The ongoing busing crisis at Chinuch Atzmai and the concerted
efforts to ensure busing remains available for thousands of
girls and boys were the focus of an emergency meeting for the
principals of hundreds of Chinuch Atzmai schools around the
country at the Simchat Olam Events Hall in Bnei Brak.
The emergency meeting began with a recitation of Tehillim
led by Rav Tzvi Fuchs, director of Talmud Torah Toras
Emes in Haifa.
The meeting was led by Rabbi Shlomo Karelenstein, chairman of
the Union of Agudas Yisroel Teachers, who opened the speeches
by outlining the goals of the meeting.
Rabbi Avrohom Yosef Lazerson, one of the heads of Chinuch
Atzmai, said the gathering was convened to discuss a matter
that appears to be merely a funding problem, but which
directly affects the essential infrastructure and undermines
the objective of Chinuch Atzmai since it prevents many
children from arriving at the schools they chose to attend to
learn the ways of Torah and yir'oh.
He related the great apprehension of gedolei Yisroel
shlita in light of the grave ramifications of halting the
busing services and noted their prodigious efforts to set up
a fund to solve the transportation problem, stressing that
the fund does not in any way absolve government officials
from their elementary responsibility to fund the busing
program as the government has done for decades.
Rabbi Meir Luria, another of the heads of Chinuch Atzmai,
opened by saying he does not come bearing good tidings
regarding a solution to the worsening crisis of the busing
system, which is on the verge of total collapse. He surveyed
the course of events in recent years and the extensive
efforts on all fronts, including the active involvement of
UTJ MKs. To our dismay we have reached a dead end, he
lamented, saying there does not appear to be any way to run
the busing program when the school year opens. He noted that
the Diaspora activities underway at the behest of gedolei
Yisroel, and praised the individuals who responded to
calls to take part in this important endeavor, adding that
school principals should also contribute their share to the
Rabbi Tzvi Baumel, also one of the heads of Chinuch Atzmai,
expressed hopes that through the power of combined efforts
under the guidance of gedolei Yisroel, who are
exerting their influence on Jews outside of Eretz Yisroel,
besiyata deShmaya the educational system would succeed
in overcoming all of the difficulties and obstacles in its
path for the sake of future generations.
Rabbi Mordechai Karelitz reported on his meetings and
discussions on how to pay off the accrued debts and his
activities among men of means in the US.
MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni told Yated Ne'eman although no
solution has been found he recently spoke with the Education
Ministry Director, the Justice Minister, the Prime Minister's
Assistant and other officials to seek funding as soon as