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‘Likud Must Act to Save Torah World’ from Lapid

Jewish Home source says Likud must intervene to save yeshivas from Lapid’s budget freeze.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 11/24/2013, 10:51 AM

Hareidi men study Torah in the Mir yeshiva
Hareidi men study Torah in the Mir yeshiva
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Hareidi-religious yeshivas are facing a financial crisis as Finance Minister Yair Lapid continues to withhold millions of shekels.

In late September it was announced that 65 million shekels would go to yeshivas in both the hareidi and religious-Zionist communities. However, a senior source in the Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) party told Arutz Sheva that while Lapid transferred money to the religious-Zionist yeshivas as promised, hareidi yeshivas have yet to see the funding.

Lapid continues to strongly oppose a budget transfer to yeshivas that do not encourage their students to enlist in the IDF, the source explained.

The Jewish Home has fought for the funding transfer, the source said. “The Torah world is one – whether hareidi or Zionist,” they declared.

“The Jewish Home has done much to get the funding to go through. Those in the Likud who value the Torah world must act as well, so that the Torah world is not destroyed,” the source warned.

“There are those who have declared war on all of the yeshivas – Zionist and hareidi – and who are trying to pass laws that will hurt all of the yeshivas,” they added. “These laws include illogical sanctions and persecution of individual yeshiva students.”

“We are battling for all of the yeshivas alike. My hope is that we will find partners in the Likud, as well,” they concluded.

Lapid declared after taking office that Israel’s deficit was significantly larger than had previously been disclosed, and warned that serious budget cuts were necessary. He announced several changes to the budget, including a dramatic cut to monthly child payments.

Lapid, who heads the Yesh Atid faction, has clashed with the hareidi community on several issues. Among other things, Lapid has pushed to draft nearly all hareidi men into the IDF, has accused hareidi men of not looking for work, and is seeking to enact civil marriage and state funding for Reform Judaism.