The Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudas Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael convened on Sunday at the headquarters of the World Executive Committee of Agudas Yisrael in Yerushalayim to discuss ways to prevent the government from interfering in the curricula of the chareidi education system.
The comprehensive discussion addressed a range of ways to reinforce the independence of the chareidi education system. It also discussed the establishment of a parnassah training program.
The meeting was attended by (in alphabetical order) the Rebbes of Belz, Biala, Boyan, Ger, Modzhitz, Sadigura, Sanz-Klausenberg of Eretz Yisrael, Slonim; and the Vizhnitzer Rebbes of Eretz Yisrael. The Seret Vizhnitzer Rebbe was unable to attend due to his weak health. The Erloyer Rebbe, who also could not attend because of his health, sent a letter of support.
The Moetzes gathered for the emergency session in light of the increasing interference of the Education Ministry and other government entities in the curriculums of chadarim and yeshivos for boys and Bais Yaakov elementary and high schools for girls.
The discussion focused on the dangerous intervention whose intent is to alter the character of the chareidi community and inject an element of secularity into the chinuch by implementing a core curriculum. The Education Ministry has declared that it will withhold funding for institutions that do not obey its directives.
The Moetzes clarified that one of the fundamental principles of the chareidi education system, with all its various branches, for both boys and girls, is its independence and the ability to preserve the purity of the chinuch, as has been handed down to us for generations. Yidden throughout the generations have been moser nefesh for pure chinuch for their children. Once the state was established, they worked tirelessly to ensure that chinuch would remain independent of government intervention and thus, unaltered. Now, too, it is clear that there will be no agreement or willingness to accept outside intervention in chareidi chinuch curriculums.
Concurrently, the Moetzes discussed studies for academic degrees in universities and colleges, which are trying to attract chareidim — both men who have finished learning in yeshivos and are looking for a parnassah, and women. The question discussed the suitability of these places for the chareidi community, both as regards the content being taught, and the academic degrees that may lead graduates to find jobs in unsuitable places.
The Moetzes also discussed proposals for opening training courses for professions that suit the chareidi lifestyle, and a job placement program for both men and women in suitable workplaces.
The Moetzes decided to expand the Rabbinical Committee for Chinuch Affairs, which will coordinate the efforts to deal with the issues. Likewise, they decided to establish a joint administration that will fight against the sanctions and coordinate the campaign against the decrees.