Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

10 Shevat 5768 - January 17, 2008 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Bais Yaakov School in Har Nof on Strike Until Heating System Fixed

By Yechiel Sever

The Parents' Committee of Bais Yaakov Ibn Denan in Jerusalem's Har Nof neighborhood decided to start a strike following the failure of the school's heating system, forcing the students to sit in unheated classrooms since the beginning of winter.

The heating problem began last year. Following a one-day strike last year the Jerusalem Municipality repaired the heating system, but at the end of winter it stopped working once again.

At the beginning of this winter the principal and the Parents' Committee again asked the Jerusalem Municipality to fix the heating system. But the municipality, which has been legally hamstrung by its attorney general, is prevented from helping with this serious problem, leaving the girls to sit in class shivering or bundled up in jackets.

When the Parents' Committee realized the problem was not nearing a solution, after consulting with neighborhood rabbonim, a decision was reached to strike. The Parents' Committee says the strike will continue until the heating system is fixed.

"The Municipality is aware of the problems at various institutions," said a Municipality spokesman, "and is doing all in its power to bring a permanent solution that will allow it to fund the chareidi educational institutions equitably. Unfortunately, in this matter the Municipality is between a rock and a hard place, for after budgeting hundreds of millions of shekels to carry out the necessary [maintenance and repair] work at the institutions, the Justice Ministry decided that the local authorities are prohibited from funding chareidi education.

"Only after concerted efforts by Municipality officials and marathon meetings with the Justice Ministry and the Education Ministry, did the Justice Ministry again permit the Municipality to recognize chareidi institutions as municipal institutions. Upon receiving the long-awaited authorization, the Municipality hurried to start renewing the procedures needed to carry out the work, but after the work was already underway, the legal advisor suddenly issued a directive to bring the matter for renewed authorization, saying it is required according to the Justice Ministry's new directives.

"The Municipality is required to operate in accordance with the legal directives. Therefore it is working vigorously to complete the process imposed on it right away in order to allow it to complete the needed [repair] work at the educational institutions within the coming days."


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