A long awaited funding round of NIS 65 million (over $18 million) for yeshivas in Israel will finally be distributed on Tuesday, Arutz Sheva has learned. The money will be distributed to yeshivas in both the hareidi and National Religious sectors.
Officials in the Education Ministry, the Economics Ministry, and the Finance Ministry have been wrangling over the money for months. Finance Minister Yair Lapid sharply cut funding for all yeshivas – especially those associated with the hareidi community - while Economics Minister Naftali Bennett mounted a major campaign to restore at least part of the funding.
In August, the Finance Ministry finally agreed to allocate the money, which was supposed to be distributed before Rosh Hashana. But the Treasury raised further objections, with the money held up by Lapid, who has been trying to cut the state budget to the bare bones.
In a Facebook post last month, Minister Uri Orbach said that Lapid and Bennett had fought “bitterly” over the allocation. Lapid and Bennett famously teamed up during coalition negotiations in order to ensure that both of their parties would be included in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government, but since then have drifted apart to an extent over significant policy differences.
A key figure in the efforts to free the money was MK Nissim Slomiansky, sources in Bayit Yehudi said. Slomiansky teamed up with Bennett to demand that Lapid finally release the money.
On Tuesday, a meeting of the Knesset Finance Committee is to be held, and the allocation will be approved, insiders told Arutz Sheva. Most of the money will be transferred to Religious Zionist yeshivas, with the balance allocated to hareidi yeshivas, sources on the committee said.