Bayit Yehudi MK Nisan Slomiansky 370.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Cuts to the budget for yeshivot, agreed upon in the summer, have been
significantly reduced, the office of Bayit Yehudi MK Nissim Slomiansky claimed
on Monday. However, officials in Yesh Atid have said that the cancellation of
some of the cuts will only come into effect if the government bill on drafting
haredim into the army will be passed.
The official budget for yeshivot in
2013 stood at NIS 909 million but it was agreed earlier this year to cut it
sharply so that by 2014 it would be down to just NIS 422m.
budgets are used to pay students a monthly stipend that comprises a small but
significant portion of the income of thousands of haredi
However, according to Slomiansky, who is chairman of the
Knesset Finance Committee and was in negotiations with Yesh Atid on the issue,
the budget will now only be cut to approximately NIS 750m. for 2013 and will
remain the same for 2014.
Officials within Yesh Atid said that such cuts
were dependent on the passage of the government bill to draft haredim into the
Sources in Bayit Yehudi would not comment on these claims.
appears that the Yesh Atid officials were referring to clauses within the
government bill in which yeshivot whose students enlist to the IDF will receive
increased funds, comparably to those whose students do not enlist.
would theoretically obviate the necessity of the cuts to the yeshiva budgets
because the money would simply be transferred away from yeshivot not encouraging
enlistment to those that do.
One of the main purposes of the cuts to the
yeshiva budgets is to create a situation in which it is financially difficult
not to enlist and instead remain in yeshiva.
Under the previous budget
for yeshivot in 2012, full-time married yeshiva students received NIS 900 a
month, while single students received 500 shekels a month, in government
The stipends were due to be cut to NIS 279 for married students
and NIS 139 for single students, but the cuts will now be far less
The Hiddush religious equality lobbying group criticized the
reduction in the cuts as well as Yesh Atid for allowing them
“The gap in the declarations made by Yesh Atid and their actions
is very painful,” said Hiddush director Uri Regev in response to the
“There is widespread popular support for massive cuts to the
public funding of yeshivot that are sustained by Israeli tax payers. It is hard
to understand the descent from a promised 60 percent cut to a cut of just
“This will certainly not help get yeshiva students into military or
civilian service, and into the work force,” Regev continued.
national religious lobbying group Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah also criticized the
reduction in the budget cuts, saying that it was contrary to Jewish law for
yeshivot to be funded by public money when their students do not contribute to
“Someone who is faithful to Jewish law must act to
gradually reduce these yeshivot, and at the same time to strengthen Torah
institutes ([whether they are] national religious, haredi or secular) that
encourage the integration of Torah and work,” the group declared.