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The ultraorthodox race to the absolute intellectual bottom has become so intense as to threaten the movement’s political unity.

I’m talking about Israel. Here in the States they seem to be united on the total ignorance front; in Israel, where the government has found the balls to withdraw some funding from the most profoundly retarded schools (where they don’t teach anything secular above baby Hebrew and toddler math), we begin to see some ultraorthodox factions moving insidiously toward the education of their children.

Two months ago, the ultra-Orthodox newspaper HaMishpacha reported that the Belz Hassidic sect, a sect considered conservative, in a behind-the-scenes move led an effort to integrate its educational institutions into the public school system. The sect’s schools would be directly integrated into the Ministry of Education without becoming part of the ultra-Orthodox “independent education” branch.

According to the plan, which has caused an uproar within the ultra-Orthodox community, Belz institutions would agree to include secular subjects in their curricula. In exchange, they would receive full funding. This is a change from the current situation where they are defined as “exempt institutions,” which means that they are exempt from government curricula, but receive only partial funding. 

… [U]ltra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party, which is composed of the Hassidic Agudat Yisrael faction (which includes Belz) and the Lithuanian Degel HaTorah faction, may even split up.

Margaret Soltan, July 26, 2022 9:32AM
Posted in: forms of religious experience

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