Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

28 Tammuz 5768 - July 31, 2008 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Yeshiva Ketanoh Budget to Continue Despite High Court Criticism

By Yechiel Sever

High Court judges lodged harsh criticism against the Education Ministry and the Knesset following the Yeshiva Ketanoh Law, which will allow the yeshivos ketanos to continue to receive funding without their teaching the Core Curriculum requirements. The judges also said that since the law was passed by the Knesset they wouldn't issue operative court orders against budgeting institutions that do not meet the Core Curriculum requirements. In response MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni aimed cutting remarks at the High Court, "which has shown its true face regarding the educational establishment in Israel."

One week ago the Knesset, in a 39-6 vote, passed a law allowing the yeshivos ketanos to receive 60 percent of the standard amount of per-student funding. The law is slated to go into effect at the beginning of the coming school year (5769), but a paragraph containing an "interim directive" was inserted by chareidi MKs — due to concerns the High Court would try to waylay the law — stated that the yeshivas would be eligible for funding immediately, even though the law only takes effect in another few months.

At a hearing held in response to a petition by the Teachers Association and the Center for Jewish Pluralism (the Israeli arm of the American Reform movement) the judges condemned the law legislated in opposition to the High Court's stance, made clear at previous stages of the petition. Following the court's decision, the Teachers Association said it is now considering the possibility of filing a petition against the exemption given to the yeshivas.

The judges had previously (before passage of the law) announced that they would issue operative court orders against funding institutions that do not meet the Core Curriculum requirements, but due to the new law they will refrain from doing so. The Court also determined the Education Ministry would have to cover the court costs.

Without the "interim directive" paragraph, according to the High Court decision, the Education Ministry would have had to halt funding the yeshivos ketanos immediately.

Commenting on the court's actions MK Rabbi Gafni said, "The High Court is not saying not to provide funding for those who don't teach Judaism at all, at a time when the current education system is turning out ignoramuses who don't know their right from their left, and know nothing about Judaism or the wisdom-beyond-description contained in the Written Torah and the Oral Torah. The young Jewish [student] educated in Israel's secular education system is deprived of all this. Yet the High Court has nothing to say about that. On the contrary. They object only to the holy yeshivas, where they study what the great thinkers of the generations in the Jewish people have been involved in from Mt. Sinai to the present. It stems from unbridled jealousy."


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