After months of dithering and debate, Finance Minister Yair Lapid agreed to restore NIS 50 million in funding for programs for foreign students attending hareidi yeshivas. However, yeshivas that participate in the program will have to expose their students to some of the “other” side of Israeli life – specifically, taking them on tours of army bases and national sites.
The debate on canceling the funding has been going on for more than half a year. Last October, Lapid said that he would halt the funding. Education Minister Shai Piron (Yesh Atid) decided to amend the funding provided by the Ministry to Torah-centered institutions, so that funding for students from abroad was to be cut by 30% by the end of 2013 and be cancelled completely the following year.