JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Supreme Court has ordered haredi Ashkenazi parents who refused to send their daughters to school with Sephardi girls to go to jail.
The Slonim Chasidim kept their daughters segregated from other girls at the school in the West Bank settlement of Emanuel, going so far as to have separate entrances and a dividing wall through the school’s courtyard.
After the courts ordered the school to remove the separation, the Chasidic parents kept their children home from school. The case has gone through months of court hearings, rulings and mediation, culminating in the court’s ultimatum late Tuesday afternoon.
The parents, who were required to inform the court in writing by Wednesday that they would abide by the court’s ruling, sang a song of faith in the courtroom following the justices’ decision, and they have vowed to march to prison on Thursday.
“No one has yet to die from a fortnight in prison,” parent Avraham Luria told the Jerusalem Post. “But I certainly hope that the government of Israel will have the tools to take care of the hundreds of children whose parents are going to prison and find enough foster families on such short notice.”