JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Education Ministry will allow the establishment of a private Chasidic school in the settlement where a controversy erupted over Ashkenazi-Sephardic segregation.
The school in the West Bank settlement of Emanuel will be privately funded but will be bound to follow certain guidelines, including no discrimination.
The ministry said it approved the parents’ request to open the school after "taking into consideration the parent’s desire to educate their daughters in a Chasidic religious communal educational environment, with a different spiritual leadership, and unique and more strict characteristics than the ones existing in the current school."
The ministry rejected the idea of transporting the students to schools in other communities because there are security risks involved in traveling from a relatively isolated West Bank settlement.
Israel’s Supreme Court ruled last spring that the religious girl’s school in Emanuel remove physical barriers between students in the regular and Chasidic track. Most of the students in the regular school are Sephardic and most in the Chasidic track are Ashkenazi, which led to charges of racism.
Dozens of parents of the Chasidic students were jailed for refusing to send their daughters to the school following the removal of the separations. Under an agreement between the parents and the court, the students attended the last week of school together, pending a decision on opening a new school for the 2010-11 school year.