Learning in "capsules"
Learning in "capsules"Gershon Ellinson/Flash90

To date, more than 200 yeshivas have resumed studies according to the “capsule” system authorized by the Health Ministry, but a new report suggests that a significant minority of the yeshivas are not actually adhering to the guidelines.

The report, published in Tuesday’s edition of the Yisrael Hayom newspaper, details allegations by Health Ministry officials suggesting that there are hundreds of coronavirus carriers among the yeshiva students who have not been reported to the Ministry, and that therefore, “The outline developed for yeshivas is not working to control contagion among these institutions. Some of the yeshivas are simply doing as they please even though they committed to the outline, and a substantial number of students are not being tested for coronavirus at all.”

The report added that according to the data available, only around fifteen thousand out of around thirty-five thousand yeshiva students in the capsule system had been tested for coronavirus as of the end of last week. A formal report from the yeshiva supervisory council shows that the number of yeshivas enrolled in the capsule system has increased substantially in recent weeks, but an official within the yeshiva system apparently admitted that in practice, there is minimal oversight of the implementation of the system in many of the institutions, and in some yeshivas, there is no oversight whatsoever.

The official added that: “Students come and go, and thousands of them are not being tested for coronavirus. The upshot is that no one really knows what is going on there.”

General (Res.) Miki Edelstein, head of the yeshiva supervisory council, responded: “Following the resumption of studies in yeshivas after the High Holiday period, around 100 students tested positive for coronavirus – that is to say, less than one percent of all those tested. Naturally, those students have not returned to yeshiva. Furthermore, just eight more students have tested positive for coronavirus in the two weeks that have passed since studies resumed.”