Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar signed a new regulation Tuesday enabling Kolel students to receive a state scholarship for studying Torah in a part-time capacity. Yeshiva students will no longer be required to study 35 weekly hours to enjoy the benefit. Anyone studying 18 hours or more will qualify for a stipend or part of it.
For years the State recognized full-time yeshiva students only and many kolels working operating part time did not qualify for funding and used donation money to sustain the students.
The Education Ministry explained that the new regulation is meant to expedite the integration of haredim into the job market.
Until now, many yeshiva students refrained from working so as not to be forced to leave their yeshiva. The Ministry now hopes they will choose to combine work and Torah studies after receiving many requests from yeshiva students.
The new regulation applies to yeshiva students who are exempt from military service alone. According to Education Ministry data half of yeshiva students are exempt.
The Ministry recently enhanced inspection on yeshivot and seminaries to make sure the scholarship students indeed attended the establishments.
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