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Sunday, January 12, 2014

What was the original status quo agreement in Israel regarding Charedi education?

Hamodia (English) is doing a series of explanatory articles about the Charedi world in Israel to explain to the US readers the background to the current situation and why it is so bad. This week they published a long article about the "status quo" agreement in 1947, that the new government would not change the status quo regarding religion. The very obvious implication being that the government today is trying to change the status quo. Here is an English translation of the letter sent to the Aguda:

What is absolutely fascinating is that the section of the letter dealing with education is exactly in tune with what the government is trying to do today. The letter states:

Full autonomy of each educational system. ... The state of course will determine the minimum obligatory courses, Hebrew language, history, science, etc. and will supervise compliance with this minimum ...

So in fact, even in 1947, the agreement was that the Charedi schools while having full autonomy, would teach the core curriculum and be supervised by the government. In other words, what the government is trying to do today is not against the original status quo but rather is trying to enforce it.


At 8:26 AM, Blogger Avi said...

Doesn't "guaranteeing full autonomy of each educational system" directly contradict the idea that the State can enforce minimum standards? How is it autonomous if the State has that power?

At 9:25 AM, Blogger bluke said...

I would read it as saying that the schools can teach whatever they want as long as they follow the minimum standards. In other words, they can decide to learn Gemara 10 hours a day to the exclusion of everything else as long as they teach the minimal standard.

At 10:26 PM, Blogger Avi said...

Yeah, but that isn't autonomous!


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