Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Ashdod Moriah Elementary School: Segregating children by skin color. This must end.


At 7:04 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

Mar. 3, 2005
High Court asked to bar Ashdod principal

The High Court of Justice ordered the state on Wednesday to prepare an affidavit detailing the behavior of an Ashdod principal accused of abusing and discriminating against Ethiopian students, according to lawyers involved in the case.

The Tebeka Center for Legal Aid and Advocacy for Ethiopian Jews is demanding that the principal be barred from teaching and running schools after he was twice suspended for mistreating pupils, for which he is currently under investigation by the police. While the criminal investigation continues, he has been allowed to resume his duties as principal of the Moriah Elementary School.

The incidents include his allegedly hitting a student, forcibly removing a child from a school bus, and throwing a youngster out of school for the day, leaving him without adult supervision, according to Tebeka attorneys.

His acts "seem racially motivated" because they were all directed against Ethiopian pupils despite their being a minority of the student body, according to Tebeka co-counsel Hagai Ashlagi, who added that the principal had previously been reprimanded for segregating Ethiopian and non-Ethiopian children at recess.

"His suspension ended and he's back at work, and parents are afraid and the kids are afraid," Ashlagi said. "This kind of man cannot remain a headmaster."

The state has 30 days to provide the affidavit, during which the police investigation is expected to conclude. Tebeka will then have 10 days to present its response.

At 7:07 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

How long will this Chillul persist?


3 December 1991
The Jerusalem Post

Knesset education committee chairman Michael Bar-Zohar said yesterday he will file a complaint with the police immediately after the Hanukka vacation against a Jerusalem Beit Ya'acov school still maintaining a separate class for Sephardi girls, despite education ministry orders to stop doing so.

The school, Beit Ya'acov Hamercaz, had been warned by Bar-Zohar last month that separating children according to ethnic background was contrary to a law passed by the Knesset earlier this year.

Sephardi parents in the school have reported to Bar-Zohar that the principal, Rabbi Yeshayahu Lieberman, is ignoring an education ministry directive to combine its two first grade classes so that Sephardim and Ashkenazim will study together.

According to Yosef Dor, the education ministry official responsible for the Beit Ya'acov schools, which are part of the haredi Independent stream, the ministry and Independent stream officials had agreed in mid-November that two classes would be combined into one class of 38-40 girls, with a balance maintained between the Ashkenazim and Sephardim.

Previously, the grade had been divided into a class of 18 Ashkenazim and a few Sephardim, and a separate class of 16 Sephardim.

"Not only would this solve the ethnic problem, but it eliminates a teaching slot," Dor said. "There is really no justification for maintaining two classes for such a small group."

The suggestion received the approval of the Jerusalem Education Authority, which urged Independent stream officials to implement it immediately.

Rabbi Lieberman is abroad and was unavailable for comment. Bar-Zohar reported speaking to Rabbi Lieberman's wife, however, and told her that her husband would face charges unless the situation was rectified immediately upon his return.

31 October 1991
The Jerusalem Post

Knesset education committee chairman Michael Bar-Zohar said he will file suit against a Jerusalem Beit Ya'acov school unless it discontinues what he labeled discriminatory practises against Sephardi girls within the next few days.

His announcement came following his visit this week to Beit Ya'acov Hamercaz in the Geula section of Jerusalem. There, in both the first and second grades, there is one mixed class of Sephardi and Ashkenazi girls and one class of only Sephardim.

Parents of first graders who had been placed in the "Sephardi" class had asked for the committee's intervention, on grounds the school was violating a law passed in May forbidding discrimination on the basis of ethnic background, both in registration and in class assignments.

The law was passed after extensive hearings in the education committee last year, during which it became clear there was such discrimination, including a "quota system" for Sephardi children, being sanctioned by Hinuch Ha'atzmai (haredi independent school network), which runs the Beit Ya'acov schools.

School principal Rabbi Yeshayahu Lieberman told Bar-Zohar that registration at the school for each of the past two years was approximately 40 Sephardi girls and 20 Ashkenazi girls. He said he had established the "mixed" and "Sephardi" classes on the advice of officials in the Jerusalem education authority and the Education Ministry, as well as of various rabbis, including former Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

"They agreed that if we split the Ashkenazi girls among two classes so that they became a small minority, all of them would leave," he said. "We would be left in any case with all-Sephardi classes."

Dr. Eli Ben-Eliezer, director of the Jerusalem education authority, could not be reached for comment.

Lieberman added that Beit Ya'acov Hamercaz, unlike many other schools in the city, had accepted all the Sephardi girls who had applied, including many who had been rejected elsewhere. Other Beit Ya'acov schools in Jerusalem were continuing to limit the number of Sephardi pupils allowed to register, he said, something the new law was meant to stop.

