The Education and Finance Ministries are reenacting an old
decree: every talmid yeshiva and avreich kollel
will now be required to carry identification all day in the
event a surprise inspection is conducted.
The directive, which was announced previously but not
implemented, was sent to roshei yeshivos and institute
directors in the form of a letter signed by Amos Tzeiada,
director of the Education Ministry's yeshiva department. "I
hereby inform you," he wrote, "that in accordance with the
Accountant-General's instructions during field inspections at
your institution the talmidim must present a photo
(Israeli ID card, passport, driving license, etc.). A student
who lacks such an ID card will be listed as absent."
The letter goes on to say the institution will not receive
funding for these students.
The institution directors said talmidei yeshivos and
avreichei kollelim cannot be required to carry ID all
day long in case one day an Education Ministry inspection is
conducted. They also objected to the policy of fining the
yeshiva because a student is caught without an ID for
whatever reason, saying the directive discriminates against
yeshivas compared to other educational institutions.
"The government is trying to establish something unheard of,
that every yeshiva student, without exception, is presumed
suspect," said Degel HaTorah Director-General Rabbi Moshe
Gafni. "In fact I intend to look into the legality of the
matter. How can a student who comes to learn have to carry an
ID card? Do the government ministries think these are
checkpoints on the roads or in the Territories? When an
inspection is conducted in a Torah-based institution and the
student says his name is so-and-so, the immediate assumption
is he is suspect or a liar? This scheme is unfair and
unconscionable. Perhaps by doing so the Finance Ministry
intends to impose further decrees on the yeshivas and thereby
to cut their allocations?"