JERUSALEM (JTA) – Tel Aviv’s mayor criticized the state’s funding of the haredi private school system.
Ron Huldai said during an education conference Sunday that funding the ultra-Orthodox schools did not make sense in light of the fact that many of the haredim are unemployed, according to reports in the Israeli media.
"These things must be said because we don’t have another country," Huldai said. "Sobriety is in order, and perhaps even rebellion, among the silent masses, to restore to Israeli democracy the right to intervene and determine on issues so close to our hearts, like education.
"We have no choice but to speak explicitly about the existence of two sides to Israeli society: Those who contribute to its foundation and growth, and those who are funded by them."
About 1,000 education professionals from Israel and overseas, including representatives of the various sectors in the education system such as state-secular, state-religious, ultra-Orthodox and Arab, attended the conference on the basic core subjects that all schools must teach. The haredi schools are excused from teaching some of the subjects.
On Monday, Huldai said he was against state funding of all private school education and did not mean to single out the haredi system.