Gedolim Shlita Decry High Court Involvement in Chareidi Chinuch

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Gedolei Yisrael Shlita are expressing their strong disapproval over the High Court of Justice’s interference in matters pertaining to chareidi education, specifically referring to the case of the Beis Yaakov in Emanuel and the dress code adopted by chareidi mosdos.

According to the daily HaMevaser, a court decision includes reference to the “stringent dress code adopted by schools in the chareidi system, based on the beis din of R’ Wosner, who represents a particularly stringent approach regarding modesty”.

HaMevaser quotes “Gedolei and Tzadikei HaDor Shlita” expressing profound concerns regarding the court’s involvement in these matters. The matter was on the agenda during day-long discussions with gedolim and Deputy Minister of Education R’ Meir Porush, who is seeking guidance as how to respond to the recent ruling levying a 5,000 NIS daily fine on Chinuch Atzmai regarding ongoing segregation in Emanuel.

The rabbonim have instructed leaders that a public outcry must be heard, to sound an alarm against the involvement which seeks to threaten the most basic values instilled in the children in chareidi mosdos. They rejected any possibility of permitting an outside body such as the secular court to play any role whatsoever in chareidi mosdos.

Following the directive of gedolei yisrael, Porush contacted the Novominsker Rebbe Shlita, who stands a the helm of Agudas Yisrael in North America, informing the Rebbe of the conversation with gedolei yisrael and their call for the Rebbe to bring the matter to the Council of Torah Sages of Agudah in the United States.

An urgent meeting of Agudat Yisrael leaders was held in Yerushalayim on Sunday and a decision was made to distribute pushkas nationwide towards raising funds to pay the daily fine of 5,000 NIS. The fine remains in effect for as long as segregation continues in Emanuel — that is to say for as long as parents of many girls continue educating their children outside the school, refusing to send them for as long as ashkenazim and sephardim are in integrated classes.

Porush spent the entire day on Sunday in meetings with rabbonim and askanim, seeking to continue efforts to counter what Chinuch Atzmai views as an effort by the secular court to uproot the very foundation of chinuch in chareidi mosdos.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


30 COMMENTS

  1. For sure the secular courts have no business getting involved, especially regarding dress, but doesn’t sinas chinam uproot the very foundation of chinuch? I mean, we’re all Jews here.. it’s not like the Sfaradim are coming in screaming the Ashkenazim need to learn their minhagim, right? And even if they should be split for whatever reasons, why do they need to do it via such chilul Hashem which is obviously ‘hey, we don’t want your kind with us’? We know from halacha that Hashem hates this sort of thing…

  2. as someone who does not understand the situation , why can’t harav ovadya yosef the former chief rabbi from the sephardim meet with the head of the ashkenazim rabonim to solve this problem . if as yidden we work together for the good of our kids and put aside our petty differances , then we would not have to worry about the secular High Court of Justice’s interference in matters pertaining to chareidi education

  3. With all due disgust for the “high” court…

    What is wrong with ashkenazi and sefardi kids going to school together???
    Ok, they have some different minhagim (which both sides can learn to respect the other’s) but there is only one Torah!

    There are plenty of sefardim learning in Lakewood (Ir HaKodesh).
    I don’t see why there has to be this devisiveness for no good reason.

  4. For argument’s sake suppose the Sephardim in that town allow certain things that the Askenazim are not comfortable with, like cell phones or ipods or whatever. It is understandable that the Askenazim would not want their children exposed to these things. However, the way to do that is to make a rule that they are not allowed to be brought to school, or they will be confiscated.

    However, to put up a fence in the school, or to homeschool the Ashkenazi kids is completely the wrong way and teaches Ashkenazim terrible midos, gayva and cruelty towards one’s fellow Jews. What value is the Torah they are learning, if these are the lessons the kids are being taught?

