The Parents' Committee of Bais Yaakov Ibn Denan in
Jerusalem's Har Nof neighborhood decided to start a strike
following the failure of the school's heating system, forcing
the students to sit in unheated classrooms since the
beginning of winter.
The heating problem began last year. Following a one-day
strike last year the Jerusalem Municipality repaired the
heating system, but at the end of winter it stopped working
At the beginning of this winter the principal and the
Parents' Committee again asked the Jerusalem Municipality to
fix the heating system. But the municipality, which has been
legally hamstrung by its attorney general, is prevented from
helping with this serious problem, leaving the girls to sit
in class shivering or bundled up in jackets.
When the Parents' Committee realized the problem was not
nearing a solution, after consulting with neighborhood
rabbonim, a decision was reached to strike. The Parents'
Committee says the strike will continue until the heating
system is fixed.
"The Municipality is aware of the problems at various
institutions," said a Municipality spokesman, "and is doing
all in its power to bring a permanent solution that will
allow it to fund the chareidi educational institutions
equitably. Unfortunately, in this matter the Municipality is
between a rock and a hard place, for after budgeting hundreds
of millions of shekels to carry out the necessary
[maintenance and repair] work at the institutions, the
Justice Ministry decided that the local authorities are
prohibited from funding chareidi education.
"Only after concerted efforts by Municipality officials and
marathon meetings with the Justice Ministry and the Education
Ministry, did the Justice Ministry again permit the
Municipality to recognize chareidi institutions as municipal
institutions. Upon receiving the long-awaited authorization,
the Municipality hurried to start renewing the procedures
needed to carry out the work, but after the work was already
underway, the legal advisor suddenly issued a directive to
bring the matter for renewed authorization, saying it is
required according to the Justice Ministry's new
"The Municipality is required to operate in accordance with
the legal directives. Therefore it is working vigorously to
complete the process imposed on it right away in order to
allow it to complete the needed [repair] work at the
educational institutions within the coming days."