Education Minister “Declares War” Against Haredim?

Education Minister Yuli Tamir, until now considered a close friend of the haredi community, is refusing to fund extended hours for private kindergartens. The vast majority of these schools are haredi or Arab. Yated Ne’eman, the mouthpiece of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, promptly ran banner headlines declaring, “Education Minister Declares War On Haredi Education!”. But is it so?

Ynet notes these statistics:

There are 289,380 students in the haredi educational system. 52,998 pupils attend so-called “recognized but unofficial” institutions, which implement a portion of the core curriculum and therefore receive 75 percent of potential funding. 43,318 children study in “exempt” institutions, which are more pedagogically independent and receive only 55 percent of potential funding. 172,949 haredi students are enrolled in kindergartens, special education, and Shas’s Maayan HaChinuch HaTorani and United Torah Judaism’s Chinuch Atzmai educational networks.

Thus, the haredi institutions’ pedagogical independence and right to choose their own curricula comes at a price. In effect, these schools lose between 25 to 45 percent of their potential budgetary funding. Of course, this cutback is self-imposed, but haredi educational officials insist that they basically have no choice.

Shas’s Maayan HaChinuch HaTorani and United Torah Judaism’s Chinuch Atzmai educational networks–both geared to the newly observant and children from non-Orthodox homes–are treated as public schools because these schools include secular studies in their curriculum and meet the state’s educational requirements. The other haredi schools do not.

Fresh from a war where few haredim served and at a time when the country needs to rebuild much of the north, haredim continue to demand special state privileges. Haredim are a tremendous drain on the state, using a disproportionately high amount of welfare and other services and paying in a disproportionally small amount of tax dollars and revenue. In other words, haredim make lots of babies they can’t pay for and educate those children so poorly they cannot function in society well enough to make a living. And they do this by choice, not because of discrimination or other disadvantage.

Yet haredi leaders continue to fight a war against the very secular education that would both bring their education systems more money and also provide their children with a fighting chance of gainful employment– and they do so with a particular noxious flair:

Just because the father chose a certain type of education, the child shouldn’t receive? That’s why an innocent child who doesn’t know anything has to suffer? If the Education Minister would come and say to us: ‘You – you don’t have total budgeting…’ But to boycott us? We live in a state that still boycotts us? How did we get here? We have many children and educational institutions in the north, who suffered exactly like the rest of the Nation of Israel. So why are they being sentenced like the Arabs?” Rabbi Yitzchak Goldknopf, a senior haredi educational administrator who closely followed the proceedings at the Knesset, wonders.…

We should fund your child abuse because that abuse is your fault, not the child’s? It is that type of confused reasoning, along with gratuitous racism and disregard for fact, that so alienates secular Israelis from haredim and from Torah.

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8 Comments

Filed under Haredim, Israel

8 responses to “Education Minister “Declares War” Against Haredim?

  1. I think your comments are timely, although by logic need to be extended to the problem of Jewish Education in the U.S. At a time when more children are offered scholarship money to attend day schools, I often wonder why parents have offspring they can’t afford or educate. I’m made to feel guilty if I don’t contribute. it wasn’t enough that I paid tuition for my kids, I’m made to feel guilty if I don’t help educate others-not to mention the fact that in most cases their philosophical approach to Jewish education is diametrically opposed to mine.

  2. Aviel

    Yeah I read that that article. Completely disgusting. No sense of justice at all. He just thinks it’s fair that other people should fund their kids’ special education, especially when they are educated to look down upon the State and not educated to become productive citizens. Judaism has no hope unless the Charedim change or cease to get ANYTHING from the State unless they give their children a fair chance.

  3. Lementino

    Spoken like a true jew hater.

    Haredi pay less taxes? Where did you get this figure? There are haredi millionaires and multi millionaires, such as Lev Levayof, Rav Halperin, Gerrer Rebbe who pay more taxes than 100,000 seculars.

    Haredi are parasites? The entire state of Israel is an enormous parasite, did you forget the relentless shnorer campaigns to get money for Israel from the diaspora, not to mention foreign aid. How does a state which blackmails money from all over the world on a basis of being jewish, not hand at least some this money for true jewish education? Isn’t it hypocricy?

    And what is the connection between this an funding halacha-strict kinder gartens and schools? Most people who send their children to these schools are working people and many of them serve in the army (especially to Maayan), they just want normal JEWISH education for their children instead of the secular perverted “education”. Do they deserve to be ousted just because they are more frum? I know of secular people sending children to Hareidi institutions because they want to keep their children safe from stabbings, alcohol, drugs and other “qualities” of secular education.

    You know what? Save the cheap propoganda. You don’t have to finance jewish education. But then again, “Israel” does not have to be called a Jewish state eather. Don’t be a schiz and a hypocrite, and don’t come begging for donations.

  4. 1. The people from the diaspora that give money to Israel overwhelmingly disapprove of haredim. They do not want to fund haredi lifestyles.

    2. The overwhelming number of haredim do not serve in the army.

    3. By definition, the old line followers of edah haredit do not pay taxes to the state. They do not accept the authority of the state to tax them. Furhter large numbers of haredim are not employed – huge numbers. They pay no taxes and cost the state lots of money in welfare benefits, etc.

    4. The schools you claim provide a “normal Jewish education” refuse to teach most secular subjects or to prepare their students for work. That is why the state will not fund them at the same levels it funds other schools, including other Jewish religious schools. The article makes this clear. You might try reading it.

    Everything I wrote is factual.

  5. Lementino

    1. How do you know whoever gives money to Israel disapproves Haredim? Did you make a coherent survey? And what does it have to do with anything? The reason i mentioned it is to show secular hypocricy of kicking Haredim for living off donations, while the entire state basically begs for donations and foreign aid.

    2. Sorry to break your lunch, but 80% of Shas voters who are masorti DO serve in the army, and they send their children to Maayan. Get your facts together next time.

    3. Again, you show amazing ignorance. Edah Haredit is:
    A – Very, very small amount of people
    B – They never not take money from the state, and even ban other Haredim who do.

    4. Normal Jewish education is first and foremost JUDAISM.

    Jewish education has kept your ancestors jewish. Without Jewish education your grandfather has got, you wouldn’t be typing your junk all over the web. Secular subjects are each person’s responsibility, Jewish education is a responsibility for continuation of our race and religion.

    If the schools ommit secular subjects it is NOT a good reason not to give them proper funding, just as the fact the secular schools don’t teach proper judaism is not a good reason to take their funding as well. Even though you may think Israel should be 1938 Germany, Haredi children are supposed to be equal citizens, even if they parents don’t work, don’t go to the army, steal aryan..eh..secular women and make matzah from secular infant blood.

    I’d say stop getting your “facts” and ideologies out of Ynet. Not a good idea.

  6. Lementino

    correction – “They never not take” should be “They never take”.

  7. Read the article. Mayan is funded. So is Chinuch Atzmi. Both have good secular programs.

    Haredim use a dispropotionate amount of welfare benefits and pay even a more disproportionately small amount of taxes. This is because haredim are not prepared to enter the workforce because their educational system does not teach secular studies. It is also because so many haredi rabbis urge their followers to learn full time and not work.

    Who pays for this? The rest of us. We support haredim financially, whether we like haredi policies or not.

  8. Lementino

    Financially, we support many unemployed chilonim, not to mention the arabs who usually pay no taxes. That doesn’t mean we should bar their children from getting equal treatment. Why Hareidi are different?

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