Knesset committee approves extra NIS 700 million for ultra-Orthodox education

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

MK Moshe Gafni leads a Finance Committee meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on June 12, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
MK Moshe Gafni leads a Finance Committee meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on June 12, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Knesset’s Finance Committee approves a budget transfer of NIS 700 million ($185 million) to a program funding teachers in Haredi and independent educational institutions.

The transfers are a partial fulfillment of coalition promises to ultra-Orthodox parties to infuse their educational systems with cash.

The funds will come from a cross-board cut to government agencies and public services. Among the affected are funds to help Holocaust survivors, childcare subsidies, the disabled, and Education Ministry resources previously earmarked to build new classroom space.

United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni, who chairs the Finance Committee, says that the transfer is part of his vision to increase funding for ultra-Orthodox schools, whose content is largely unregulated by the Education Ministry and which are not required to teach core curriculum subjects.

“We are making every effort to correct the injustice that has accumulated over the years in the lack of funding for Torah education and Torah institutions,” Gafni says.

“This is the first mission that was carried out in accordance with the coalition agreements, and I hope that we will continue, with the help of Heaven, to fill in all the gaps that have harmed the ultra-Orthodox public,” he says.

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