English is by far the most important foreign language in Israel and used extensively in the media, for academic publications, and as a gatekeeper to higher education. Furthermore, English is the language of the largest Jewish diaspora and immigration from English-speaking countries has provided a considerable supply of native English-speaking teachers. The English teaching sector in Israel is a tightly knit, well-informed professional group, reputed for collaboration both nationally and locally. English teachers have an active teachers' organization, the English Teachers Association of Israel, with a membership of 1,200 teachers and dynamic Internet site. The fact that only locally produced textbooks are approved for classroom use has created a vigorous, competitive textbook-publishing market that produces a wide selection of attractive and pedagogically sound books for all levels. Some facets of this history are unique to the local context, portraying the story of multilingual immigrants who initially strove for Hebrew hegemony, gradually realizing the national and personal assets of multilingual resources.