After hareidi MKs launched a fierce diatribe Tuesday against the religious Zionist Bayit Yehudi for allowing budgets for foreign students to be axed, Bayit Yehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett said the cutting of the budget was "a glitch" and promised to take action to regain the lost funding.
As the Knesset Finance Committee, headed by Bayit Yehudi's MK Nissan Slomiansky, prepares to transfer 65M shekels to yeshivas next week, Bennett held a meeting with MKs Avi Wurtzman and Ayelet Shaked Wednesday, together with the heads of the hesder yeshivas and Zionist high yeshivas, headed by Rabbi Haim Druckman, Dean of Ohr Etzion Yeshiva.
The participants agreed to appoint a project director on behalf of the yeshivas, who would work in tandem with Wurtzman and Shaked regarding the yeshivas. The additional funding will be made possible through cooperation with Education Minister Shai Piron (Yesh Atid).
The sum that the Finance Committee will transfer to the yeshivas will be in addition to a budget that was transferred about a month ago, and another 15 million shekels that went to the hesder yeshivas, which combine military service in their study track.
In the course of the meeting, Bennett said he would also fight for the budgets for foreign students. "The matter of foreign students is a substantially meaningful one and we will fight for it," he averred. "I live in Raanana. Many of the city's residents came to Israel following their sons, who were foreign students. The cancellation of the budget is simply a glitch and we will fight for it to be brought back."
MK Wurtzman said that the Zionist yeshivas' budget would wind up no lesser that, and perhaps even somewhat larger than its 2012 levels. About 2,000 hareidi girls' who attend midrashot would also receive twice what was initially allotted to them in the initial budget.
"The meeting was very important," said Rabbi Druckman. "Our representatives will lead in all of the issues that were on the agenda, in the best possible way, so that the Torah world will not only avoid being hurt, but will flourish and grow upward."