Residents of the mixed religious/secular neighborhood of Ramat Sharett in
Jerusalem are furious over the municipality’s approval of three yeshivas on the
edge of their neighborhood at last week’s city council meeting.
Thursday, the residents will hold a planning meeting with City Councilor Rachel
Azaria (Yerushalmim) to try and submit a petition to the city’s Administrative
Court to stop the yeshiva’s creation.
Last week, the City Council
approved the creation of three yeshivas for haredi students on the border
between the haredi neighborhood of Bayit Vegan and the mixed neighborhood of
Azaria said this was an attempt to “blur the borders”
between the haredi neighborhood and the surrounding area in order to make it
easier for haredim to spread non-haredi areas.
are diverse and complex, that’s our city’s beauty,” Azaria said on
“Therefore, the declared city policy is to allocate public
land and resources for the needs of each neighborhood’s residents in order to
preserve its character. Ramat Sharett is a pluralistic neighborhood, with
secular and modern orthodox working families. That’s why I was surprised to
learn of the plan to build three haredi yeshivot on a public lot, a plan that
seems intended to turn Ramat Sharett into a haredi neighborhood.”
spokeswoman said that the lot, in Kochav Square, is located in Bayit Vegan and
not Ramat Sharett and it is the only place that the city can build classrooms in
the area. The spokeswoman also said that the city is desperately trying to build
the approximately 1,000 classrooms lacking in the capital for all segments of
The haredi sector in particular has a large lack of
“The municipality policy in the current tenure is building
public institutions and educational buildings in neighborhoods from all segments
of the population, and not in neighborhoods where residents are from another
sector,” the spokeswoman said.
She stressed the city’s decision to cancel
yeshivas planned for the Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood, another mixed
secular/religious neighborhood, after residents objected to the “haredization”
of their neighborhood.
Instead, the Secular Yeshiva, currently located in
Ein Kerem, will move to Kiryat Hayovel.
Haredi city council members in
charge of haredi education in the city would not return repeated calls for
In the past, City Councilor Yitzhak Pindrus, who holds the
haredi education portfolio, has highlighted the severe lack of classrooms for
the city’s haredi students.