Nat'l-religious rabbis, educators support social workers

Management of Orthodox rabbinic organization Tzohar also calls on Netanyahu to bring social workers’ strike to an immediate end.

By JONAH MANDEL
March 7, 2011 22:20
1 minute read.
Social workers at a demonstration

Social workers demonstration 311 . (photo credit: Courtesy)

Fifty national-religious rabbis and educators issued a public letter Monday in support of the striking social workers and their demand for better working conditions.

“We rabbis, educators and social-national activists wholeheartedly support the social workers, their life work, their dedication and essential contribution to the State of Israel, and call for an immediate improvement in their terms of employment,” the short message read.

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The letter was the initiative of Keren Kehilot-The Foundation for Community Renewal in Israeli Communities, which supports small groups of religious families joining existing communities, especially in the periphery or areas without strong religious presence. There are currently some 40 such groups nationwide, which work hand-inhand with the local educational and welfare bodies.

Monday’s letter included the signatures of prominent rabbis who recently gained attention by penning or signing more controversial texts, such as Safed’s Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu, who spoke out against renting or selling real estate to non-Jews, or Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, head of the capital’s Yeshivat Ateret Kohanim and rabbi of Beit El, who was part of the small group of rabbis who sent convicted rapist and former president Moshe Katzav a letter of support casting aspersion on the trial that found him guilty.

Other prominent rabbis on the letter in support of the social workers include Samaria’s regional Rabbi Elyakim Levanon and former head of the Rabbinic Courts Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan.

Also on Monday, the management of the Orthodox rabbinic organization Tzohar issued a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, calling on him to bring the social workers’ strike to an immediate end “and redeem those who need welfare services from the dire straits this strike brought.

“We are convinced that you are deeply dedicated to the value of Israeli society being robust, and will do what you can to bring this crisis to a swift end,” wrote the group, which represents hundreds of national-religious rabbis.


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