Jerusalem - Faced With Lawsuit By Ex-Charedim For Failure To Provide A Proper Education, State Of Israel Threatens To Countersue
Jerusalem - Israel’s state prosecutor has announced that if it loses a suit brought by formerly observant men charging them with failing to provide a sound education, it will countersue approximately 90 Charedi school as well as the parents of the plaintiffs.
The unusual move was reported today by Haaretz and comes in response to a $1.1 million suit filed by 52 men who attended Charedi schools. It charges that by supporting ultra-Orthodox schools whose curriculums include virtually no secular studies, the state played a part in that education which, according to the suit, left the plaintiffs unqualified to find decent jobs.
“The plaintiffs finished their studies with only basic knowledge of subjects like math, English and science,” said the suit, which noted that the plaintiffs were able to supplement the gaps in their education but only with significant expenditures of time and personal funds. The lawsuit also alleged that because the plaintiffs are no longer religiously observant they are further discriminated against because they are ineligible for programs that help Charedim augment their education and get jobs.
“The state is denying all responsibility, in a way more fitting for an insurance company,” said Shlomo Lecker, attorney for the plaintiffs, who said that the plaintiffs did not have the ability to make choices about their education as children.
The state argued that it bears no responsibility in the matter, saying that it is parents who chose those schools and the institutions themselves who are to blame.
Mirit Savion, an attorney for the state said that the State of Israel provides a wide array of schools for its citizens, but is in no way responsible for choices made by individuals and that any complaints should be directed “at their parents or at the schools where they studied.”
Parents “knowingly chose these schools for their children,” wrote Savion, saying that the schools “refrained from teaching basic subjects in violation of the law and/or violated other obligations and directives.”
The lawsuit was organized by Out for Change, an organization which advocates for former Charedim. The group faulted the state for refusing to acknowledge its responsibility in the matter.
“It’s the state’s job to enforce the law and obligate parents to teach their children the core [curriculum],” it said. “Since the state didn’t do so, it bears responsibility for the situation those children are in today.”
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