A clause in the economic arrangements bill for 2011- 2012 reinstating the
allocation of millions of shekels to large educational campuses is being tabbed
by a pro-religious- freedom group as a payoff to Shas’s haredi
According to the Hiddush Organization for Equality and
Freedom, the NIS 30 million recently approved by the government to be
distributed by the Interior Ministry to educational campuses over three years is
primarily intended for large haredi and religious institutions.
clause would have to be approved by the Knesset.
Hiddush also noted in a
recent announcement that the Education and Welfare and Social Services
ministries already support yeshivot.
A 2001 state comptroller’s report
exposed irregularities in the educational campuses’ budget distribution,
began in the 1990s. According to the report, the Interior Ministry
criteria behind the funds’ allocation, to prevent secular institutions
receiving that money, the Hiddush announcement noted. That budget was
cancelled following the enforcement of regulations preventing support of
institutions by more than one ministry.
The current sum of NIS 10 million
per annum represents a decrease compared to the NIS 12.5m. of that
budget in the
Hiddush CEO Rabbi Uri Regev slammed “the cynicism of the
Netanyahu- Steinitz government and their willingness to sell the public
to the haredi parties. This government exempts yeshiva students from
service as if to help them enter the workforce, but at the same time it
a new yeshiva budget that will worsen haredi evasion from military
the labor force.”
The budget is intended for large educational
institutions that provide services to students who live on campus.
funding would reach the institutions and their managements, not the
Interior Minister Eli Yishai’s media adviser Ro’i Lachmanovitch
firmly denied that the monies were intended solely for haredi
“The funds will go to any institution that fits the
criteria,” he told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, citing secular
schools such as Kaduri and Mikve Israel as potential examples.