Following the dramatic improvement in coronavirus infection rates in Jerusalem, the city's mayor, Moshe Lion, ordered the city's haredi schools to reopen nearly fully.
On Tuesday, Rabbi Yisrael Kellerman and Rabbi Avraham Bezalel, who are in charge of the city's haredi education resources and haredi education portfolio, respectively, presented the plan for reopening the schools.
The plan was made in coordination with rabbis, and in accordance with Health Ministry guidelines, and was approved by Lion.
"We are happy to return the haredi educational institutions to normal routine," Lion said. "In the past two months, we worked hard to overcome the challenges presented by the coronavirus, and thank G-d we have managed to get through this period successfully. If we all continue to keep the rules, we will be able to completely return to routine sooner. We will continue to work together for the sake of the city's residents, and to protect their health while allowing a return to routine."
Girls' and boys' preschools will completely reopen starting Wednesday, May 20, during the regular preschool hours, as they were prior to the outbreak.
Afternoon programs and meals
Preschools which have an afternoon program will run the program and provide meals for the children, beginning on Thursday, May, 21.
Grades 7-8, for boys and girls, will reopen fully, according to the schools' pre-outbreak schedule.
Reopening of two additional grades (according to the schools' preference)
Despite the desire to return all classes to normal routine, the decision was made to reopen gradually and in a safe manner, in order to protect the children's welfare and health. Therefore, additional classes will be added gradually, and when the new students come in and it can be ascertained that Health Ministry guidelines are strictly kept, and the educational institution adheres appropriately to hygiene guidelines, additional classes can be added.
At this stage, the haredi educational department prefers to have grades 1-2 reopen fully, as they were prior to the outbreak, beginning on Wednesday, May 20. Classes which have afternoon programs will run the afternoon programs and provide meals beginning on Sunday, May 24.
Schools which prefer to reopen other grades may do so, but in any case there should be no more than two grades between grades 1-6 which return to school.
Since reopening the schools requires organization on the part of the schools, parents must be in touch directly with their children's schools.
Special education will be fully reopened according to the pre-outbreak schedule.
Remedial classes will return gradually this week, and beginning on Sunday, May 24, will resume regular operations.
Meals will be provided in special education schools.