Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

13 Kislev 5766 - December 14, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











MK Gafni Protests Discrimination Against Chareidi Institutions

by Eliezer Rauchberger

"What the Education Ministry is doing to chareidi education has not been done in any totalitarian country in the world. Funding is not transferred properly in any area. Not in the lower grades, not in the high-school grades, not in the seminaries, not in transportation and not in talmudei Torah. Not in anything. Based on the Education Ministry's conduct we are not in a democratic country at all," said MK Rabbi Gafni, lashing out at Deputy Education Minister MK Magli Vahava (Kadima) in reaction to his claims that he does not make distinctions between one sector and another, but emphasizes equality and even practices reverse discrimination.

"According to my world view those who observe the tradition of any religion and from any sector should be according respect and granted the ability to meld it into the mandatory curriculum at schools and the Education Ministry," said Vahava.

Rabbi Gafni concurred with his remarks and said the Deputy Minister does indeed raise the banner of equality, "but your ministry discriminates against us and gives us preferential treatment headed toward the floor. You do, but your ministry gives nothing. Check all of the sectors."

The Deputy Minister offered praise for the chareidi education system's achievements and the students' abilities. Rabbi Gafni answered he does not need the Education Ministry to tell him what he already knows.

On the issue of the Meitzav exams administered in the general education system, Rabbi Gafni said that those tests have been a total failure and are for the benefit of the school principals, not to advance students. He said the students are forced to pay the price — because instead of being taught, the classes spend large amounts of time reviewing the test material so that the schools will post high scores.

MK Meshulam Nahari, who raised the subject in the Knesset plenum, said the time has come to rebuild the general education system in the State of Israel rather than pursuing the Meitzav exams obsessively.

The standardized Meitzav exams were to begin being administered in various chareidi schools. However many parents objected when rabbonim said that they should not allow their children to take those examinations.


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