emmanuel kids 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Attorney Dr. Aviad Hacohen on Tuesday sent an urgent letter to the Education
Ministry, demanding that they enforce ministerial regulations ensuring both
transparency in the process of accepting or rejecting applicants to haredi high
schools for girls (seminarim), and timeliness in informing parents of the
Writing on behalf of group of parents and non-profit
organizations, including Yoav Laloum’s Noar Kahalacha, Hacohen beseeched
Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar and Education Ministry Director-General Dr.
Shimshon Shoshani to immediately rectify the situation in which many girls
remain in limbo, having yet to receive an indication on whether they have been
accepted to a seminar.
Such haredi institutions are recognized and funded
by the State, and hence under the ministry’s jurisdiction.
pointed out that in many cases, dozens of such girls discover that they have not
been accepted to a seminar on the first day of the school year, and are left
without a real option of finding an alternative framework, or appealing the
Among other complaints, Hacohen, the attorney who
represented Laloum in the recent Emmanuel case, notes that in the past, United
Torah Judaism spiritual leader Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv ordered that the rate
of Sephardi girls in the seminars should be at least 30 percent. In practice,
Hacohen writes, that quota has become the maximum.
Following a 2006
petition against the vague and problematic admission criteria in the seminars,
the High Court of Justice ruled that the Education Ministry and Jerusalem
Municipality, where the problem is particularly acute, must develop a
supervisory plan, that will be effective, transparent and timely, to take care
of any admission practices that might be illegal or
Hacohen maintains that despite the court’s clear
instructions, “not much was done to that end,” stressing that the Education
Ministry’s ensuing regulations from that year are allegedly being
“The seminars’ recurring disregard of the Education Ministry’s
guidelines seems like ongoing disdain of the court’s decision and the
ministerial instructions, and might be tantamount to severe harm to the rule of
law and contempt of the court,” Hacohen wrote.
It was contempt of the
court that had brought to the shorttermed incarceration of 35 fathers from
Emmanuel, who refused to return their daughters to the Beit Ya’acov school there
after barriers in the institution were removed at the court’s order.
enable the perplexed parents an informed course of action, Hacohen demanded of
the ministry to use its authority and order all seminars to make known which
girl has been accepted and which not, by the end of the week.
also asked the ministry to inform him as to the implementation of its 2006
regulations regarding the issue, and make public the guidelines regarding the
acceptance process, if they indeed exist.
The Education Ministry had yet
to respond to Hacohen’s letter by press ti