Preschool children
Preschool childreniStock

Dozens of women from the haredi city of Beitar Illit are working in the neighboring Gush Etzion Regional Council, to allow daycares and preschools to open even with the Health Ministry's new guidelines.

However, due to the lockdown on Beitar Illit and the high coronavirus infection rates in the city, many of these women have been met with backlash from parents who refuse to allow them to touch their children, Kikar Hashabbat reported.

Yaffa Shitrit, Director-General of the Council, on Monday sent a letter to parents saying, "In these times, we are investing great effort into maintaining your children's routines at preschool, so that you can continue to work and provide for your families. These are complex and challenging times and to our happiness, we have succeeded in meeting the goal we set for ourselves - thanks to recruitment of educational staff and preschool assistants who accepted the challenge despite the difficulties and the difficult situation of our neighbor, Beitar Illit, where more of the assistants come from."

"Unfortunately we have seen a trend which makes it difficult for the assistants to continue their daily tasks. We have heard several times about parents who are not willing for assistants who come from Beitar Illit to touch their children or come close to them. It's important to note that all of the assistants strictly adhere to Health Ministry guidelines, and have received permission to work as essential workers.

"This is not a simple task for them, to travel each day, when their city is under lockdown, and even more so when they are met with parents who treat them as sick with the virus," she emphasized.

"Maintaining continuous operations and our lives' routines is important to all of us. Without that, it will be difficult for all of us to get used to the new reality we find ourselves in. In order to succeed in maintaining routine, we need to embrace and accept all of those who are dealing with this crisis now and still choose to get up and come work with Gush Etzion's children each morning

The letter concluded: "We have merited an ethical and high-quality community, which knows how to offer support during tough times, and I am certain that we will succeed in making it through these days as well, together with our neighbors, united and unified."

One of the assistants told Kikar Hashabbat: "I hope that the Director-General's letter helps. It's not pleasant to work in a place where suddenly they begin treating you with suspicion, just because of the fact that I'm part of the haredi community."