Haredi girls’ school in Beit Shemesh ordered out of secular school building


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A haredi Orthodox girls’ school that began operating on one floor of a secular school in Beit Shemesh must vacate the building.

Under an agreement struck with the Jerusalem District Court, the Mishekenot Da’at school will move out of the second floor of the Safot VeTarbuyot school and operate out of mobile classrooms placed in the schoolyard.

The 110 haredi students must leave the building by Nov. 10, and all barriers and dividers must be taken down, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.

The court called on the Ministry of Education and the city of Beit Shemesh to “conduct negotiations in order to reach a comprehensive, long-term solution for the housing of all educational institutions in the city as soon as the coming academic year, including Mishekenot Da’at and Safot Ve’tarbuyot.”

The presence of the haredi school and the erection of barriers between students of the two schools in both the schoolyard and building sparked protests by the secular school’s parents and secular city lawmakers.

Beit Shemesh, which is about 19 miles from Jerusalem, has been a flashpoint for conflicts between haredi and secular residents over the role of religion in the public sphere.

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