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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Steps Taken Against Anti-Sephardi Discrimination in Schools

I blogged about the discrimination faced by girls of Sephardi origin by the Haredi school system in israel here: I, II, III. Now it seems the Sephardi rabbinic leadership in Israel has actually decided to take action against the practice:
Discrimination against haredi girls of eastern origin at seminaries and schools of independent education, which is manifested in many not being accepted into schools, triggered an unprecedented attack Sunday on the part of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s son.

He was featured on the haredi radio station, “Kol Haemet” (the voice of truth), and urged an appeal to civil courts on the matter.

"A terrible situation has been created whereby those heading the schools and seminars are defying the Torah Greats and are doing as they please," Rabbi Yosef said.

“I hereby rule that there is nothing wrong with taking such cases to legal proceedings, since they don’t adhere to the Halacha or Torah, and so it is best to turn to the court and any entity in order to stop the shame,” he continued.

The haredi community doesn’t normally turn to civil proceedings, but instead relies on religious tribunals that make rulings based on the Torah. For this reason, Rabbi Yosef’s announcement was considered a rare and ground breaking step.
Obviously, Rav Yosef thinks the debasement and humiliation suffered by the rejected students by the school systems is more pressing the prohibition against Mesirah Arka'ot - that of taking a claim against another Jew to a secular court instead of a Bait Din.

This is an important step, and I hope it actually gets things moving when it comes to the prevention of this disgusting form of racism that has been going on, unchecked, for years.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

disgusting form of racism that has been going on, unchecked, for years.

Very much like the disgusting attitude that certain Sephardishe communities have against converts.

You reap what you sow.

9:49 AM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

All I can say is chazak u'varuch to Rav Yaakov Yosef.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

unchecked for years? It's been encouraged for years...

10:25 AM  
Blogger Gil Student said...

For the record, the issue is not that of mesirah but of going to arka'os (secular courts).

12:50 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Yes, I don't know why it would be considered mesirah to resort to the courts of the state of Israel, which is, after all, a Jewish state.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Sholom said...

Good one, Rebecca... Israel is a Jewish state... ROTFLMAO!

2:20 PM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

Just to echo Gil Student, this is not at all an issue of mesirah.

Rav Yosef stated clearly that those perpetrating the discrimination do not follow Torah or Halacha, which is where the heter to go to a secular court comes in.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WADR, it seems R. Yosef Jr. has opened a pandora's box to further his agenda (correct though this agenda may be).
He decided that the hareidim are not following halakha, and so can go to secular court. He is defining "not following halakha" by what has yet to be *decided* in court. Perhaps the Ashkenazim are justified in not admitting as many Sefardic girls into their school system. (The BY system is not a public school system which must accomodate all comers.) You can't say that your debtor owes you $100 and since he isn't paying he is not following halakha so you can take him to secular court. (As a side note, the Satmar Rebbes going to secular court was one world class chillul hashem.)
Where is the record that R. Yosef/Shas has tried to take the BY system to beis din numerous times and failed?

And in any case, Sefardim do have their own school system to send their daughters where they can be educated in Sefardi tradition. And these Sefardi schools are notoriously discriminatory toward Ashkenazim.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

'Perhaps the Ashkenazim are justified in not admitting as many Sefardic girls into their school system'

And just what would that justification be?

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Justification -
There are not enough classrooms / spaces for the Ashkenazi girls, who learn to Daven Nusach Ashkenaz, bench and daven with "suf" and not "tuf", follow minhagei Lita, not minhagei sefard.

No one claims that the sephardim are second class citizens - except THEMSELVES. If they held themselves to be equals, they should make their own school system with their own top level teachers and their own first rate students. By trying to force their way into Ashkenazi schools, they are making themselves into second class citizens.

1:51 AM  
Blogger Ari Kinsberg said...

what a pathetic situation. and i like the way people distinguish when they can and can't go to a secular court.

anonymous:
a) is this what the ashkenazi schools claim? if yes, is this true?
b) this is still not a reason to refuse sephardi students

"No one claims that the sephardim are second class citizens - except THEMSELVES."

obviously the people who do the discriminating are not going to admit they are doing so.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous buy Cialis said...

Well what can I say... people it's stupid, specially the adults, because they teach they children and learn bad costumes, but well there's nothing we can do with that, I don't descrimnate anyone specially a woman haha
Good luck body.

3:48 PM  

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