Livnat names Tirosh replacement

Education Minister Limor Livnat announced Wednesday evening that she appointed Amira Haim, the director of the ministry's southern region, as a temporary replacement for Ministry Director Ronit Tirosh. Tirosh had announced earlier on Wednesday that she was leaving her position to join Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Kadima party. Livnat said on Wednesday that she believed Haim will continue to pursue the ministry's tasks and challenges, especially the continued implementation of the Dovrat report. Livnat also thanked Tirosh for what she called "four years of shared work towards the successful implementation of education reform." She also said that due to the importance of separating professional work in the education system and politics, Tirosh had done the right thing when she decided to resign due to her turn to politics. Haim will assume Tirosh's position next week. Tirosh is a life-long educator with no political experience. Tirosh said that Sharon made her no promises, but that she hoped to be a minister in his next government. The Education portfolio has been offered to Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center President Uriel Reichman, but Tirosh said she considered herself qualified for other cabinet positions. "Of course I want to be a minister and I didn't hide my aspirations," Tirosh said. "I wanted to be more independent and to climb up the ladder and I believe in Sharon and his path. I am a good student and I can do well in any number of positions." Sharon's office received complaints from haredim about the prime minister's promise to give the education portfolio to Reichman, one of the founders of Shinui. Sharon's associates reassured the haredim that Reichman will not try to implement his secularist agenda in the Education Ministry and told them that Reichman has said in the past that "Haredim deserve equal treatment in the education system."