(VIDEO IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)
“Nazi”, “Sheigetz” and “Maskil” were among the derogatory terms heard among shouts from zealots who were angered at the 45 recipients of a bachelor’s degree at the chareidi Strauss Campus. The recipients arrived for graduation, to receive their diplomas at the Minhal on Blilius Street at the corner of Yeshayahu Street. Graduates and their families were present. The extremists disrupted the event as some of the graduates were on stage receiving their diplomas.
Police were on the scene but permitted the shouts and disruptions.
Among the participants at the event was Chief Rabbi of Gilo HaRav Eliyahu Schlesinger, along with Deputy Mayor Yitzchak Pindrus, MK (Shas) Michael Michaeli and City Councilman Yaakov Halprin.
The graduates are the first of this program, chareidim receiving degrees in technology, politics and communications.
“It may not have been the smartest idea in the world to make the event happen in the heart of the chareidi neighborhood, and in retrospect it was also quite predictable, but we cannot feel threatened … It’s not possible that my parents will be afraid to go out into the street and tremble with fear of those extremists, said one of the graduates.
Recently, the extremists began to demonstrate regularly once a week at the entrance to the college located on Strauss Street, where about 700 chareidi students now study. “We have become accustomed to the fact that the extremists are demonstrating, no matter what the chareidi level of the college or what rabbonim are behind the campus; and so my rebbe, for example, gave me his consent to study on campus, there are those who apparently have to make a living from the demonstrations, stated ‘C’ with a smile, a chassidish avreich with curled peyos who completed his degree with excellence.
“Now it is our adult responsibility to prove to the world that it is possible to have a degree and fear G-d and that there is no connection between things,” he says.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)