  5. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?
    This segregation issue has been going on for over a year, when finally full of disgust the Sephardich parents brought their case (which could not be solved by the school, leadership or rabbanim in Emanuel)to court for mediation. The court gave out rulings which were completely ignored, finally when a fine will put on the CHinuch Atzmai school, there is an international uproar.
    Many unanswered questions:
    1. What took so long till the leadership realized that this problem was not going to disappear?
    2. The high court did what was expected, levied a fine upon an institution which is exhibiting prejudice, discrimination and anti-human-rights. Now we are fighting the fine!!!!! and still ignoring the problem at large…..WHY?
    3. Can’t some young ladies dress according to R. Wosner’s stringent rules of modesty and others according to Rav Ovadia Yosef’s dress code? Are we so weak that if my classmates wears stockings of 30 denier and mine is off black hose with a lighter denier — life is coming to an end?
    4. This has nothing to do with Kedusha, Mesorah or Minhagim — it is to curtail friendships, relationships, future marriages (among brothers and friends), and to prove supremacy of one way of life over another. Can we adhere to a system of cooperation, understanding, mutual respect and further educational goals when two valued “Torah Approaches” learn together under one rooftop?

    All those who say,’You do not understand’, ‘Eretz Yisrael is different than America’, ‘The reason is valid and has to be adhered to’…….. are just advocating the easy way out (as one who lived, lives and have much family in EY)

  6. So long as the secular government supports the schools financially, the secular court has every right to be involved. Chinuch Atzmai takes lots of money from the government. Whose pockets to grease with that money is the issue at the root of the ongoing Chinuch Atzmai litigation. It is called having your cake and eating it.

  7. #1 the only reason the secular couts got involved is because somebody petitioned the courts.

    I assume it was a sephardi family who fed up with their kids not being allowed into these scholls and nobody addressing their concerns. I guess in desperation they turned to the secular courts.

    It is very unfortunate that this could not be resolved internally and as a result a huge Chilul Hashem has been created.

  8. #2, #5, #6 – Don’t you think that maybe, just maybe, the Gedolim have a cheshbon for what they do? Do you think that they haven’t thought about this, or that they decided to do what they did for no reason? Perhaps R’ Elyashiv wants ashkenazim and sephardim to be taught different things, each according to their mesorah? And who do you think we should trust to tell us what is right: our Gedolim, or the secular, leftist Israeli High Court, which has time and time again shown how its negative feelings about our religion and all those who practice it? We as frum jews have higher authorities, who draw their wisdom from the Torah, the Word of Hashem!!!

  9. #6 – Keeping your children away from people who do things that are not to your liking has nothing to do with “proving supremacy of one way of life over another”, it has to do with stopping what you see as negative hashpos from influencing your children. Why do you assume that this was done with “prejudice, discrimination”, and not done with respect, out of a desire to preserve one’s own way of life? Young children learn from those around them, and parents have a right, if not an obligation, to make sure that the people their children are learning from have what they consider to be acceptable hashkafos. If I believe that it is important to “wear
    stockings of 30 denier”, do I want my daughter to learn otherwise?

  10. Copy and pasted from the past thread on this topic (http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=53355#comment-180778):

    Here I am again.

    I live in Emanuel

    You can visit the place for yourself and see girls from Sepharadi and Ashkenazi and blended families in the Beis Yaakov Chasidi.

    I cannot believe how far these lies have gone. I am re-posting what I have said in previous articles on this topic.

    The girls who attend the Beis Yacov Chasidi in Emanuel have their roots in the following countries: Iraq, Persia, Morocco, Kurdistan, Yemen, India, Egypt, The Old Yishuv here in Israel, Tunisia, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Germany. What makes this school different is its standards, in particular standards concerning tznius (length and tightness of dress), no makeup, no MP3s, exposure to media, etc. The parents who objected to the current standards of the city Beis Yakov either bussed their girls to Bnei Brak or tried to start another school. I have lived in Emanuel for eleven years, have six kids who have been and are still attending schools here. When we first came, there were three schools for boys and one for girls – the only school for girls was the Beis Yacov, which already had within in a split off Chabad School, which soon after moved to its own building. The original Beis Yacov was largely comprised of Chassidic families. The three boy’s schools were then and continue to be Chabad, Chassidic, and Sephardic. “Chassidic” does not mean “Ashkenazic”. Members of both communities marry each other.

