Israeli President Shimon Peres officially opened the school year with a visit to the Chabad-Lubavitch run elementary school in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ir Ganim.

Accompanied by Mayor Nir Barkat, the president greeted first-graders at the municipal religious school at a ceremony outside, where the children gathered together under prayer shawls.

“I bless you and all the children of Israel, that you should conduct yourselves according to the Ten Commandments,” offered Peres. “Know that all first graders are able to be upstanding and incredibly wise adults. Pay close attention: Whoever does not learn will not advance. There is so much Torah and knowledge in the world.

“You are all smarter than you think, and if you continue learning, you will succeed in life,” continued the president. “My advice to you is to listen well to the Torah and to your teachers … and my wish for you is that you will go forth with a good spirit and strong faith.”

The president chose the school as an example of an institution that has successfully integrated a wide variety of students, many of them immigrants and children of immigrants.