Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

16 Iyar 5765 - May 25, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Chareidi Seminary Teachers Ruled Eligible for Hour Grants and Reimbursements

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

The director-general of the Education Ministry agreed to a demand by Betzedek in a High Court pre-petition against legislation passed in 5764 that entitles only teachers who are members of the Teachers' Union or the Organization of Upper-Grade Teachers to request grants and fee reimbursements for advanced training courses and study programs. All teachers at chareidi seminaries were discriminated against as a direct result of the legislation since they are not members of those workers' unions.

To encourage teachers to enrich their knowledge the Education Ministry provides substantial pay increases for advanced coursework. Therefore, based on established pay agreements, the Education Ministry rewards teachers with grants for the number of hours spent in advanced courses and reimburses them for the program fees according to conditions set by the director-general of the Education Ministry.

The conditions were altered in preparation for the 5764 school year, making only members of the Teachers' Union or the Organization of Upper-Grade Teachers eligible to submit requests for grants and reimbursements. The explanation given for the change was that only these organizations had signed pay agreements with the Education Ministry and therefore teachers who do not belong to them are not entitled to benefit from the attainments of others.

This decree, which fell on all seminary teachers, delivered a heavy blow to the chareidi public. Seminary principals asked Betzedek to intervene and to take steps to reverse the stark discrimination against the chareidi seminaries by restoring the previous set of conditions.

Betzedek contacted the director-general of the Education Ministry with a request to reinstate the grants for teachers at "recognized, unofficial schools" and even filed a pretrial petition to the State Prosecutor's Office. In this proceeding Betzedek revealed its arguments against the regulation and the discrimination it engenders.

The director-general's office transferred the request to the department in charge of teacher training, which submitted an opinion written by its legal advisor. Betzedek continued to take part in the process, including talks with the legal department. Following further correspondences in which other attempts to justify the discriminatory policy were rebuffed, Betzedek's claim was eventually accepted.

A recommendation to this effect was transferred to the Education Ministry's Budget Department and the director- general is currently approving the amended regulations for the school year 5766 and even added that teachers at official schools must study toward academic degrees whereas chareidi seminary teachers can pursue other approved study programs.

Seminary principals say they are very pleased with the handling of the affair and are running notices in the press explaining how teachers can submit the forms to the Education Ministry.

Betzedek Director Attorney Mordechai Green says he is not content with the removal of the discriminatory policy, but despite the challenges involved he intends to seek retroactive reimbursements for teachers who took courses during 5765.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.