    The demographics here changed. Chassidim were moving out, and the flavor the original Beis Yacov was becoming more modern. The formation of the Beis Yacov Chasidi was an effort by members of the original Chassidic population here to re-create the kind of Beis Yacov that they had a decade ago. It was a stricter school – in terms of dress, exposure to media, even to some aspects of Haredi culture that they feel is not for them as in Haredi “rock music”, choice of careers, etc – and certainly NOT of an “Ashkenazic” school! This was after a couple of years of outreach programs meant to encourage people to move the original Beis Yacov back towards its original narrower interpretation of the Israeli Haredi lifestyle. This outreach did not succeed, to the Chassidim formed their own school – in their minds, returning to the original school’s former style.

    One of the original founders of the Beis Yacov Chasidi, which was founded in 2007, was Rav Ba’adani, a gadol (very well respected Rabbinical authority) who happens to be Sephardic. Additionally, there were two families who had daughters in both the original Beis Yacov and the Beis Yacov Chasidi at the very same time, proving yet again that this was not an ethnic division. This is a dynamic, fluid society. There were girls who switched back to the original school and those who switched to the Chasidi school the following year. There is an excellent Chabad school, the original Beis Yaakov, plus dati leumi and charedi dati leumi (chardal) schools in other towns in the Shomron that offer excellent alternatives, and the new Beis Rachel and Leah, run by a wonderful principal and staff, offer yet another healthy alternative for students here.

    I live in Emanuel. I love the variety here, some of which must be preserved in diverse educational institutions. Variety has been instrumental in the survival of the Jewish people, both nationally and individually.

    Because of its small size, Emanuel has been a nice place for people to get to know members of different kinds of communities more easily than in a large city perhaps. That makes this horrendous media fabrication all that more ironic – and painful.

    Next time you hear a news story that touches you, please contact people who live locally to get a sense of what is happening.

    Comment by RG — April 12, 2010 @ 8:37 am

  11. Certain people seem to forget that this issue isn’t new.
    Sephardim are being discriminated against for years.
    Ashkenazi yeshivos don’t accept Sephardim.
    Many of them even change their last name so it sounds ashkenazi.
    This is not due to some different minhogim.
    It’s not due to different Tsnius rules.
    If that were the case, there would be nothing wrong with seperating people based on the way they act.
    Unfortunately, the fact is that in the Hareidi world in Israel, Ashkenazi schools, yeshivos, etc… don’t want to have Sephardi students because they discriminate against them.
    The Rabbonim, have always been against this discrimination, at least officially; but have nerver been able to reason with the Roshei yeshivos and Menahalim of Ashkenazi Yeshivis and Basei Yaacov.

    I understand on one hand that the high court shouldn’t be involve in the matters of Hareidi education, but on the other hand, this discrimination has to come to an end.

    What surprises me more than anything else is that the Gedolei Hador are not coming out publicly against the discrimination; because, the school in Emanuel shouldn’t segregate the sephardim, and what they did is a huge Chilul Hashem. Even before the high court got involved.

  12. #9 – Volvie – which Gedolim the Ashkenazim or the Sefaradim?

    The fact is that the majority of the Sefaradi families in Emanuel have different approaches to many areas of life from the Ashkenazi families. That is not making a judgment about either group; it is simply stating a fact. As is their way generally the Sefaradim have a more relaxed attitude to many areas of life and this makes them accept their Ashkenazi bretheren with their chumras and hakpodas far more easily than the Ashkenazim accept the Sefaradim who may not be as concerened with that last centimeter of skirt length, failing to find a direct mekor in Chazal for the demanded length. The problem is that the Ashkenazin are certain they are right and reject anyone who will not buckle under the weight of their chumras and hakpodas. Most of the Sefaradim I know have a much clearer sense of emuna and emunas chachomim that the Ashkenazim I know but what is that compared to an extra centimeter of sleeve or skirt. We must get our priorities right.

