Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

17 Teves 5765 - December 29, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Accident Insurance Not Provided for Chareidi Students

By Eliezer Rauchberger

Existing law does not require local authorities to insure students enrolled at private schools such as Chinuch Atzmai and talmudei Torah, according to information that came to light during a tempestuous meeting of the Knesset State Control Committee on Monday.

Committee Chairman MK Amnon Cohen (Shas) demanded that the Education Ministry initiate an amendment to the law within three months to ensure that every student in Israel is entitled to personal accident insurance.

MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni lodged harsh criticism over the present discrimination against the chareidi education system, where a student who sustains an injury in an accident is not eligible for compensation. "Why is it that if a child from Chinuch Atzmai and Maayan Hachinuch HaTorani is injured there is nobody to take care of him, while in the Budget Foundation Law children in Chinuch Atzmai and Maayan Hachinuch HaTorani are defined the same as other yaldei Yisroel?" he asked.

Rabbi Gafni also noted that in the budget negotiations UTJ asked to restore the funding the Finance Ministry Accountant- General took away from the Education Ministry for insuring students in the chareidi education system, "and for this we are attacked as blackmailers. Why? Why is there no talk about the grave discrimination against the chareidi education system compared to the other education systems?"

During the committee meeting it was reported that half of all children in Israel are injured every year in accidents that transpire on the way to school, at school, at home and during leisure time. One hundred-and-eighty thousand children are taken to emergency rooms, 20,000 are hospitalized and 200 are killed as a result of injury.

According to the law, the local authorities must insure students enrolled within their jurisdiction, but the Local Authority Comptroller investigated and found that the law does not require them to insure children studying in independent educational networks, notably the chareidi networks. It was also found that insurance policies were not submitted for the approval of the insurance commissioner, in violation of the Insurance Transactions Law. The inspection also revealed that Klal Insurance, which won the tender to provide insurance, charged several local authorities premiums above the predetermined maximum amount.

Some local authorities, such as Jerusalem and Tiberius, insure all students in their jurisdictions even though the law does not require insurance for students enrolled in independent networks.

Company representatives from Klal Insurance claimed at the committee meeting that certain local counsels were required to pay larger premiums because they lacked uninterrupted insurance payments.

The Education Minister Director-General said as part of changes in the general law affecting the education system following the Dovrat Report the law in this area would be amended as well.


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