Thousands of people attended a demonstration in Jerusalem on Tuesday against government supervision of haredi educational institutions. In the rally, which was organized by the Haredi Community anti-Zionist faction, rabbis urged education institution heads not to apply for state funds.
A banner hung over the central stage at the event read, "It's time to say no to the heretical government's budgets, which bring a catastrophe on haredi education."
Thousands rally in Jerusalem (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
The rally was opened with a reciting of psalms and speeches by prominent rabbis. Later on, protesters marched through the haredi neighborhoods of Geula and Mea Shearim, and hundreds of people joined them in the process.
Rabbi Avraham Freuilich, one of the speakers at the rally, said that over the last 50 years the question of collaborating with the government on Torah study issues has been disputed by rabbis. "But what has been going on in recent months constitutes licentiousness and blasphemy which no one thought possible."
Freuilich claimed that all ultra-Orthodox institutions have been "sold off" to full supervision by the Education Ministry. "It's unacceptable to have the Education Ministry transform yeshiva students into its own students and to strictly supervise student admission, budgeting and the employment of educating rabbis."