High Court judges lodged harsh criticism against the
Education Ministry and the Knesset following the Yeshiva
Ketanoh Law, which will allow the yeshivos ketanos to
continue to receive funding without their teaching the Core
Curriculum requirements. The judges also said that since the
law was passed by the Knesset they wouldn't issue operative
court orders against budgeting institutions that do not meet
the Core Curriculum requirements. In response MK Rabbi Moshe
Gafni aimed cutting remarks at the High Court, "which has
shown its true face regarding the educational establishment
One week ago the Knesset, in a 39-6 vote, passed a law
allowing the yeshivos ketanos to receive 60 percent of
the standard amount of per-student funding. The law is slated
to go into effect at the beginning of the coming school year
(5769), but a paragraph containing an "interim directive" was
inserted by chareidi MKs — due to concerns the High
Court would try to waylay the law — stated that the
yeshivas would be eligible for funding immediately, even
though the law only takes effect in another few months.
At a hearing held in response to a petition by the Teachers
Association and the Center for Jewish Pluralism (the Israeli
arm of the American Reform movement) the judges condemned the
law legislated in opposition to the High Court's stance, made
clear at previous stages of the petition. Following the
court's decision, the Teachers Association said it is now
considering the possibility of filing a petition against the
exemption given to the yeshivas.
The judges had previously (before passage of the law)
announced that they would issue operative court orders
against funding institutions that do not meet the Core
Curriculum requirements, but due to the new law they will
refrain from doing so. The Court also determined the
Education Ministry would have to cover the court costs.
Without the "interim directive" paragraph, according to the
High Court decision, the Education Ministry would have had to
halt funding the yeshivos ketanos immediately.
Commenting on the court's actions MK Rabbi Gafni said, "The
High Court is not saying not to provide funding for those who
don't teach Judaism at all, at a time when the current
education system is turning out ignoramuses who don't know
their right from their left, and know nothing about Judaism
or the wisdom-beyond-description contained in the Written
Torah and the Oral Torah. The young Jewish [student] educated
in Israel's secular education system is deprived of all this.
Yet the High Court has nothing to say about that. On the
contrary. They object only to the holy yeshivas, where they
study what the great thinkers of the generations in the
Jewish people have been involved in from Mt. Sinai to the
present. It stems from unbridled jealousy."