Parents protest - religious kindergartens get reprieve

The city of Tel Aviv has been forced to withdraw a plan to close several religious kindergartens after parents' protests went all the way to Knesset education committee head Zvulun Orlev, reports The parents complained that the closure of the state religious kindergartens would prevent their children from obtaining the religious education they wanted for them, and that this was being done at their expense in order to strengthen secular kindergartens elsewhere in the city. According to the report, the city was planning to close down state religious kindergartens for three- to four-year-olds in the Neveh Hen and Kiryat Shalem neighborhoods. But parents protested to city councilor Shlomo Maslawi, who succeeded in obtaining a temporary freeze on the plan, and to MK Orlev, who decided to hold talks on the matter in the Knesset Education Committee, which he heads. But before the discussions could take place, municipal education officials decided to withdraw the plans, and wrote to Orlev to say that the number of children in the state religious stream was actually rising and the city was opening new kindergarten classes for them. "All the children who wish to enter the state religious stream in the coming school year will have an appropriate place," the officials wrote to Orlev.