MKs Halt Funding for Israel Railways Due to Discrimination Against Talmidei Yeshivos


ponKnesset Finance Committee members MKs Zevulun Kalfa (Bayit Yehudi) and Rabbi Moshe Gafne (Yahadut Hatorah) decided to hold up a decision to release 1.5 billion shekels for Israel Railways due to the railway’s discriminatory policy against bnei yeshivos in Sderot and Netivot.

Since the launching of the Sderot-Tel Aviv line the railway permits residents and students of Sapir College to ride for free. The same perk is not given to hesder talmidim in Sderot or Netivot or chareidi bnei yeshivos in those areas. As such, the MKs decided to halt railway funding until railway management addresses the discriminatory practice. The MKs insist that if college students are entitled to ride for free, the same must be for area yeshiva students.

Kalfa already turned to Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz in December 2014, seeking the same discount for talmidei yeshivos. The ministry explained it does not plan to change the current regulation, citing the yeshivos are not recognized by the Institute of Higher Education and therefore, they are not entitled to the discount.

During a Finance Committee meeting on Monday, 7 Nissan, the Ministry of Transportation sought approval for 11.6 billion shekels in funding for subsidies on the railway, improvements and operational costs to 2020.

The MKs are using their political might to delay the allocation in an effort to gain railway discounts for bnei yeshivos.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. The subsidy has always been limited to students enrolled in schools recognized and registered with the Higher Education (aka “College”) Intstitute. If these yeshivos qualify, they too should register so their students can obtain the subsidy. Otherwise, these MKs should just stop whining.

  2. Day School, Yeshiva, Beis Yaakov students all receive bus discounts in New York if their schools are registered by the city, guess the same should apply all over.

  3. I don’t know why he’s only starting up with Israel Rail. Egged has had a discriminatory practice for years. College students can ride for half fare, while yeshiva bochurim cannot.