Aryeh Deri announced a plan to combat discrimination against Sefardi students by Ashkenazi run haredi schools. Deri, who now co-heads the Sefardi haredi Shas political party, said he would work to close Ashkenazi haredi schools caught discriminating against Sefardim.
Ashkenazi Haredim Panic After New Shas Co-Head Declares War On Anti-Sefardi Discrimination By Ashkenazi Haredi Schools
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
It’s a war Ashkenazi haredim are likely to lose.
In a recent interview with the haredi Kol Barama radio station, former Minister of Knesset Aryeh Deri announced a plan to combat discrimination against Sefardi students by Ashkenazi run haredi schools. Deri, who now co-heads the Sefardi haredi Shas political party, said he would work to close Ashkenazi haredi schools caught discriminating against Sefardim, Ynet reported.
Deri reportedly told Kol Barama that he had received permission from the late leader of the Lithuanian haredi yeshiva community, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, to "revoke funds from Ashkenazi institutions discriminating against Sefardim.”
The Lithuanian haredi yeshiva community responded several days later by announcing a new Ashkenazi run school for Sephardic girls to be run by Rebbetzin Yocheved Elyashiv, who has a history of refusing to take in Sefardi students in a school she ran. She is a daughter-in-law of the late Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv. Her new school will be for "the daughters of yeshiva students and good families."
Rabbi Shimon Azarzar and Rabbi Azriel Auerbach will reportedly also have leadership roles in the new school.
Rebbetzin Elyashiv infamously refused to admit the daughter of attorney Yoav Laloum at a Bais Yaakov school she ran. Laloum’s subsequent petition to the High Court of Justice shook the Ashkenazi haredi community to its core.
She was also accused of racism when she instructed her school students to pray for the recovery of her father-in-law but did not ask them to pray for the recovery of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, a son of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
In response, Rebbetzin Elyashiv claimed that the Yosef family did not ask her to have her students pray for the younger Yosef.
Deri was convicted of public corruption and served a prison sentence for it. After a long exile, he was welcomed back to Shas leadership by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef about one month ago.
It is unlikely that a segregated Ashkenazi-run school for Sefardi girls will satisfy Deri – or meet the High Court of Justice’s requirements for non-discrimination.