Tel Aviv Mayor: Chareidim Cultivate Ignorance


tel-aviv-mayor-ron-huldaiTel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai made harsh statements today against the chareidi education system, which he described as jeopardizing the future of Israeli society.

“Disillusionment and perhaps rebellion must emerge among the silent civilian majority which would restore Israeli democracy its right and ability to intervene and decide on those issues it holds dear,” he said.

Huldai was speaking in a debate titled “Educational Core” in an advanced education conference organized by the Kibbutzim College of Education in Tel Aviv. On the opposing side was Knesset Member Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) who said, “The yeshiva student learns about Rav Yehudah Halevi and not about Bialik. We shall not teach about Bialik.

 “Why should it bother anyone that we teach what we want? A Jewish student in state education knows nothing about Judaism at the end of his studies.”

The conference was attended by some 1,000 education professionals from Israel and overseas, including representatives of the various sectors in the education system: state-secular, state-religious, chareidi and Arab.

Today’s debate focused on whether agreement could be reached on basic core studies to constitute a basic and equal study program for all sectors. Consensus, however, was hardly reached.

Currently, there are seven core subjects which the Education Ministry requires to be taught: Hebrew, Math, English, Torah, History, Literature and Geography. The majority of Israeli schools abide by the program, apart from such educational establishments which were given exemption. Schools which do not include all seven subjects in their curriculum receive less funding from the Education Ministry.

 A debate on whether to impose the core program on haredi institutions has been going on for years. Various budget sanctions against “rebel” establishments were discussed.

Huldai expressed indignation over the lack of adherence to the core program. “Everyone teaches whatever they want,” he said.

“Radical Islamic sectors can educate against the State of Israel, and the state will fund it. The haredim also teach whatever they want, and are unwilling to teach the civic core of subjects, which any modern country would want for its citizens, in order to know what democracy means and be able to sustain themselves as adults and not become a liability on the tax-payer.”

He further added, “Today the State of Israel is probably the only country in the world where private education is being funded by the public, without it having to adhere to a minimum of educational demands.”

Huldai also noted, “Due to political pressure, in the name of multiculturalism and other advanced slogans – the State of Israel is funding and cultivating entire insulated and ignorant sectors which are increasing at a frightening speed and are jeopardizing our political and financial strength.”

MK Gafni agreed that any yeshiva student should be allowed to study subjects even without mandatory knowledge or completion of the relevant matriculation exams. “In any modern country if a person who studied in a yeshiva wants to become an aeronautical engineer, why should he be denied the right to study it? Yeshiva studies are not being recognized as education background.”

The Shas party said in response that Huldai “prefers foreign children to charedi and is using this pseudo academic analysis to disguise his racism.”

Shas MK Nissim Zeev called on the mayor to “address the crime in Tel Aviv and not matters handled by the education minister.”

{Ynet/Yair Israel}


  1. the mayor does have a point. there is 65% unemployment among haredim. Their education has to improve or Israel will become a third-world country.

  2. Well, yes. Any yeshiva bochur can become an aeronatical enginer -if:
    He knows math – through calculus. Also statistics and high-level computer competency.
    Physics – lots of it.
    And how to read English and other foreign languages, and how to write at least in Hebrew, if not also in English.

    And he has to know all this BEFORE starts college. He has to pass the tests to get in. Places like the Technion require that you already have a high level of knowledge. He’s not going to learn this stuff in the bais medrash. So where is he going to learn it? You can’t do it in a quickie six-month study course. It takes years. Are we going to cry discrimination if he can’t pass the tests and is therefore not admitted? Or have our planes disintegrate in midair?

    Let’s be reasonable.

  3. he’s not looking at our “cream of the crop”. he’s looking for our weak areas. He doesnt see that some of our parents have raised, or are raising, kids who are caring, informed and intelligent, in a frum way. In every group of people, the negative stuff stands out, and people with negativity and a negative agenda will prey on that…..that is unless he just has borderline personality disorder, then its another story.

  4. have rochmonus on the poor guy. How would any of you want to grow up with the name Chulda. (rat). He was traumatized, nebach, rofl

  5. he is 100% right we have to stop this life style and start educating our kids send them to college to ged a normal parnassah let them become doctors and lawyers they could make frum medical schools what happened with the gemarah that we have to teach a parnassah that part was eliminated from the gemarah

  6. Every child needs an education to function in whatever country they live.
    What occurs is that the wife ends up dealing with the banks, mortgage companies, utilities, storekeepers, etc. and then the husbands feel incompetent. Is this what we want to encourage?

  7. since when are we even atempting to give the non frum mayor, an opinion on torah study. Astro Jastrow (marcus’ grandson) who is a great astronomer said “I know nothing about religion but to me it sounds like it all boils down to being a good person”. The rabbi debating him replied, “I know nothing about religion, but to me it all boils down to ‘twinkle twinkle little star”!!
    This am ha’aretz claims to think that he can decide what we should learn in our yeshivos. Forget that old man from Bnei Brak (R’ Shteinman). What does he know? How much of the world has he seen? Where did he get his education? which university did he study at?
    Absolutely ridiculous! Mind boggling!

  8. “…ignorant sectors which are increasing at a frightening speed…”

    Right. I wonder why chiloni parents scramble to send their kids to charedi schools?

    Take care of your own garbage, Huldai.