As the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of N’vei Yaakov continues becoming more chareidi, the shortage of Beis Yaakov classrooms grows more pressing with each passing year.
According to a Kikar Shabbos News report, the parents’ association of the Navat Bas Sheva (נוות בת שבע) School in the community, under the direction of HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Zilberman Shlita, has sent a letter to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat informing him they plan to strike the opening of the new school year.
The letter speaks of the ongoing discrimination between Ashkenazim and Sephardim, and the city compelling the school to accept girls. The letter writes at present there are 11 full classrooms of girls outside of the school and the caravans offered by the city are no longer acceptable as they too are filled beyond capacity. The letter states that in addition, the caravans are unacceptable and conditions for students are below even the most minimal acceptable level.
Making things worse, the PTA points out there are empty buildings available but Barkat will not allocate them for chareidim so the Beis Yaakov girls are left without space. These buildings were used by the dati leumi community in the past but today, there are not enough students. They point out the Brand religious pubic school building is only 15% filled and many or most of these students are from outside the community.
The PTA explains compelling the school to accept the girls from Pisgat Ze’ev has led to severe unacceptable overcrowding and as a result, they are not planning to open the news school year until such time an acceptable solution is offered.
The five points demanded by the PTA are:
1. To allocate acceptable buildings
2. To utilize existing empty classrooms
3. To upgrade the school’s electric grid to permit using air conditioners
4. To begin addressing the following year’s needs immediately and build classrooms as required
5. To remove the caravan classrooms from the school yard to permit the students a place to run around during breaks
The PTA concludes that to date, efforts to contact City Hall officials “have fallen on deaf ears” and therefore the decision has been made to strike the start of the new year. The PTA emphasizes the mora d’asra, Rav Zilberman, has given his approval for their actions.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)