Yeshivah Funding Sets New Record

YERUSHALAYIM -
The building of the Mir Yeshiva in Brachfeld, Modiin Illit. (Yaakov Naumi/Flash90)
The building of the Mir Yeshiva in Brachfeld, Modiin Illit. (Yaakov Naumi/Flash90)

Government funding of yeshivos in Israel has surpassed support for Torah in former years.

The coalition approved on Sunday an additional 48 million shekels ($12.4 million) for the yeshivos, over the sum of 1.17 billion shekels ($302 million) as of about half a year ago. The previous all-time record was set this June, when government funding for yeshivos passed 1.119 billion shekels ($290 million), according to Arutz Sheva.

Prior to that, government spending for yeshivos reached its highest point in 2011, with 1.032 billion shekels ($270 million).

During Yair Lapid’s tenure as Finance Minister, the budget for yeshivos fell to 564 million shekels ($146 million) in 2014. The current coalition, led by United Torah Judaism and Shas, has succeeded in restoring the earlier levels of funding.

A significant part of the increase was attributed to a raise in the budget for foreign students studying in Israeli institutions.

While in the past such students received just 60 percent of the funding native Israeli students received, yeshivah students from abroad now get 95 percent of the amount provided for Israelis. Many of these students remain in Israel or return later to make their homes in Israel.

Besides the yeshivah budget, monthly stipends to kollel students are also likely to rise. Pending approval, the stipends will add another 100 million shekels to the overall yeshivah budget, bringing the total to 1.27 billion shekels ($330) per year.