Religious Zionist classroom funding restored
Religious Zionist classroom funding restoredIsrael News Photo: (file)

Last Wednesday the Treasury gave its approval to the Finance Committee to return the funds which Education Minister Yuli Tamir slashed from the educational institutions of the Religious Zionist movement, including yeshivas and the national service.

The Treasury does not issue such approvals without a green light from the relevant minister, in this case Tamir, of the Labor party.

The Education Minister gave her approval for the return of almost all the money she initially cut from the budget.

This victory is the fruit of the efforts of Nissan Slomiansky of the National Union-Mafdal party who led the longstanding campaign to return the slashed funds. MK Slomiansky was able to recover the remaining difference through negotiations with the Treasury and the Prime Minister's Office. According to Slomiansky, Treasury Minister Ronnie Bar-On of Kadima did not support Tamir's position and instead showed understanding for the needs of the educational institutions of Religious Zionism.

According to the decision of the Finance Committee the monies will pass to the yeshiva high schools, the girls' seminaries, to the National Service, and other educational wings including dormitories and to Torah community groups.

The State returned NIS 22 million that were cut from yeshiva high schools, and added NIS 40 million in direct funds from the Treasury. For the National Service, the State returned NIS 22 million, and added NIS 20 million more. The total budget will reach 193 million shekels.

Slomiansky stated that the remainder of institutions will also see the money they lost returned to them. According to Slomiansky, Tamir lost her battle against Religious Zionism which in her mind has taken the rightful place of Labor institutions.

In an ad taken out in newspapers, the "Forum for the Network of Religious Education" issued the following statement: "The taskforce for the struggle for religious education is happy to bring to the attention of heads of high school yeshivas, girls seminaries, and other Torah schools, that thank G-d, and with the help of Knesset members of the Mafdal, we have succeeded in our struggle against the planned budget cuts for Jewish education enrichment.

"In these very days, 52 million shekels have passed to the Education Ministry for the school year 5768. (Towards the end of the year another NIS 10 million will be transferred.) The monies will be dispersed to the month. We are grateful, with blessings and acknowledgement, to all the Knesset members and all the public figures who helped us in the struggle."