Jerusalem Religious Council officials warn they are on the verge of fiscal collapse and if a solution is not forthcoming in the very near future, religious services in the capital may come to an abrupt halt.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs sent a letter to Jerusalem City Hall informing officials that the current arrangement, by which the national government funds 40% of the city’s religious services, leaving 60% for local government is coming to an end. The new arrangement calls on Jerusalem City Hall to undertake 75%, of funding, leaving 25% for the national government.
City Hall officials explain this is simply not possible, explaining the city barely has the funds to cover the 60%, stating emphatically, 75% is unrealistic and a non-starter.
Deputy Mayor David Atari of the national religious camp sent a letter to Minister of Religious Services (Shas) Yitzchak Cohen, stating the national government’s demands are unreasonable.
In his letter, Atari calls the nation government’s decision unacceptable, calling for an urgent meeting next week to include representatives of City Hall and the national government, warning that failure to reach a mutually acceptable solution will bring a halt to many essential services such as fuel for mikvaos and checking and maintaining the city’s eruv.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)