Expanding Access to Haredi Schools with Core Curriculum

15 December 2022
Girls in school

Israel’s Ministry of Education is set to publish procedures for setting up more state-run Haredi schools in which the full secular core curricula (including math and English) are taught. The procedure would allow parents to insist that their local authority set up such a school. NIF grantees, including the Berl Katznelson Foundation, have been demanding that Haredi parents have the right to a school that teaches math, English, and other core curricula disciplines.

The Ministry of Education procedures state that the new school system will be entitled to preferential budgets in the same way that the existing state and state religious schools are entitled.

The State Haredi School system was set up ten years ago and today there are 70 such schools and 240 kindergartens around Israel. Only 4% of Israeli schoolchildren are enrolled in these schools. The network of schools has provoked opposition from many in the mainstream Haredi community, especially the existing independent Haredi school network, which receives state funding but refuses to teach math and English. Over the years, many parents have petitioned courts against local authorities who refuse to allow such schools to operate. The new procedures will also require local authorities to provide transport for schoolchildren to reach the schools.