, even those that couldn’t read, to be their children’s first teachers. Now, 20 years of research has shown how well this program works to improve readiness for school and academic achievement.”

HIPPY was founded by Israeli professor Aviva Lombard in 1969 in order to help North African and Middle Eastern Jews assimilate into Israeli society. HIPPY works to nurture and advance parents’ confidence in teaching their children to “strengthen the child’s cognitive and early literacy skills, social/emotional and physical development,” in order to prepare children for school, especially those from low-income families.

In related convention news, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that Hillary Clinton personally asked her adviser, former Under-Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, to ensure that the Democratic Party’s platform remained pro-Israel. “I had very direct instructions from Secretary Clinton that there would be clarity about this issue and there would be no space,” Sherman said, asserting that “continuing to secure our bond with Israel” was important to the United States’ position in the region and in fighting ISIS.

[Photo: PBS NewsHour / YouTube]