As haredi leaders squabble over the best way to get more money out of the Israeli government during coalition talks – Shas and the Gerrer Rebbe want…
…larger child allowances while the Litvaks want more money for haredi schools – the Jerusalem Post has a brief article on the haredi fundraising crisis.
You have to love this extended quote:
…Rabbi Avraham Pinzel, administrative head of Chochmas Shlomo, one of the largest Talmud Torah elementary schools in Jerusalem, said that a number of factors have come together to make it nearly impossible to keep his institution afloat.
"With fuel prices skyrocketing, our transportation costs have risen by 50 percent," said Pinzel. "Food costs are also rising, which means it is more expensive to feed our students. Combine that with the fact that the vast majority of our donations are in dollars.
"In addition, many of the fathers of our students learn in Kollel.
They get paid in dollars. They simply cannot pay shekel denominated tuitions," he went on. "Now there is the financial crisis. I have not been to the States [for fundraising] since the crisis. But I've heard plenty of stories."
Nonetheless, he said, "we have always lived on miracles. We have God Almighty's promise that no matter what happens, Torah scholarship will continue."
In haredi circles, financial matters have become an obsession. For instance, rumors were circulated that a prominent hassidic leader in the US had his car repossessed over the holidays after he failed to pay leasing costs.
However, there has been little talk among haredi leaders about making changes in haredi society that would reduce its inordinate dependence on philanthropy.
"There have been tough times in the past, and we have never seen a significant change in the haredi way of life," said a senior administrator connected with the yeshiva world. "If anything, when the economy is good, there is more of a temptation to leave the yeshiva and get a job. But when there is a recession, all the opportunities dry up."
In other words, work is not on the haredi agenda.