Bar-Zohar told Lieberman that for all his good intentions, the situation in his school was in violation of the law, which clearly forbids establishing separate classes based on ethnic origin.

"If mixing Ashkenazim and Sephardim would lead the Ashkenazim to leave, that's their problem," Bar-Zohar said. "Even if you're left with all-Sephardi classes, there's a big difference between telling a child she's in a class because she's Sephardi and having her simply be with Sephardim because of the demographics of the school."

At 7:09 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

see also these posts:


You're not welcome in Bais Yaakov: The unspoken reason? Your skin color is too dark.



Leah Eshetu claims she was fired from her job at a kosher restaurant in Arad by Rabbi Raphael Bousi for one reason: she was black

At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I attended the main bait yaakov high school in jerusalem for a year of high school. there was a separate sefardi class. they were unofficially known as the bad class. there was also a separate class for girls from hassidic homes. they did make sure to evenly separate the non-israeli girls between the classed (ie american, brittish, etc).

At 7:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(I am the same anonymous as above). To clarify my previous post, they evenly divided the american girls among the rest of the classes. ie there were one or two american girls in each class.

i vividly recall sitting around with some girls from my class. they were talking about a sefardi girl who was in our class. one said: "you know, racheli is a very nice girl but i'd never be friends with her because she's sefardi."

she said it so normally, as if there was absolutely nothing wrong with that.

At 8:05 AM, Blogger Mis-nagid said...

JWB, If you want people to be able to privately slip you stories, tips, leads and dirt, you need an email address. You can get a very anonymous one from www.hushmail.com. Display your email address promnently, so other whistleblowers can contact you.

At 8:30 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>JWB, If you want people to be
>able to privately slip you
>stories, tips, leads and dirt,
>you need an email address. You
>can get a very anonymous one
>from www.hushmail.com. Display
>your email address promnently,
>so other whistleblowers can
>contact you.

Due to popular demand, I will post an email address for tips shortly.

1) Do not send attachments of any sort, unsolicited or without my prior consent, they will be automatically deleted.
2) If you want to argue about posts, post it here. I have no time to get into repetative debates by email.
3) I am not able to provide victims of abuse services or advice. The appropriate people to contact are the Awareness Center.
4) I can only post materials when I have documentation or knowledge through tested contacts.
5) I already deal with several 100 emails a day, do not expect quick responses or any response if your message falls under 1, 2 or is unimportant.
6) I cannot cover every scandal or grievance.
7) Feel free to post in any comments.

At 2:26 PM, Blogger Reb Yudel said...

Headline critique: There's more than one Moriah school in the world.

Putting Ashdod in the headline would make the story more accurate and useful.

This is not as bad, though, as the time that the Rochester (New York) Jewish Ledger ran a dealine ROCHESTER CHABAD RABBI DOES SOMETHING NASTY and it was referring to the Rochester MINNESOTA Chabad!

At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard rumors that Bais Yaakov in Baltimore also believes in segregation.

I heard that many children from sephardi backgrounds are not allowed. They won't come out and say it, but they turn down 4 -5 year olds because of their applications. All the application asks for is the names, addresses, phone numbers.

How can they reject a child based on that kind of information?

At 6:35 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>Headline critique: There's more
>than one Moriah school in the
>Putting Ashdod in the headline
>would make the story more
>accurate and useful.

Fair criticism and in this case I will make the change. The problem is that there are limitations on the size of titles, so full description is not always possible.

At 6:39 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>How can they reject a child
>based on that kind of

As I noted at: http://jewishwhistleblower.blogspot.com/2005/02/youre-not-welcome-in-bais-yaakov.html#comments

Every year I hear the same stories of boys and girls being denied entrance to religious schools of their choice for no valid reason. There used to be rabbonim of substance who stood up for such children.

Unfortunately, there seem to be fewer and fewer such courageous community leaders each year and more community leaders that simply tolerate the status quo.

I remember one such community leader that when confronted with such a situation, wrote a letter to the institution in question indicating that if they refused this child entrance he would get up on the pulpit shabbos and speak out and that would just be the beginning. The school backed down.

At 6:39 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...


That rav z"l is no longer with us, but in his memory I open this thread up to expose this problem.

One of the worst reasons I've heard of for refusing admission is the child's skin color. This is a well documented problem in Israel where there are even quotas and I know from my sources that it is just as big a problem hutz l'aretz.

I realize that it is hard for people to go public as they don't want to harm their child's chances of finding a shiduch and they are not finding support from community leaders.

I am offering this thread as an opportunity to tell your story anonymously or just to read the articles I'm posting so you know you are not alone.


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