The Union of Seminaries (haredi girls high schools) in Israel has called for the preeminent seminary in the haredi town of Elad to be closed over its discrimination against Sefardi girls. Or maybe it hasn't.
Please see the update at the end of the post.
Haredi Seminaries Union Calls For State Closure Of Haredi School That Won’t Accept Most Sefardi Students
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The Union of Seminaries (haredi girls high schools) in Israel has called for the preeminent seminary in the haredi town of Elad to be closed over its discrimination against Sefardi girls. The demand for closure was first reported on the haredi news website Kikar HaShabbat, Yeshiva World reported.
The Zluznik (Zelzenik) seminary refused to accept girls whose parents work – a ploy to ban most Sefardi girls whose parents have jobs. Ashkenazi haredim in Elad rarely work, except in rabbinic or haredi teaching jobs, which were apparently excluded from the ban.
The seminaries’ union wants Zluznik closed.
In response to Zluznik’s ban, Elad’s other haredi seminary, Ladaat Chachma, followed suit, issuing the identical ban in order to make the school appear to be as religiously observant as Zluznik. But the seminaries’ union did not demand its closure because its ban was only issued in response to Zluznik, not at its own initiative. Ladaat Chachma reportedly agreed to rescind the ban after the seminaries’ union objected to it.
Over 100 9th grade haredi girls in Elad are still seeking admission to a either haredi seminary.
When Ladaat Chachma was founded it agreed to a demand by supreme non-hasidic Ashkenazi haredi leader Rabbi Aharon Leib Steinman to accept most applicants who graduated from local Beis Yaakov girls primary schools in Elad.
But when Zluznik opened and began openly discriminating several years ago, Steinman order the seminaries’ union to cease all activities in Elad.
In a letter to Ladaat Chachma, the union reportedly said it is now willing to resume its activities in Elad if Zluznik is closed and with the understanding that any new seminary can only be opened with the union’s express approval and with its cooperation.
Sefardi haredi Shas Party Chairman Aryeh Deri, who is currently Israel’s Economy Minister, told Radio Kol Chai that anti-Sefardi discrimination by Ashkenazi haredi schools would no longer be tolerated.
“The days of discrimination are over. The days of elitism are over, they end now. [Several years ago…the then supreme non-hasidic Ashkenazi haredi rabbinic leader Rabbi Yosef] Shalom Elyashiv ZT”L informed then-Education Minister Limor Livnat to use her authority to end the discrimination,” Deri said, adding that any school which refuses to accept Sefardi students will pay a very high price: its principal will be summoned to a hearing in the Education Ministry and the school’s operating license will be revoked, Deri reportedly said.
Update 4:41 pm CDT – Behadrei Haredim is now reporting that the haredi seminaries' union is now claiming the call to close Zluznik was made by three individual officials of the union but does not reflect the opinion of the union itself.