Ultra Orthodox and secular Israelis clash in Beit Shemesh..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Education Ministry and the Beit Shemesh Municipality have agreed upon a temporary solution to the controversy that exploded over the Safot Ve’tarbuyot school in Beit Shemesh last month.
The Beit Shemesh municipal authority cordoned off one of the school’s two floors in order to accommodate more than 100 girls of the haredi Mishekenot Daat school who were without classrooms or school premises for the beginning of the academic year, but the move generated outrage from the city’s non-haredi population as well as opposition from the Education Ministry, which was not consulted in the division of the school.
According to the deal that has been arranged through the Jerusalem District Court, the ministry will finance the placement of four mobile caravilla classrooms in the school yard of Safot Ve’tarbuyot as soon as possible and the 110 girls of Mishkenot Daat will leave the floor of the main building that they were placed in by the municipality and study there for the rest of the year.
The court said this process must be completed no later than November 10.
Safot Ve’tarbuyot will be able then move back in to the floor of the school from which it was removed and the Beit Shemesh Municipality was ordered by the court to restore the school to its previous condition, including removing any barriers, divides and other changes that were made to the school infrastructure.
The court said that once the ultra-Orthodox girls school has been removed from the Safot Ve’tarbuyot premises, the ministry and the municipality “will conduct negotiations in order to reach a comprehensive, long term solution for the housing of all educational institutions in the city as soon as the coming academic year, including Mishkenot Daat and Safot Ve’tarbuyot.”
In a press statement issued by the Beit Shemesh municipal authority, it said that Safot Ve’tarbuyot would likely move to premises in the old part of the city soon, but this claim could not be verified before press time.