It is no secret that Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit has been no friend of the chareidi public, having used many public forums to express his disparaging remarks of the chareidi community.
In his latest move, the ministry has instructed local government not to pay utility costs for chareidi schools, including Chinuch Atzmai and Shas-affiliated Mayan HaChinuch, in addition to halting garbage collection services.
The intervention of chareidi MKs succeeded in persuading electric and water authorities to hold off placing meters in the names of schools instead of local government pending court hearings on the matter surrounding what is known as the Nahari Law. Garbage collection service however has ceased for three weeks since companies are concerned with providing service since at present, it remains unclear who will undertake the payment in the future and they prefer to sit and wait rather than to incur costs which may not be covered by any agency. The utility services were supposes to halt on March 1st, but the MKs’ intervention succeeded in buying time for water and electric, but not for cleaning services and garbage pickup.
After the first week, it became abundantly clear that the surroundings were no longer conducive to learning and the decision was made to begin each day with a cleanup operation to bring classrooms and the surrounding areas to an acceptable standard to continues the day’s classes. Students and staff members are cleaning schools, including washing floors, working to maintain a suitable environment.
Rav Avraham Yosef Lazerson, who stands at the helm of Chinuch Atzmai, has decided that prior to launching a strike, he must wait for a High Court decision on a pending appeal relevant agencies have been instructed to respond within 10 days. Rav Lazerson has instructed his assistant Rav Tzvi Baumel to contact school administrators and instruct them to please try to endure despite the difficult and unacceptable conditions. Rav Lazerson explains if the High Court’s decision is not favorable, he will turn to Gedolei Yisrael Shlita for guidance as how to proceed.
Letters were sent to parents this week from the PTA explaining the situation and what is being done in the interim, pending a High Court ruling.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)