Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

23 Tammuz 5763 - July 23, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Ministry of Education Cancels General Cuts While Leaving Yeshiva Cuts Intact
by Betzalel Kahn and Eliezer Rauchberger

The Education Ministry canceled the latest cut planned for government schools but left the 25 percent cuts in the yeshiva budget intact, according to figures presented in an emergency meeting held by the Union of Yeshiva Managers.

During the budget-cut proceedings only 1.35 percent reductions in the government education system were announced, but following a battle by the Teachers Union the Education Ministry reversed the decision, foregoing the cut. Only the yeshiva cuts remained untouched.

The Union of Yeshiva Managers says past Education Ministry cuts were made across the board, including Torah institutions, while now for the first time the Ministry has canceled the general cuts and decided to reduce the yeshiva budget alone.

At the meeting, a report prepared by an accountant was presented indicating inequality between the yeshivas and other sectors. The report also shows that cumulative cuts over the previous three years come to another 25 percent.

The yeshiva managers present at the meeting expressed grave concerns that Education Ministry heads are showing increasing estrangement from the Torah world, making cuts out of all proportion at a time when the yeshiva budget has also been cut by other ministries. The managers noted yeshiva expenses are very high since yeshiva studies span twice the number of study hours at government schools.

MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni said the present Likud government is guilty of discrimination. "We are continuing to hold constant meetings with Education Ministry heads to reduce the harsh blow to the yeshiva world. This deep cut has no justification any more than at other institutions."

At a meeting of the Knesset Religious Lobby, Deputy Education Minister MK Uri Ariel (HaIchud HaLeumi) detailed efforts made to prevent a total collapse of Torah-based educational institutions including Bais Yaakov, but he acknowledged the cuts in the chareidi sector are far greater than the cuts in the general population.

On the issue of overlapping payments he said efforts are being made to formulate criteria, but it remains unclear how the payments will be transferred and the amount of the reductions in yeshiva allocations. He also said efforts are being made to decrease the cut in talmud Torah budgets, which exceeds the level of cuts for government schools.


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