Jun 15, 2021

Proposed Law: Benefitd Packages for chozrim btshuva and bsheila

MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) recently submitted a law proposal that would grant a financial package of assistance to people who leave the religious community. The package of benefits, what is given to new immigrants to help them acclimate to a new country, would now also be given, should the proposal pass, to people who were educated in haredi schools but then leave religion. 

Some set of criteria would be established for qualification - otherwise people will say they are no longer Haredi, or no longer religious, just to get the benefits, while they really are still Haredi or religious. 

And how many times can you get it? Let's say Reuven grew up Haredi and at 20 left religion and gets the benefits package. At 22 he becomes religious again, and at 24 he becomes not religious, etc. can Reuven keep getting the benefits repeatedly?

Regardless, the reasons for the proposal are fairly obvious. People who grew up in the Haredi community and leave it, are basically on their own with no tools to succeed in general society. They usually have had no secular education and often their families break off connections with them. The benefits package is to help them get a stable life with a chance for a future..

Interestingly, Zandberg in her explanation of the proposal noted that the State of Israel gives financial benefits to haredim who grew up in the Haredi educational system and stayed Haredi but need to overcome the differentials created by the lack of general education. But the people who grew up int he same system but left the community get no assistance. 

In opposition to Zandberg's proposal, MK Uriel Buso (Shas) has now proposed a similar but opposite law.

Buso is proposing that the same benefits package should be given to people who become religious, chozrim btshuva. Buso says that in the Jewish State in which learning Torah is a supreme value, if benefits are to be given to those who leave religion, it should also be given to those who come to religion - and they should be given double.

Buso explains that "chozrim btshuva" refers to people who left the secular community and joined the religious or Haredi community. The range of people returning is great, from young to old, singles to married and families, men and women... There is no formal assistance given to chozrim btshuva, and it is only on an individual basis, meaning kiruv organizations help people going through their organizations, but nothing from the State. Besides for them, many people return on their own, not through any organization and without any assistance. 
sources: INN, Israel Hayom

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  1. This Meretz whatever 'it' is is disgrace and pretty sure she is not a descendant of Avraham, Yitzchak & Yaakov. To go so far with an evil suggestion as this is something that I never saw or heard of before coming out of the mouth of a 'Jew'!

  2. There are organizations in the NY area that doesnt reward and encourage those who left Charedi observance yet they offer them educational programs, a roof over their shoulder, a listening ear in order to preserve their religious observance (at a different level).

    Shas party's suggestion is great, it is very hard emotionally, physically and financially when becoming 'chozrim btshuva" without a support group and mentors. BH many Rabbanim have stepped up to alleviate this issue.


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