Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

25 Tammuz 5764 - July 14, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











New Education Ministry Criteria Threaten to Preclude Opening of New Torah Institutions
by Betzalel Kahn

A new set of criteria prepared by the Ministry of Education would prevent new Torah institutions from opening, warned the Union of Yeshiva Managers in an urgent letter to Cabinet Secretary Yisrael Maimon, demanding he use all of his influence to prevent the Education Minister from signing the criteria.

The new set of criteria was drafted by Education Ministry officials based on instructions issued by Attorney Amnon De- Hartoch, head of support funding at the Justice Ministry. The funding requirements they introduce for Torah institutions are too far-reaching and stringent to be met.

These criteria make it nearly impossible for new institutions to receive Education Ministry funding, by distorting a government decision requiring new institutions to be financially independent for a period of at least two years before submitting a request for support.

Furthermore, according to the new regulations, funding questionnaires would be reviewed only at the beginning of the fiscal year, about four months after the school year opens in Elul. This means that the private funding has to extend well into the third year. Non-government organizations must also prove that the students for whom funding is being requested were enrolled at the institution throughout the period of two years and four months, a requirement without parallel in any other institution in the State of Israel.

Furthermore, existing institutions with over 100 students cannot grow more than 20 percent per year, "a decree reminiscent of dark eras for the Jewish people," commented one of the heads of the Union of Yeshiva Managers.

Another regulation requires 45 hours of study per week, which would mean an avreich kollel would receive NIS 1.80 (equivalent to 40 cents) per hour. The Union of Yeshiva Managers also notes a directive that would complicate updating funding: institutions may only report new enrollments twice per year. Thus funding is not provided for talmidim who transfer from one yeshiva to another or who marry and transfer to a kollel, until the next biannual enrollment report is submitted.

As a result of regulations that have already been introduced, many institutions, such as offshoots of existing kollelim, no longer receive funding. Seminary students over the age of 18 may also become ineligible for funding support. In contrast, the Hesder Yeshivas received a budget increase of 120 percent.

Possible legal steps against these discriminatory regulations are currently being evaluated.


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