The Jerusalem Municipality and the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design will next year establish an academic extension for art and design studies for the haredi public.
The joint initiative recently received approval from the Council for Higher Education and according to plans; the extension will be set up at the 'Oman' haredi school for higher education in the arts in Jerusalem's Romema neighborhood.
The institution's preparatory school will commence its academic activities as early as the next winter semester while the architecture and art school will launch their academic programs in the 2014 academic year with council approved lecturers.
The new arts school is part of a widespread Higher Education Council program to open academic extensions for haredi students in a variety of subjects and fields.
"Bezalel's and our initiative is another breakthrough in the integration of the haredi sector in academic institutions and in the workforce," said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.
As of today there are nine arts schools in Jerusalem with over 4,000 students annually. This number equals half the students currently registered in academic arts programs in Israel.
The 'Oman' center was established by the Jerusalem municipality over a decade ago in an attempt to present the haredi public with new academic opportunities.
Over the years, demand for participation in the programs has grown and the center now includes departments in plastic arts, photography, jewelry making and ceramics. The center hopes the new joint initiative will lead to a rise in admissions.
"This is a major achievement in the arts world through the simple fact that we have recognition from the haredi public," Professor Yaara Bar-On, Deputy President for academic affairs at Bezalel said on Wednesday.