{BlissNotes} Cleaning Up Jerusalem

Skip to first unread message

Dr. Philip Bliss

Apr 26, 2010, 5:46:56 PM4/26/10
to ProjeNews Google

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here
26 April 2010 IRAC Website|Blog||Contact

Dear Friends of IRAC,

We’re cleaning up Jerusalem – one case at a time. 

Last week, on the eve of Yom Ha’atzmaut, IRAC won a major case in the Jerusalem District Court.  We put an end to the Jerusalem municipality’s practice of providing exclusive additional funds to religious schools controlled by ultra-Orthodox political parties.

The Jerusalem municipality’s allocation of millions and millions of shekels to Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) schools – at the expense of all other Jerusalem schools, especially when there are so many in dire need of financial support – was yet another example of how the Haredim use political power to secure government resources and win disproportionate benefits for their own communities.

We argued that such funding was undeniably discriminatory, violated the principle of equality, and was designed to appease a narrow interest group.  The Jerusalem municipality disregarded the legitimate needs of hundreds of schools around the city, and instead gave preference to two religious political parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism, who are influential both within the Jerusalem city council and the national government coalition.

The misuse of city funds was also – and we argued as such – a blatantly illegal move, so much so that the city council’s own legal advisor refused to represent the case; instead, Mayor Nir Barkat’s council had to hire a private lawyer.  

As Tali Aviv, a lawyer on IRAC’s excellent legal team, put it, “while other schools suffer from under-funding, the Haredi schools get extra.  And in a city like Jerusalem, where there is so much diversity, it’s even worse for the city council to favor only one kind of school – there’s no pluralism in that.”

IRAC’s victory is an important one.  It will narrow the gap between privileged and underprivileged schools; other municipalities across Israel will use the Jerusalem District Court’s decision for guidance with similar cases of their own – and it is now more difficult for other authorities to set discriminatory criteria that favor ultra-Orthodox schools. 


Anat Hoffman

P.S. We’ve extended the deadline for our 2010-2011 Fellowship until May 2nd, 2010.  Click here for more details.

P.P.S. I’ve been in Chicago since Thursday, where I spoke at a national ARZA gathering.  Thank you to all ARZA members – if you’re not a member of ARZA, you should be.  I’ll be speaking in Chicago-area congregations all this week, and hope to get a chance to meet with all of you who can make it.  

Court Rejects Jerusalem Bid to Up Funding for Haredi Schools

By Nir Hasson, Haaretz, April 23rd, 2010

The Jerusalem District Court yesterday invalidated the Jerusalem municipality's decision to increase fu


Court: Jerusalem Municipality Favors Haredi Schools

By Ronen Medzini, YNet News, April 19th, 2010

An administrative court determined on Monday that the Jerusalem Municipality favors local ultra-Or


Ayalon, Rotem to Reassure U.S. Critics of Conversion Bill

By Jonah Mandel, The Jerusalem Post, April 23rd, 2010

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and MK David Rotem, both of Israel Beiteinu, will be


Ramat Beit Shemesh Residents Jostle over Control of Mikva

By Ruth Eglash, The Jerusalem Post, April 25th, 2010

Friction between two religious communities in Ramat Beit Shemesh has surfaced once again, t


Haredim Demonstrate, Try to Burn Flags in Beit Shemesh

By Yoav Zitun, YNet News, April 20th, 2010

While the State of Israel celebrates 62 years of independence, hundreds of Haredi demonstrators took


Percent of Non-Working Haredi Men Tripled in Space of 30 Years

By Haim Bior, Haaretz, April 14th, 2010

The percentage of ultra-Orthodox men not working has more than tripled over the past 30 years. In 2008,

Statistics Bureau: 75% of Israeli citizens are Jewish

By Haaretz Service, Haaretz, April 18th, 2010

On Israel's 62nd Independence Day, the number of Israeli citizens in the country stands at more th

Im Tirtzu Alters Memorial Prayer in Fresh Attack on Israeli Left

By Chaim Levinson, Haaretz, April 18th, 2010

Im Tirzu, which labels itself as a centrist party that aims to strengthen Zionism in Israel, has di

Time to Wake Up

By Yizhar Hess, The Jerusalem Post, April 22nd, 2010

Anyone who used public transportation to get to the Western Wall during Pessah was confront

2009 All rights reserved. Israel Religious Action Center | 33 Jaffa street. POB 31936, Jerusalem, 91319, Israel

Forward email

Safe Unsubscribe
This email was sent to phi...@blissfam.com by cl...@irac.org.

The Israel Religious Action Center | POB 31936 | Jerusalem | 91319 | Israel

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "BlissNotes" group.
Articles are posted on BlissNotes as a matter of general interest and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to phili...@philipbliss.com or I...@samuel.net.au
For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/BlissNotes?hl=en-GB
Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages