The heads of the yeshivas in Israel are “taking off the gloves” when it comes to fighting the government-imposed cuts in their budgets.
Dozens of directors of hesder yeshivas and other Zionist yeshivas gathered for an emergency meeting on Tuesday evening to discuss the cuts, which essentially eliminate two-thirds (66%) of the payments the government provides to a yeshiva per student.
In the months that remain until the end of 2013, yeshivas will receive a payment of 155 shekels per student instead of 476 in 2012. For avrechim (kollel students) the yeshivas will now receive 279 shekels instead of 856 in 2012.
Rabbi Ari Katz, head of the Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh near the city of Ashdod, told Arutz Sheva that the budget cuts had caught the yeshivas by surprise.
“We were made aware of this harsh decree just yesterday,” he said. “We were all counting on a lot more,” he admitted.
The cuts, explained Rabbi Katz, mean that the yeshivas will not only have a hard time paying stipends to students, but will also find it difficult to pay salaries.
He pointed out that the yeshivas in question are not ones whose students evade service in the IDF.
“The boys by us serve in the army, we contribute to the country and we don’t know what to do,” said Rabbi Katz. “We’ve decided to take off the gloves and that our voices should be heard about the war against the Torah world in Eretz Yisrael.”