School to implement court ruling on Emmanuel Beit Ya’acov

Parents of girls quoted in haredi media outlets as saying that they may transfer their children to Beit Ya’acov schools in Bnei Brak.

By JONAH MANDEL
May 25, 2010 05:57
2 minute read.
Haredim at the Emmanuel 'pirate' school court hear

Haredim court 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

The recent High Court ruling for full integration of the “hassidic” and general tracks at the Emmanuel Beit Ya’acov School for girls – effective Tuesday – is being met by what appears to be submission by the school’s operators and resistance by the Ashkenazi girls’ parents: While the Independent Education Center has accepted the ruling, the parents are reportedly planning to move their children to schools outside the town.

Rabbi Zvi Boimel, deputy CEO of the Independent Education Center, announced on Sunday that in the next two days, letters would be issued to the girls’ parents and the school staff, stressing that the center intended to fulfill the court’s order to unite the two tracks.

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The decision, Boimel said, had been reached following consultations with leading rabbis, and at their instruction.

However, parents of the girls were quoted in haredi media outlets as saying that they would transfer their children to Beit Ya’acov schools in Bnei Brak, even if it meant that the girls would spend three hours or so a day on buses back and forth. The parents also stressed that they were basing their decisions on their rabbis’ edicts and hoped that their girls’ absence from the Emmanuel school would not be considered contempt of the court ruling, which could lead to their being fined or subpoenaed.

Meanwhile, the man who initially took the Independent Education Center to court for allowing segregation on its Emmanuel premises was not perturbed Monday over the Ashkenazi girls’ possible departure.

“We were never opposed to the girls learning in a private institution. What bothered us was the segregation within the institution itself,” Yoav Lalom, head of the Noar Kahalacha organization, told haredi Web site Kikar Hashabat.


Three years ago, the parents of the Ashkenazi girls established a separate track, which they called “hassidic,” and effectively turned it into a separate school, with separate classrooms, entrances, playgrounds, teachers’ rooms and school uniforms.

The High Court ruled that the arrangement was illegal because it was based on ethnic discrimination, and ordered the Independent Education Center to eradicate any elements of discrimination in the school.

Almost immediately, the parents of the hassidic stream pulled their children out of the school and established a pirate one – without authorization from the Education Ministry – in the building housing the Independent Education Center’s boys’ school. Noar Kahalacha and Lalom soon filed a contempt of court action, which was accepted.


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