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Apr 3, 2012

The Haredi Families Need Schools Too

According to this report on Haaretz, the latest battle in Jerusalem is over the Ramat Eshkol neighborhood.

What was once a very strong secular-dati neighborhood has in the past 10 years or so become increasingly haredi. Many young couples in which the husband learns in one of the many nearby yeshivot have been moving to Ramat Eshkol. The truth is, I did not think this was a fight. i thought this had already been "decided" a while ago, with so many haredi families moving in, it was already a fait accompli that the eighborhood had been taken over, if not just turned significantly haredi. And it was all, for the most part, peaceful, which was nice.

Suddenly, however, it is becoming a fight. As the City has just approved a number of schools and comlexes for the haredi community, the secular residents now feel threatened.

I get it that people are worried over losing what they have considered their neighborhood for so long. I do not understand what they expect to happen from here on in. After their neighbors had no problem selling their homes to haredi families, where do they expect these families to send their kids to schools? Where will these families daven? Where will they go for activities?

By necessity, and it is only reasonable, these people will need schools and shuls and community centers and parks and everything else that provides services normally used by residents in any other neighborhood. It does not make sense to complain now. they moved in already - now they need schools. If they wanted to complain or make a plan to prevent a "takeover", that should have happened years ago, before the mass move to Ramat Eshkol. By now that ship has sailed.

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  1. "these people will need schools and shuls..."

    "Listen to yourself.... Next thing you know you're saying they should have their own schools!"
    -Cosmo Kramer

  2. It's definitely problematic to prevent Charedim from gradually taking over a neighborhood. But in terms of what people 'expect to happen from here on in', maybe people don't take it for granted that public money should go to schools and shuls for people who've made an ideaology out of paying so little in taxes. That's also not easy to prevent from a legal standpoint but it's easy to understand where the bitterness is coming from.

    1. Anon 3:53,

      You really think that's the issue? If so, they would make a stink any time any chareidi school is built with public money, anywhere. And it wouldn't be limited to people living in Ramat Eshkol.

    2. Non-Charedim in Israel have no patience for the Charedi lifestyle but they don't dwell on it all the time. The (understandable) bitterness among mainstream Israelis tends to surface whenever an issue like this one or the recent events in Bet Shemesh focuses their minds on the rapidly growing minority that doesn't contribute to society in ways they should

  3. I agree that haredim need schools and parks and other resources.
    So WHY WHY WHY were the new haredi neighborhoods in Ramat Beit Shemesh planned with TOO FEW schools? Moshe Montag of UTJ did this to lower the price of the apartments, of course. After the residents move in, they could act surprised at the situation and then complain about discrimination against haredim --- conveneiently forgetting that it was THEIR POLITICIANS who INSISTED on planning it this way.

    Or maybe they could stage some rallies outside of non-haredi schools to take them over (complete with tehillim and shofars).

    NOTE - this comment is probably less relevant for a veteran neighbrohood like Ramot which was built years ago, and where the population seems to be changing. However, I note the hypocrisy that when the haredi politicians have a chance to obtain HAREDI-FUNDED schoools, they are MUCH less enthusiatic then when there is an opportunity to transfer ownership of an existing school.

    1. HAREDI-FUNDED? Isn't that an oxymoron?

  4. the issue does not seem to be one of money, such as claims of you are giving them too many resources based on the level of taxes they pay. they are, legitimately perhaps, scared of losing what remains of their neighborhood. they are worried there will suddenly be separate lines at the supermarket, streets will be closed on shabbos, maybe their shabbos activities will be protested, if there is a movie theater or other entertainment spots maybe they will be targeted to be shut down, etc.
    Their concerns are legitimate and understandable. Haredi kids still need schools just like the secular kid do


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