  13. People who brought this to a secular court are probably the same people that do not want to obide
    by the standards of the school. If the requirement of the school was to have psyical ed 5 times a week and you did not want your child to have psy ed you would send them to a different school. If you want to go to this school obey the rules or change communities. They know the ccmmunity before the moved there

  14. #13 – The Gedolim have, actually, come out against the Israeli High Court. Perhaps R’ Elyashiv wants ashkenazim and sephardim to be taught different things, each according to their mesorah? And who do you think we should trust to tell us what is right: our Gedolim, or the secular, leftist Israeli High Court, which has time and time again shown how its negative feelings about our religion and all those who practice it? We as frum jews have higher authorities, who draw their wisdom from the Torah, the Word of Hashem!!!

    #14 – Pease read comment #11. Emunah and Emanas chachumim are indeed extremely important, but so is following the halacha and your mesorah.

  15. So long as these Yeshivos take money from the Government, the courts have a right to intervene. If they don’t like it, stop taking th money. Aside from the fact that this goes against the basics of Judaism.

  16. mw13 – so then, why is it that the media is publicizing the notion of segregation? Is it, or is it not true that there are separate entrances for ashkenazim and for sephardim? And if it is true, then why is it true?

  17. I’m afraid to write what I’m really thinking as I dont want to disrespect the Ashkenaz Rabbonim involved. I wonder what Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlita is holding on this situation?

  18. Why in the world are you guys still arguing about the righteousness of the courts after #12 ‘s clarification????

    I live in Emanuel

    You can visit the place for yourself and see girls from Sepharadi and Ashkenazi and blended families in the Beis Yaakov Chasidi.

    I cannot believe how far these lies have gone. I am re-posting what I have said in previous articles on this topic.

    The girls who attend the Beis Yacov Chasidi in Emanuel have their roots in the following countries: Iraq, Persia, Morocco, Kurdistan, Yemen, India, Egypt, The Old Yishuv here in Israel, Tunisia, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Germany. What makes this school different is its standards, in particular standards concerning tznius (length and tightness of dress), no makeup, no MP3s, exposure to media, etc. The parents who objected to the current standards of the city Beis Yakov either bussed their girls to Bnei Brak or tried to start another school. I have lived in Emanuel for eleven years, have six kids who have been and are still attending schools here. When we first came, there were three schools for boys and one for girls – the only school for girls was the Beis Yacov, which already had within in a split off Chabad School, which soon after moved to its own building. The original Beis Yacov was largely comprised of Chassidic families. The three boy’s schools were then and continue to be Chabad, Chassidic, and Sephardic. “Chassidic” does not mean “Ashkenazic”. Members of both communities marry each other.

    The demographics here changed. Chassidim were moving out, and the flavor the original Beis Yacov was becoming more modern. The formation of the Beis Yacov Chasidi was an effort by members of the original Chassidic population here to re-create the kind of Beis Yacov that they had a decade ago. It was a stricter school – in terms of dress, exposure to media, even to some aspects of Haredi culture that they feel is not for them as in Haredi “rock music”, choice of careers, etc – and certainly NOT of an “Ashkenazic” school! This was after a couple of years of outreach programs meant to encourage people to move the original Beis Yacov back towards its original narrower interpretation of the Israeli Haredi lifestyle. This outreach did not succeed, to the Chassidim formed their own school – in their minds, returning to the original school’s former style.

    One of the original founders of the Beis Yacov Chasidi, which was founded in 2007, was Rav Ba’adani, a gadol (very well respected Rabbinical authority) who happens to be Sephardic. Additionally, there were two families who had daughters in both the original Beis Yacov and the Beis Yacov Chasidi at the very same time, proving yet again that this was not an ethnic division. This is a dynamic, fluid society. There were girls who switched back to the original school and those who switched to the Chasidi school the following year. There is an excellent Chabad school, the original Beis Yaakov, plus dati leumi and charedi dati leumi (chardal) schools in other towns in the Shomron that offer excellent alternatives, and the new Beis Rachel and Leah, run by a wonderful principal and staff, offer yet another healthy alternative for students here.

