Israel Top Court Outlaws Stipends to Ultra-Orthodox Yeshiva Students

Calls Aid Discriminatory — and Counterproductive

More Rage: Ultra-Orthodox Jews protest military conscription. In another defeat for the community, Israel’s Supreme Court outlawed living stipends to yeshiva students.
getty images
More Rage: Ultra-Orthodox Jews protest military conscription. In another defeat for the community, Israel’s Supreme Court outlawed living stipends to yeshiva students.

By JTA

Published May 26, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The Israeli Supreme Court ordered the state to stop providing monthly living stipends to haredi Orthodox yeshiva students.

The stipends of approximately $1,100, distributed over a period of four years and intended to encourage integration into Israel’s workforce, were not having the desired effect, the court ruled Sunday in a unanimous opinion. Instead, the court said that the funding amounted to discrimination against university students, who do not receive such stipends.

The ruling, which will take effect in January 2015, came as a response to a suit filed by the National Union of Israeli Students and a range of religious pluralism groups. The suit was based on a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that state scholarships to yeshiva students amounted to preferential treatment, according to reports.

The state had also increased financial aid to university students in the intervening four years, but the court said that the measure had not resolved the inequality between yeshiva and university students.

“The claim that funding yeshiva students over a long period of time — four years, without obligating them to acquire any professional training or skill set during this time — encourages them to enter the workforce at the end of said period, is extremely problematic,” Judge Elyakim Rubinstein wrote in the unanimous opinion, according to the Times of Israel.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.