Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

4 Teves 5768 - December 13, 2007 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Rabbi Gafni Urges Assoc. for Civil Rights to Stop Interfering With Chareidi Education

By Yechiel Sever

MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni expressed astonishment over the activity of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), which, instead of standing by the citizen and defending his rights, chose to send a letter to the Knesset Education Committee regarding a matter wholly unrelated to its activities, in an effort to interfere with the curriculum at chareidi educational institutions. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel is supported by the New Israel Fund (NIF) among other sources of funding.

The committee received the letter containing a request to interfere with the curriculum at Torah-based institutions during Chanukah, of all times.

"During an age in which government education is in a state of decline while chareidi education is succeeding, even in the international school surveys," wrote Rabbi Gafni, "in an age of violence and drugs at government schools compared to remarkable discipline in the chareidi educational system, to rise up in such a blatant manner against this education system, which is not just for a handful of families, but for a large section of the Jewish public with proven ideology -- this conduct is inappropriate. I'm not asking for your assistance or your advice on how to educate our children. If the education system in Israel, which unfortunately is at the bottom of the ranking in the Western world, does not choose to learn from the chareidi education system the [worthwhile] things it has to offer, [at least] don't interfere.

"We must examine ourselves to discover how it happens that in matters related to the chareidi public systems go off track. How is it that people from the Association for Civil Rights, who battle in a manner worthy of respect for the sake of civil rights, when it comes to the chareidi public they join forces with the government authorities that undermine their basic rights? How is it that those who sing the praises of democracy and its achievements, when it comes to the chareidi public, democracy fades away and equality vanishes in a wispy smoke of excuses?"

At the end of his letter Rabbi Gafni urges the Association for Civil Rights to retract the letter it dispatched on the issue of chareidi education in order to continue cooperating and defending citizens, which is the Association's primary activity, and to prevent the majority in control from taking over and harming the ways of the life of minority groups, which is the essence of democracy.


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