JERUSALEM (JTA) — A haredi Orthodox teacher in a girls’ school in the largely haredi West Bank settlement of Beitar Illit reportedly was fired from her long-time position after obtaining a drivers’ license.
The woman obtained the driver’s license in order to more easily transport her disabled daughter, the haredi Orthodox news website Kikar Shabbat reported Sunday. The family received funds from Israel’s National Insurance Institute to purchase a car to enable them to better care of their daughter, according to the report.
According to the report, the woman consulted with a senior rabbi in the community, and received his permission to take her driving test and obtain the license after her husband had trouble passing the driving test.
The article cited unnamed sources at the school. The sources quoted the school’s principal as saying of the teacher’s situation: “I don’t care. I will not tolerate a teacher with a driver’s license.”
The teacher and her family would not comment to Kikar Shabbat on the incident, saying they do not want to cause a “hillul hashem,” or desecration of God’s name.
When contacted by the Israeli daily Haaretz, the principal did not comment, saying: “I don’t give interviews, but this is really, really not true,” before hanging up, according to its English language news website.
Israel’s Ministry of Education is investigating the report, according to Haaretz.
Some haredi sects do not allow women to drive. Last summer, a letter was issued by rabbis of the Belz Hasidic group in London saying that the children whose mothers drive them to the sect’s schools will be banned. The schools later walked back the letter.