    I live in Emanuel. I love the variety here, some of which must be preserved in diverse educational institutions. Variety has been instrumental in the survival of the Jewish people, both nationally and individually.

    Because of its small size, Emanuel has been a nice place for people to get to know members of different kinds of communities more easily than in a large city perhaps. That makes this horrendous media fabrication all that more ironic – and painful.

  19. Here I am again.

    Thanks to the above for pasting my comment to this discussion.

    What this story really is about is media provocation and misinformation, a public who does not scrutinize its journalists enough, and inappropriate judiciary activism.

    Stop the cycle of lies. Question the media. Question the court system.

    You might believe that being the victim of media slander and lies cannot happen to you. But as long as it is happening to anybody, it is affecting you too. The media is sneering at the Chassidic Jews of Emanuel – and if you believe the media, they have duped you too.

    I live in Emanuel. Come visit and see for yourself.

  20. To # 19

    “The girls who attend the Beis Yacov Chasidi in Emanuel have their roots in the following countries: Iraq, Persia, Morocco, Kurdistan, Yemen, India, Egypt, The Old Yishuv here in Israel, Tunisia, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Germany. What makes this school different is its standards.”

    There are girls whose roots are Sephardi, Ashkenazi, blended, nonJewish, etc, etc etc in ALL the schools in Emanuel.

    Media lies happen. Question the cycle. Do not be a party to it by believing it. Come visit for yourself.

  21. To # 13

    You may contact One of the Gedolei HaDor, HaRav HaGaon Rav Ba’adani. You can look in a phone book under Rabbanim in the country-wide section, and ask him why he instructed the Chassidim of Emanuel to open a new school, in which attend girls who have their roots in the following countries: Iraq, Persia, Morocco, Kurdistan, Yemen, India, Egypt, The Old Yishuv here in Israel, Tunisia, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Germany.

  22. To sayitlikeitis,

    I appreciate your passion. Please turn some of that energy onto questioning the media. What do you think of the following interaction I had with a so called journalist two years ago?

    Me: How can you say this is an ethnic division when you see for yourself Sephardi girls here? The difference is that is hashkafa!
    Reporter: I know it is racist because the Chassidi school opened in the same building! (Triumphant sneer)
    Me: But the Chabad school also opened up in this building before they got their own building!
    Reporter: (blushed, blinked rapidly, eyes darted from side to side), “I have work to do!” and she walked away quickly.

    Please use your energy to question the media. Thank you.

  23. #18 – “this goes against the basics of Judaism.”
    Except that the Gedolim, who know the “basics of Judasim” far better than we do, clearly disagree with you.

    #19 – “Is it, or is it not true that there are separate entrances for ashkenazim and for sephardim?”
    Living in America, I do not know what is happening in Israel. However, the Israeli media doesn’t exactly have a clean record when it comes to anti-religious bias…

  24. Entrances to the Beis Yaakov building:

    The original Beis Yaakov building, since its inception, has always has two gate entrances and two front doors. One entrance is down the hill, the other is on the higher part of the hill in this hilly town. Many schools have several entrances. The high school was inside this building, in the top floor, along with the elementary school until 2004, whereupon the high school got its own building. The entrance normally used for the high school was the uphill entrance, which was nearer to the top floor, where the high school was. When the high school moved, the top floor was left totally empty. It was a reasonable idea to use this empty, unused space for the new Chassidi school and its different philosophy and community of girls whose roots are from Yemen, Morocco, Iraq, Persia, Tunisia, Egypt, India, Hungary, Poland, Germany, etc. So they use the old high school entrance. So what.

    Please question the media and the courts. Do not let them dupe you. I live in Emanuel. Come visit.

  25. The Chazon Ish ZT”L, Rav Shach ZT”L, and many other gedolim of yore felt the racism against sephardim was intolerable. They know better than us.