New Classrooms for 16,000 Chareidi Students in Beit Shemesh
By L.S. Wasserman
The Chareidi Education Department at the Beit Shemesh Municipality is hard at work laying preparations for the city's 16,000 students enrolled in chareidi schools, compared to 10,000 in the city's government and government-religious schools.
Rabbi Shmuel Greenberg, who serves as deputy mayor and chareidi education commissioner, has been working to ameliorate the severe shortage of classrooms needed to accommodate the growing number of chareidi students.
In a meeting with Mayor Moshe Abutbul, the directors of the Education Department and municipality director Attorney Motti Chota, various school buildings were earmarked for transfer to the chareidi education system. Branco Weiss School on Rechov Hagefen will now be used by a local Shuvu school and four classrooms at government school Safot Vetarbuyot Ha'amim, located in the heart of a chareidi neighborhood on Rechov Nachal Sorek in Ramat Beit Shemesh Alef, will be handed over to growing Chinuch Atzmai school, Mishkenot Daat. Classrooms no longer needed at government and government-religious kindergartens are also being transferred to the chareidi education system.
New prefab structures are also being brought in for immediate use by students whose classes have been held in apartments, stores and storage facilities.
The chareidi education system now accounts for 60 percent of the city's education system, but only after the elections did the municipality begin meeting the needs of chareidi schools.