Chareidi Schools Open While Covid Plan Still on Drawing Board

YERUSHALAYIM -
A medical worker testing a young resident of Elad at a mobile testing station in that city. (Flash90)

Chareidi schools in Israel opened as scheduled on Monday, Rosh Chodesh Elul, ahead of the rollout of the government’s new covid plan for the educational system.

Over 250,000 children went back to school on the day traditionally set for the new school year, while the rest of the country’s kids won’t return until September 1. By then, the government hopes to have its regime of coronavirus testing in place to make it safe for in-person classroom study.

Meanwhile, Torah studies recommenced amid uncertainty of masking and testing requirements.

The cities of Elad, Bnei Brak, Modiin Illit, and Beit Shemesh were slated to take part in a pilot testing program, but several school principals from those municipalities told the Kan public broadcaster that they had not been informed of testing requirements for their students.

“I read about it in the press. I did not receive any instruction beyond that. No one spoke to us,” Yaron Fuchs, the principal of the Darchei Noam school in Beit Shemesh, told the network.

“There is no procedure of sitting in a classroom with masks, so it will be enforced by a measure of goodwill. Those who do not want to — we will not be able to compel it,” Fuchs said.