Senior rabbis and Hassidic leaders in the ultra-Orthodox community are charging that Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar is trying to implement his education program in their schools.
During an emergency meeting last week, the rabbis ordered school principals to object to any development that has not been agreed upon by the leading rabbis, even at the cost of budgetary cuts.
They have also instructed their Knesset representatives to oppose any government involvement in the matter.
The meeting was held in the home of Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, a Lithuanian-Orthodox community leader. The participants in the meeting included Hassidic leader Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, Rabbi Israel Hagar of Vizhnitz, Hassidic leader of Sanz and a representative of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv. Others included Knesset Members Moshe Gafni, Meir Porush, Menachem Eliezer Moses and Uri Maklev of the United Torah Judaism party, and dozens of educators and principals from all over the country.
The rabbis warned that these predestinations "pose an existential threat to the independent education system, its purity and sanctity". They expressed their appreciation to those principals who are battling the decrease in donations from abroad, noting that the temptation to cooperate with the government so as not to lose money is a trial they must face.
The decisions made in the meeting included the following: a) Only leading rabbis will have the authority to determine education arrangements in Torah studies and in all educational institutes b) Principals of Torah studies must not agree to any change in the educational framework.
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