A protracted, uncompromising battle by MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni
ended in success when the local authorities issued a notice
saying chareidi schools would receive special equipment
budgets following the war period in the North as part of the
Israeli government's Putting the Heart in the North
Immediately after the war the Education Minister and the
Director-General of the Education Ministry announced that
schools in the North would receive science equipment funding
under the Putting the Heart in the North program yet,
surprisingly, Chinuch Atzmai schools were not included in the
program. Calling the decision shameful, Rabbi Gafni protested
the policy before the Education Committee, which held a
meeting to discuss the issue. "Were children in chareidi
schools not under missile attacks? Is their blood and their
skin different?" he demanded. Nevertheless the decision
remained in force.
Rabbi Gafni did not give up, meeting with Education Ministry
Director-General Shmuel Abuhav and with Dr. Chaya Vik.
Eventually the two agreed that Chinuch Atzmai schools should
also be included in the program and that the equipment budget
would be transferred immediately. Despite attempts by legal
figures to put up various obstacles, the funding was
transferred through the local authorities.
Rabbi Gafni was the one who demanded that the funding be
transferred through the local authorities rather through
other channels. Last week mayors of northern cities with
Chinuch Atzmai schools received letters confirming that they
had received equipment funding to be distributed according to
the list of schools in the city. Principals at chareidi
schools in the North thanked Rabbi Gafni for the persistent
struggle he waged until the funding was received.