Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

10 Ellul 5761 - August 29, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Chareidi Education Grows in Jerusalem
by Betzalel Kahn

Chareidi chinuch in Jerusalem is continuing in its status as the clear majority of Jewish education in the city for the coming school year, kein yirbu. All in all, this forthcoming school year (5762), 77,814 students will study in the chareidi school system compared to 65,265 students in the Jewish part of the general school system. There are 32,736 in East Jerusalem's system. The total number of students in the entire city is 175,000.

At a press conference held this past Monday (8 Elul) in the Jerusalem municipality, the following information was presented: This year, 16,212 children will attend chareidi kindergartens -- 593 more than last year. 40,200 students will study in chareidi elementary schools -- 1,982 more last year. 20,245 students will study in chareidi high schools -- 1,228 more than the previous year, and 1,157 in chareidi special education schools -- 58 more than last year.

All in all, this year 3888 more children have joined the ranks of the chareidi education system. The general system dropped from 66,481 to 65,265. At the same time, there was an increase of 600 students in the Arab sector. Today, the chareidi sector comprises 47 percent of the entire educational system.

During the past five years the chareidi school system has increased by 10,000 students, a tremendous growth which reflects the revolution taking place in the city during the past few years, alongside the decrease of the amount of students in the secular system and the closing of secular educational institutions.

As a result of this increase, this year the municipality will allot larger sums, totaling NIS 24 million, for physical improvements in the chareidi educational system, as follows: NIS 4 million for mobile structures, NIS 2.5 million for preparing structures to serve as schools, NIS 3.5 million for equipping new classrooms, NIS 8.5 million for renovations, NIS 6 million for the elimination of safety problems.

At the press conference, Mayor Olmert said: "Even though 1200 classrooms are lacking in chareidi institutions in Jerusalem, the municipality is making tremendous efforts to solve many problems. I made a tour a few days ago in a number of the buildings, and I determined that there truly is a shortage of 1200 classrooms. We won't stop until we have solved the problem. There is no way to justify the fact that tens of thousands of students in the chareidi system study in mobile structures and buildings which were not intended to serve as schools, while the students in the other sectors learn in regular educational buildings."

Olmert added that for many years no schools were built for the chareidi sector, and many of its schools are situated in unfit structures. "The municipality is responsible for these problems, and the government doesn't help in this area, nor in the area of the transportation of students to distant neighborhoods which is very costly for the municipality. Some schools opened a number of days ago, and others will begin in a few more days. I hope that we will solve as many problems as possible by then."

Many boys' chadorim have been open for two weeks, though the girls and the entire general system are scheduled to open on September 2.

Mayor Olmert cited the example of a school for girls with 1300 students, who are studying in 25 double-sized mobile units. "During recent years, the system and the parents paid the rent for the structures, while that amount could have been used to build a new school. This is just one example of the difficulties with which we are forced to contend," he said. "However, this past year four new schools were built for the chareidi sector, containing dozens of classrooms."

Olmert praised the efforts of the Chareidi Education Department in the municipality, headed by Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Cohen and Rabbi Binyamin Cohen and noted that the chareidi educational system in Jerusalem is larger than the entire educational system of Tel Aviv, yet the municipal department in Jerusalem functions far more efficiently and with fewer employees.

An information leaflet distributed at the press conference, notes that due the increase in the awareness of the need for special education in the chareidi sector, the result of the efforts of the Chareidi Education Department, 200 students were placed in special schools this year and the acceptance of 50 other children into such schools is under consideration.

This year, the Chareidi Education Department will launch a special road safety program. Olmert in his remarks related to that problem and said: "If we would build schools to suit the needs of the chareidi sector, the students wouldn't have to travel long distances, and accidents would be prevented. Such a situation doesn't exist in other educational systems. In Ramot alone, every day 9000 students must be transported to schools in distant neighborhoods. Due to the geographic scattering of the students and the institutions in the city, the Chareidi Educational Department received NIS 1.6 million, the municipality's share in subsidizing 50 percent of the cost of the bus tickets of students from families in need of such help. These tickets will be transferred to parents through the school."


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.