Chareidi Community Centers Discriminated Against, Say Council Members

YERUSHALAYIM -
A view of Pisgat Ze’ev Mall (left) and community center (right foreground) on Moshe Dayan Boulevard. (PisgatzeevS)
A view of Pisgat Ze’ev Mall (L) and community center (R foreground) on Moshe Dayan Boulevard. (PisgatzeevS)

Yerushalayim has a large chareidi population – at least as many, if not more than other population groups – but when it comes to distributing funds for community centers, that population is barely a blip on the radar. At a meeting of the Yerushalayim City Council, Yuli Ben Lavie, director of the Yerushalayim branch of the government-owned Community Centers Corporation, presented figures that showed that centers in secular neighborhoods received the lion’s share of funding.

The figures showed that out of the 28 community centers serving the city’s population, about a third served each community – chareidi, secular Jewish and Arab. The total budget allotted for the centers (which also run programs outside the center within the community) was NIS 240 million. Of that, NIS 25 million went to the chareidi institutions, while NIS 15 million was allocated to Arab centers. The secular Jewish centers received the rest of the money.

Speaking to the media, members of the Council said they were “shocked, this is an unprecedented scandal. This discrimination against chareidim is intolerable.” The representative added that this “model” was also common in other budget allocations.

The city has not yet commented on the matter.