Minister Piron Defending State Funding for Gender Separation in Religious Schools


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pironEducation Minister Rabbi Shai Piron announced after taking office that he will fund separate classes for boys and girls in religious schools. In his response to the Supreme Court he explained that he is relying on a psak Halacha from Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef ZT”L, who wrote this is a must for schools in our generation which has already exceeded all norms with today’s permissiveness.

“חובה קדושה בכל בית ספר המתנהל על פי התורה, לדאוג להפרדה בין הבנים לבנות, ובפרט בדורנו שהמתירנות עברה כל גבול, ויש בזה צורך גדול יותר מתמיד”.

Piron announced shortly after assuming his cabinet post the ministry was going to fund separate classes for boys and girls from fourth grade. To date the parents have undertaken the additional expense along with local authorities. The minister hopes the policy will keep the more religious families in the public school system instead of placing children into other schools.

“A Free Israel” filed a petition to the court against his decision to fund separate classrooms and the minister used Maran’s psak to support his position. Piron cited many other leading poskim ruled similarly.

Attorney Eren Lev argued based on the decision in the United States dating back 61 years in which the United States Supreme Court established the fundamental principle that separate is not equal in the context of racial segregation, accusing the ministry of seeking to perpetuate and expand this in the nation’s public schools.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Good job, YWN. Even though the yeshiva community disagrees with Piron on many issues, you are objective enough not to demonize him, but to publish issues in which he and we agree.

  2. sorry voseppes but read the article clearly

    “the minister hopes to keep the more religious families in the public school system instead of placing children in other school”

    in other words he wants to keep the “frummer” people in the public school, and what does piron want, none other, than to teach the public school childrfen about christianity and not the Torah

  3. This was the same ruling by Reb Moshe zt”l regarding out of town day schools. To start gender separate classes in 4th grade when a school needs to attract Jewish families or even for sustainably purposes .

  4. You can’t compare race to gender in this regard. I’m surprised that any judge would allow this to be brought as a precedent.

    Separating by race is essentially an artificial distinction. There’s no inherent reason that one’s skin color should determine to what school he goes, any more than one’s eye color should determine that. But separating by gender is a natural and known-beneficial distinction.

    There is no valid reason to discriminate by race. And since “separate is not equal”, schools should not segregate by race. But there is also no reason to create a hospital maternity ward for men.

    There are (still) separate and not equal rest rooms for men and women all over the world. By extension of his “logic”, the Israeli Supreme Court should mandate that the Israeli schools’ women’s bathrooms must contain the exact same facilities as men’s.

  5. Coffee addict;

    The families here are not the shtarker chareidim, as the public school system is not on their radar. People whowould send their children to public school anyway – at least the genders will be separate.

  6. voseppes,

    i understand they arent the shtarker chareidim, and therein lies the problem, piron is trying to get them to stay in the public school system (the one that brainwashes kids into christianity to welcome the pope) if the public school system was mixed, these families would get a decent jewish education

    im sorry but hes still a rasha, and a chotei u’machtee

  7. What makes him a rasha?

    It’s comments like these that are starting to really turn people off. I for one no longer give money to tzedakkah to any collector from Israel. I don’t need to be giving money to someone who wants me dead.