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
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.