The Ministry of Education intends to cut funds for Jewish pluralism programs in secular public schools, after having financed such programs for years. According to officials, the department of Jewish culture of the ministry is trying to cut funds and also wants to make it difficult for new organizations to receive funds if they are not strictly orthodox.
In the 1990s, the Shenhar Committee recommended the introduction of pluralistic programs of Judaism in secular schools, although the recommendations were never fully implemented. Withdrawing additional funding for programs that were approved a few years ago would strengthen the monopoly of orthodox groups working in secular schools and harm non-Orthodox groups by taking away the little money they receive from the government.
The Department of Jewish Culture of the Ministry of Education has been transferring tens of millions of shekels to Orthodox groups, the so-called centers for deepening Jewish identity, identified with the Habayit Hayehudi party and working among Israeli lay Jews.
The umbrella group Panim, the Israeli Judaism Network, said: "We regret this behavior of the Ministry of Education. "The ministry must go back to its senses, stop funding organizations that preach religion and finance only the organizations that work … in the spirit of the Shenhar Committee."
Attorney Orly Erez-Likhovski of the Movement for Reform said that canceling additional funding for pluralist organizations "will make discrimination worse."