Chareidi Kindergarten Assistants Unwilling to Transfer to Non-Religious Kindergartens


classrEighty-three kindergarten assistants, all chareidim, are refusing to be transferred to non-religious kindergartens. The women in question have all been employed for at least ten years in chareidi kindergartens. They women are turning to Deputy Mayor Tzvika Cohen, who holds the city’s chareidi education portfolio for assistance. “Putting us with the chilonim is like fire and water. What will happen when I light Shabbos candles and a non-religious child will ask me what these candles are about? It is simply not compatible” they explain to the deputy mayor.

The women explain they are unwilling to work in a non-chareidi setting, with some adding it is also an issue of compelling to travel too far to work. Histadrut labor federation official Danny Bonfil has sent a letter to Jerusalem City Hall requesting to hold off assigning the women until a meeting with all the parties involved takes place, including himself. He promises the women he will do his utmost to safeguard their rights and protect their employment. Officials in Deputy Mayor Cohen’s office promise to work towards finding a solution as well but point out the city is not in violation of the law by trying to assign them to non-religious kindergartens.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. ridiculous. there is not a reason in the world that these women cant work with chilonim. This is pure sinas chinam and just embarrassing to the rest of us.

  2. “What will happen when I light Shabbos candles and a non-religious child will ask me what these candles are about?”

    Wow, what an opportunity for kiruv !!!

  3. I think there is a definite conflict because they will be restricted in teaching religious values to the children. They may be asked to teach things that are anti religion.

  4. Whoever thinks this is an opportunity for kiruv is being very naive and is being dan l’kav chov, to boot (and to you, #4, this is just days before yom kippur, good job!)

    The very first time any of these ladies dares to broach a religious value in their chiloni gans there will be a huge hue and cry from the parents followed by an unpleasant public spectacle that will end in the gannenet losing her job and earning a black mark on her dossier that will probably prevent her from working again in the public sector forever.

    They are very right to be concerned.

  5. Unfortunately, there’s every likelihood that some chiloni parents will be hollering “religious coercion” “missionizing little chidren” “brainwashing.” Lapid will raise a parliamentary ruckus in the knesset, etc. This is probably what those kindergarten assistants are worried about. Kiruv works best in a non-hostile environment.

  6. #8 & #9 – You are right that there is such a risk but that all depends on the approach, there are plenty of religious ladies teaching chiloni kids without it being a problem, don’t forget that he vast majority of what you call chilonim and who you are “dan l’kav chov” as being anti-religious are traditional to some level and are not vehemently against their kids being exposed to others.

    It is my belief that one of the things that has been most damaging to the relation between chilonim and religious people over the past years (and to the level of religious awareness amongst chilonim) is how much we have put ourselves back in ‘ghettos’ with relgious neighborhoods, cities etc.
    It is so much easier to demonize something/body you anyhow almost never see then it is to demonize people you meet on a daily basis (whether we are speaking about charedim demonizing chilonim or vice versa is the same in this context).