The Union of Bais Yaakov Schools announced to Education Minister Gidon Saar that the seminars would not open enrollment on Wednesday, Rosh Chodesh Shevat, for the coming school year due to ministry interference that poses a threat to the essence and very existence of the Bais Yaakov system.
Several weeks ago the Education Ministry contacted union heads to present directives on the acceptance process. These directives included transferring the decision of whether a student is suitable for Bais Yaakov schools to officials from the Education Ministry and the respective local authority. The Education Ministry is also seeking to interfere in how students are interviewed and how application questionnaires are written.
Based on instructions from Maran HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv shlita and the Rosh Yeshiva HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman shlita, seminary heads firmly refused to have Bais Yaakov administrators hand over such weighty decisions to secular government officials. Since Education Ministry activity is currently under the shadow of High Court petitions filed by organizations that are hostile to Bais Yaakov, the matter will be addressed on two fronts: public aspects will be handled by United Torah Judaism MKs and legal aspects will be handled by Bais Yaakov Seminary Union attorneys.
According to understandings between Knesset Finance Committee Chairman MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni and the Education Minister, the issue has been referred for discussion between Seminary Union attorneys and Education Ministry Director Dalit Stauber. The attorneys submitted a series of detailed challenges to the draft version of the directives, and with the Education Minister's consent, meetings were held between the two sides, based on mutual agreement that an understanding should be reached.
Even Education Ministry officials understood that such blatant interference with the Bais Yaakov system is wholly unjustified and enforcing such a draconian approach on an inherently independent school system is also not viable.