Haredi students
Haredi studentsKobi Gideon, Flash 90

The dean of haredi girls' high school Haseminar Hayashan on Wednesday threatened not to accept the Sephardic students who had been assigned to his school by the Jerusalem municipality.

In a sharp letter to Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Tzvika Cohen (Shas), Haseminar Hayashan Dean Yisrael Levin criticized the Interior Ministry's decision not to give them a new building for the coming school year. According to the letter, if the school does not receive a new building, it will be unable to open additional classes for the Sephardic girls.

In truth, the decision to move a school out of or into a building is not under the Interior Ministry's jurisdiction, but the Education Ministry's.

"As I am sure you know, our school accepted, as per municipal request, a larger number of students than we can handle," the letter said. "We accepted these students because we were promised a solution to the issue."

Sephardic haredi girls are often rejected by haredi institutions, which cater largely to the Ashkenazic haredi population. Things came to a head several years ago, when a school in the central city of Elad separated its Ashkenazic and Sephardic students and built a wall separating them.

In response, MK Yakov Margi from the Sephardic haredi Shas party demanded the Israeli government cut funding to haredi institutions which discriminate against Sephardic girls. He also called for these schools to be investigated and their principals fired.