Students protesting inTel Aviv
Students protesting inTel AvivSpokesperson

Students at the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium High School in Tel Aviv demonstrated at the entrance of the school on Wednesday after the principal, Dr. Ze'ev Degani was filmed the day prior preventing students from putting on Tefillin (phylacteries) in the street in front of the school.MK Almog Cohen (Otzma Yehudit) and singer Kobi Peretz participated in the protest to show support for the students.

The students put on tefillin together with the Knesset member. "After October 7th, when Jews were murdered only because they were Jewish, there is no place to disrespect and disparage Jewish symbols," MK Cohen stated.

Dr. Degani was filmed on Tuesday confronting a student who wanted to put on Tefillin. He berated Rabbi Zalman Hartman, a Chabad Hassid who was assisting the student with the ritual, "You are inciting students to rebel."

Education Minister Yoav Kisch responded to the incident: "As Minister of Education when I see a principal acting neither morally nor educationally, I must react. On Yom Kippur, a week before the disaster of October 7th, the State of Israel was busy with an argument over gender-segregated prayer services. A stupid and superfluous charge fueled by baseless hatred. I see, with great pain, that there are still people, and there are still principals, who have not been weaned off of this hatred.

Kisch added: "Unfortunately, since the principal is not employed by the Education Ministry and the activity was outside of the school framework and was not illegal, I have no real means of doing anything."

In a conversation with Chabad Info, Rabbi Hartman recounted: "I go to all of the high schools in northern Tel Aviv to put Tefillin on the teens and bring them closer to religion. I've seen reactions like the one from the principal of the Gymnasium in every place, with a different connotation every time."

He added: "The one thing they have in common is that thanks to them, many more students put on Tefillin to greet the Messiah."