Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

13 Sivan 5764 - June 2, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Hoping for Progress in Chinuch Atzmai
By Betzalel Kahn

Based on instructions from maranan verabonon, Degel HaTorah heads are making major efforts to bolster Chinuch Atzmai's rabbinical committee and to rebuild the Chinuch Atzmai executive board and to appoint association members.

A few years ago the rabbinical committee was reestablished and functioning well when, for some reason, a few committee members decided to resign, creating various problems that prevented the committee from operating smoothly. Degel HaTorah's representatives worked constantly, based on maranan verabonon's directives, to find a way to bring peace and harmony to Chinuch Atzmai, acquiescing time after time and taking into consideration the difficulties Agudas Yisroel faces. They accepted almost every proposal the other side asked for.

One proposal was to set up a supreme directorate composed of Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah members, etc. At a certain stage a high-ranking Torah figure at Agudas Yisroel announced that he was authorized to agree to the detailed proposal for the administration of the institutions. This proposal had to receive the approval of gedolei Yisroel, the members of Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah. But while the Degel HaTorah members on Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah signed the agreement, it was not approved by some of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah members from Agudas Yisroel due to internal problems at Agudas Yisroel.

Still Degel HaTorah pursued further attempts at negotiating with Agudas Yisroel members, reaching agreement on most issues. The goal of the meetings and discussions was to set up and strengthen the central bodies at Chinuch Atzmai--a rabbinical committee, a board and an association--making all decisions on a coequal basis for the entire chareidi public.

Degel HaTorah says unfortunately Agudas Yisroel representatives decided not to allow the discussions to progress, though no difficulties had come to light. Agudas Yisroel insisted that until one of their members was appointed to a ranking position at Chinuch Atzmai the negotiations could not go forward. Degel HaTorah did not refuse to make new appointments to Chinuch Atzmai, but demanded first Agudas Yisroel representatives build and strengthen the three central bodies at Chinuch Atzmai, which would be in charge of making the appointments as maranan verabonon instructed.

Degel HaTorah says Agudas Yisroel's obstinacy is hard to fathom and expressed hope Agudas Yisroel would realize the negotiations must be completed as soon as possible and the central bodies rebuilt, since Chinuch Atzmai is among the most important organizations in the life of chareidi Jewry, educating thousands of yaldei Yisroel in a manner faithful to Jewish tradition and the goals of its founders, the greats of the previous generation, zt"l. Completing the negotiations would also contribute to the tough battle chareidi Jewry is waging against dangerous moves by the Education Ministry.

One ranking Degel HaTorah figure said with regret, "We would not have had to discuss this affair were it not for the remarks published in Hamodia, which unfortunately are very far from the truth. It is also disheartening some of the members of United Torah Jewry and other figures from the system did not attend an emergency meeting on one of the issues critical to Chinuch Atzmai."

Later Degel HaTorah was gladdened by published indications Agudas Yisroel would join Degel HaTorah's uncompromising struggle against all attempts by the Education Ministry to intervene in curricular affairs in the chareidi education system.

Nevertheless Degel HaTorah called on Aguda representatives to put a quick stop to internal debates in order to rebuild Chinuch Atzmai's central bodies. According to Degel HaTorah, all of the delays thus far stem from these disputes.

"Aguda wants to bring another of its members into Chinuch Atzmai's ranks," says one Degel HaTorah source. "We do not object to this appointment as long as he is appointed by the new board of Chinuch Atzmai, under the supervision of the rabbinical committee, and as long as this appointment is on an equitable basis, since the posts of chairman and director- general are already held by Aguda."


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