Aug 29, 2011

City Of Bet Shemesh Releases Statement About OROT School Building Fight

The City of Bet Shemesh has just published on its Facebook page a response to the Shaalei Torah - OROT school building issue.

Here is my translation:
The school building under discussion is located adjacent to and within a haredi neighborhood. The residents of the neighborhood claim the building should be allotted to them, the residents of the neighborhood, since it was built on public property designated for the neighborhood. Despite that, the mayor is interested in designating the building for the dati leumi school Shaalei Torah boys. However, unfortunately, Shaalei Torah is not showing the flexibility necessary and are stubbornly insisting on putting the girls school there.
It should be noted that with the begiinning of construction of the building 2 years ago, there were stormy protests by the neighbors that blocked the tractors with their bodies and physically stopped work on the site. The mayor got involved in the details and worked hard between both sides to come to a compromise agreement that the building would be used by the Dati Leumi boys school. The mayor even suggested to Shaalei torah a number of far-reaching benefits in exchange for their agreement, but now Shaalei torah are breaking the agreement and causing unnecessary fights between the residents.
As of right now, the city has not designated the building for any institution. Shaalei Torah invaded the building illegally, and in their footsteps the haredi neighbors did as well.
It should be noted further that the police have passed along information and warnings concerned for the safety of the girls if they would use the building, due to violent actions that would be taken by extreme elements. The mayor even complained to the police and requested its help in keeping the order and security of the people. Therefore the City of bet Shemesh want to quiet the area and get the building inhabited in coordination and with the agreement of all sides and in an appropriate fashion for the neighborhood, thereby bringing a compromise and calm between the sides.
The mayor is working tirelessly to bring both sides to the negotiating table and to find a reasonable solution.


  1. It is my understanding that this suggestion was definitely made, but the mayor would not put in writing that he would give the building to shaalei torah. So the switch of schools would not have solved the problem. I can see that they would not necessarily agree to the girls being next door in orot banim anymore than they want them in the new building

  2. as they say, there are 3 sides to every story.

    I dont know the details. I am asking people, but it seems most people dont know the finer points of what went down.

  3. I think that there are 2 points here. One is did the iriya really make such an offer to offer the building IN WRITING to shaalei torah or did they realize that no matter what, the neighbors would demand the campus and were not really willing to commit since they did not know the nature of the protest. The second is, if the campus is designated by misrad hachinuch to an institution and this institution has girls up to age 11 in it, shouldn't we not be held hostage by kanaim?

  4. anon - what do you mean by I can see that they would not necessarily agree to the girls being next door in orot banim anymore than they want them in the new building?

    are both the girls and the boys on the same plot? if yes, how would this compromise solve anything?

  5. Sorry, I really don't understand.
    I don't know anything about this school or who's right and who's wrong, BUT The letter from the mayor sates that there are threats of violence which is a motivating factor for his decision (or lack of decision).

    Is he really trying to create a wild-west where they biggest thugs always get their way? And they wont stop with this school, after this battle is one they'll just move on to the next battle.

    I would expect that a mayor in any civilized city would put a stop to threats of violence instead of publicly stating that threats are a basis for making policy.

  6. it seems people dont know how to deal with bullies and just give in to them. the police do the same on har habayit not allowing jews to pray because the Arabs might riot.

    or else it is a red herring. he supports the cause and then finds an excuse

  7. The girls school is definitely closer than the boys but both are in the same vicinity. When the boys school first opened it was subjected to local vandalism by these same extremists.

  8. IF Shaalei Torah is illegally in the building their recourse is legal action. They should not be holed up in there - it sets a bad example to the youth. Shaalei Torah is a well funded and connected institution. They should hire a crack law firm and settle this legally. Sit ins, calls to protest and name calling other Jews is unethical, immoral, racist and illegal.

  9. I would point out that people are refuting the iryah's claims both on the Iryah's facebook poist and on the support OROT message board on facebook.

    The claim is that there was never such an agreement of switching the boys and the girls, and there isnt one in writing. The idea was suggested but rejected.

    also, the misrad hachinuch gave the building to orot girls from day one, and the parents have put lots of money into building it (beyond what is funded by the government). It was never under discussion despite the protests of the thugs.

  10. It could be that no one is lying. The Misrad HaChinuch may have permitted what the Iriya of Beit Shemesh did not (i.e. opening a girls school), thereby going above the "compromise agreement".

    If this is the case, the question is whether the Misrad HaChinuch can force the City's hand - and if so, what will happen when the school opens against the wishes of the Iriya and residents.

    Again, assuming this is how it went down, there would be fault to be laid on all sides... The Misrad HaChinuch, for upsetting a delicate agreement without squaring things with the Iriya and the residents... The Iriya, for allowing things to progress to this stage (just a few days befire the start of school) without resolving the matter... Shaalei Torah, for agreeing to something with the Iriya and residents and then taking a "better deal" from the Misrad HaChinuch.

    Hoping to hear more details soon...

  11. Or Marc, you can see it this way. Where they mayor lied to EVERYONE and told the Kannoim that there would only be a boys school there AND promised Shaalei Torah that the girl's school would be built there.

    We have had documented proof that the iriyah promised Shaalei Torah this building. There is no signed agreement to switch the schools. Parents have paid into the building fund of the school. And most importantly, the Kannoim are few and far between and hired thugs coming in from outside to cause damage to the DL way of life. Most are not neighbourhood residents.

    Welcome to Bet Shemesh!

  12. In addition to their never having been an agreement about the school only going to a boys school, the school is adjacent to both dati leumi and haredi neighborhoods -- and part of a larger dati leumi campus for schools and shuls. It IS NOT in the middle of a haredi neighborhood.

    If we give in on this issue, we might as well leave Beit Shemesh as they are interested in all new buildings going up.

  13. If the so-called ultra-Orthodox wishen to blacken their name and ruin their reputation with those who should be sympathetic to their concerns, they are doing a fantastic job.

  14. I am Charedi who lives in RBS A and based on my simple research into the school I don't understand what the issue is either. As far as I know this school is following guidelines that should not be offensive to Charedi residents. It seems that it is just the NK of RBS doing their typical anti Israel stupidity.


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