Deep concern over the Education Ministry's demand to cut back
6,000 teaching hours per week in the coming school
year— which would mean firing hundreds of Chinuch
Atzmai teachers— was voiced during an emergency meeting
in the Agudas Yisroel Teachers' Union Building with the heads
of Chinuch Atzmai and the Teachers' Union Executive Committee
members in attendance. During the meeting the means of action
and the tools needed to prevent the drastic cut at any price
were raised and discussed.
The tense meeting was run by the chairman of the Agudas
Yisroel Teachers' Union, Rabbi Shlomo Karelenstein, who spoke
of the intolerable blow to teachers and the decision by the
teachers' union to take every possible step to prevent the
dismissals from becoming final.
At the beginning of the meeting the participants heard
Chinuch Atzmai heads Rabbi Avrohom Yosef Lazerson, Rabbi Meir
Luria and Rabbi Tzvi Baumel speak at length about the pain
following the Education Ministry's unilateral directive to
slash teaching hours and the consequences for the entire
system. They described the exhausting meetings currently
being held to seek ways to cope with the Education Ministry's
demand as well as endeavors to reverse it.
Following their remarks the Chinuch Atzmai heads responded to
questions posed by the members of the Teachers' Union
Executive Committee, expressing the dire need for a public
battle to make clear the Teachers' Union's staunch opposition
to any further harm to the educational system, which could
pose a serious threat to Torah life and kollelim in
At the end of the protracted meeting a decision was made to
take a series of urgent, immediate steps to put a stop to the
letters of dismissal, which according to law must be sent by
the beginning of next week. The suggestions raised are now
being presented to gedolei Yisroel.