Secular Beit Shemesh school to become all haredi


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A secular school in Beit Shemesh that was divided to allow a haredi Orthodox girls school to have classes there will become completely haredi.

The Safot V’Tarbuyot School, or School for Languages and Culture, located in a haredi neighborhood, will be moved next year to facilities elsewhere in the mixed community and the haredi elementary school for girls, called Mishkenot Daat, will take over the whole building beginning in the 2015-16 school year.

Last September, parents and teachers of the secular school protested when a floor for the building was separated for use by the haredi school, and city construction workers erected an 8-foot-high wall down the middle of the schoolyard.

The following month, under an agreement struck with the Jerusalem District Court, the Mishkenot Daat School moved out of the second floor and operated out of mobile classrooms placed in the schoolyard.

In recent years Beit Shemesh, a city of 80,000 located just north of Jerusalem, has become a flashpoint for conflicts between Israel’s haredi community and its secular and modern Orthodox populations.

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