Education Ministry Threatens Bais Yaakov With Last-Minute Cuts

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israel’s Bais Yaakov school system held an emergency meeting at the end of last week in the wake of the decision by the Education Ministry to drastically reduce the number of students in the teachers training program.

The ministry is seeking to eliminate some 4,000 students from enrollment by the last-minute imposition of funding cuts. In a letter sent to Bais Yaakov administrators, the government informed them that only 2,500 places would be provided for, as opposed to over 6,000 for women and another 500 for men currently, in the entire chareidi sector.

At the emergency meeting, attended by United Torah Judaism MKs Rabbi Yaakov Litzman and Rabbi Moshe Gafni and Bnei Brak mayor Rabbi Chanoch Zeibert, the legality of the directive was questioned, in view of the fact that it was issued after the deadline for staff reductions for the coming school year. In essence, the ministry is forcing the schools to lay off staff at a time when it is against labor laws to do so, or alternatively is forcing the schools to keep them on the payroll without the ministry covering their salaries.

In any event, the leaders of the chareidi educational system in Israel rejected the ministry’s directive outright. They reiterated their unshakable resolve to maintain the scope and integrity of Torah institutions despite every effort of the Netanyahu-Lapid government to undermine and destroy it.