"Let's talk numbers. Some 700,000 haredim live in Israel. The vast majority of them work, apart from those who are discriminated against by employers because of their culture. In the public service sector, for example, discrimination against ultra-Orthodox is almost the official policy. Some 23,000 haredim study Jewish Sciences (yeshiva students). Most of them complete their studies after two or three years and then get a job that is related to their field of study. Of course there are those who choose a different profession after completing their studies – just like many humanities students at Israel's universities do. And there is a certain percentage of haredim who continue with their studies for a few more years– some out of ideology, the rest due to a shortage of jobs or because they are discriminated against by employers."
Haredims' [sic] right not to study English
Op-ed: Obligating ultra-Orthodox to learn 'core subjects' meant to legitimize discrimination against them
Yehuda Shein • Ynet
Once it was politically correct to disparage the Sephardics [sic] and discriminate against them under various pretexts, when the real reason of course was racism and hatred of the other's culture. Today this is no longer popular, but it is still okay to vilify haredim and discriminate against them.
People are allowed to make racist jokes, demonize and speak of "re-educating the primitive Jews." And these are not the communists who sought to destroy the Jewish culture; this is happening right here in Israel under the guise of "concern for the economy" and false "equality."
Let's talk numbers. Some 700,000 haredim live in Israel. The vast majority of them work, apart from those who are discriminated against by employers because of their culture. In the public service sector, for example, discrimination against ultra-Orthodox is almost the official policy. Some 23,000 haredim study Jewish Sciences (yeshiva students). Most of them complete their studies after two or three years and then get a job that is related to their field of study. Of course there are those who choose a different profession after completing their studies – just like many humanities students at Israel's universities do. And there is a certain percentage of haredim who continue with their studies for a few more years– some out of ideology, the rest due to a shortage of jobs or because they are discriminated against by employers.
The higher learning institutes of Jewish culture, known as yeshivas, are mostly funded by private donors who live abroad. The State invests NIS 400-800 ($108-217) in each yeshiva student, but it invests five times as much in every humanities or Talmud student at the universities. Haredi lecturers and senior yeshiva administrators are paid NIS 5,000-6,000 ($1,358-1,630) a month – all from donations – while senior administrators at the universities earn some of the highest salaries in the country.
Moreover, the meager budget for Jewish culture is not officially recognized, so the religious and ultra-Orthodox practically have to beg to receive what others, including theaters, receive automatically.
Another example is free education. Only 50% of the haredim are eligible for free education; the rest pay out of their own pockets. Obligating haredi educational institutions that enjoy government funding to teach "core subjects" such as math, sciences, English, civics and others is just an excuse to justify the discrimination. Many haredi girls study all of the core subjects and are still discriminated against when it comes to employment and salaries. Many haredi men also study the core subjects.
In my estimation, only some 20% of haredim do not study the core subjects; they focus on Jewish studies in order to preserve a culture that many have tried to eradicate. Eventually they also complete the "core studies" when they learn a profession, but they do not allow others to intervene in their education. Today it is English, tomorrow it will be heresy studies. It is their right. In a democratic-liberal country, the majority does not have the right to impose its opinion on the minority and violate freedom of religion and conscience.
The call for "equal share of the burden" is also based on demagoguery. Three separate committees have determined that there is hidden unemployment in the IDF and that vast amounts of money are being wasted. The committees also determined that the army should be a professional one. So instead of exempting everyone from compulsory service, thus releasing tens of billions of shekels for education, health and welfare, the IDF is tasked with "educating the haredim" or teaching them a profession. This is unnecessary, populistic and is meant to serve goals of hatred and incitement for political purposes and to legitimize discrimination against haredim.
Yehuda Shein is the founder of the "Equality Now" movement, which works to bring the various sectors of Israeli society closer together, and is also the chairman of ultra-Orthodox animal rights group "Behemla"
This is one of the dumbest and most disingenuous articles I've read in years.
Shein lies about the number of haredim studying the full load of core subjects, the number of haredim who are being taught a significant amount of the core subjects, and about the money the state pays to haredim.
His claim that "[t]he State invests NIS 400-800 ($108-217) in each yeshiva student, but it invests five times as much in every humanities or Talmud student at the universities" is false. The vast majority of haredi yeshiva students below the draft age get tons of state money through welfare payments to their families. And a 28-year-old married yeshiva student who has not served in the army or done national service averages over $14,000 in benefits per year. The $108-217 he claims for yeshiva students is, I think, the amount of the monthly payment per student from the government to the student's yeshiva.
Do universities get more money per student?
Yes, they do.
Universities need to have research facilities, labs, tons of expensive science equipment, real libraries with hundreds of thousands of books. University students have overwhelmingly served in the army and will overwhelmingly pay taxes.In fact, many university students have to work full time while in school because they get almost no government support. University students start studying at age 20 to 22, depending largely how old they were when they completed high school and were drafted. By the time they are in grad school, they're the age of those haredi yeshiva students whose government benefits add up to more that $14,000 per year according to the religious freedom nonprofit Hiddush. But university students qualify for almost no government benefits.
So Shein lied.
He also claims that vast majority of haredim work. But that claim, too, is false.
In fact, the employment rate of haredi men is "almost identical to that of non-Haredi Israeli men who have completed four years of education or less," a 2012 study by the Taub Center for Social Policy Research in Israel found. Under 50% of haredi men are employed. More haredi women are employed than haredim men, but that employment tends to be part time and stops and starts with pregnancies.
Shein's claims about military service are equally false. The problems with ending the draft and relying on a professional army are many and are well-known. Most prominently, doing so would remove Israel's great societal equalizer. It would also force Israel to support a standing army much larger than it now has in order to be able to meet a conventional existential military threat from its enemies.
Some haredi schools are are only partially funded by the government because those haredi schools do not meet minimum requirements for complete funding. So in that sense, it is correct write that not all haredi students' educations are completely funded by the government. However, all haredi students schools – except for the minority of haredi schools that refuse to take any money from the state – receive state funding. If a student is funded at less than 100%, this is why. It isn't bigotry any more than insisting that all drivers of cars have valid driver's licenses is an expression of bigotry against visually impaired people or people who have never learned how to drive is. The state's standards are fair and haredim have every chance to meet them; they choose not to do so, however, of their leaders' own free will, and any complaints the haredi rank-and file have about funding should be directed against those haredi leaders. Shein, however, wants you to blame the state.
I won't elaborate on the rest of his claims except to say that most are false and all are misleading.
Haredim like Shein argue in a closed circle. They start with their conclusion and build 'facts' to support it and exclude the actual facts which do not.
There is no surprise they think this way and construct arguments this way, though, because this is the way haredi apologetics has worked for decades. It is the way haredi yeshiva students are educated to think.
Even so, Shein must know that he is not telling the truth.
The sad thing is that he isn't bright enough, honest enough or caring enough to care that lots of people will know this.