As school resumed in Ramat Beit Shemesh on Monday, the friction between secular and hareidi residents of the town did as well, with the Education Ministry issuing a closure order against a hareidi girl's school that was opened on the grounds of an existing school.
The municipality over the summer decided to dedicate one of the floors of the “Language and Culture School" in Ramat Beit Shemesh for the use of a hareidi institution, citing a lack of classroom space.
However, officials said that the municipality made the decision without consulting school officials or other relevant sources.
“The Ministry considers this attempt to illicitly take over space by the municipality in very harsh terms,” an Education Ministry official said. “The school in question was in operation, and this decision was made just two days before the school year.”
In response, the local municipality said it “has an obligation and right to ensure that the academic year begins and operates in an efficient manner for all schools from all sectors."
"The municipality decided to utilize empty classrooms in the Languages and Culture School for use by students of another institution who live in the same neighborhood, where there is no room to set up caravans or temporary classrooms," it added.
“The Languages and Culture School has room for 500 students, but only 140 are enrolled,” claimed the municipality's statement in conclusion.