Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sephardi Parents: Bais Yaakov Is Discriminating Against Our Daughter

Elad, Israel -- The parents of a Sephardi girl who was refused entry into a Bais Yaakov school in Elad have filed suit against the school in Tel Aviv District Court. The school belongs to the Ashkenazi independent school system that is funded by the Education Ministry but has broad - although limited - freedoms.

The parents say that the school wants pupils of Ashkenazi descent only, and that school officials have gone on record as making admission decisions based on "parent's country of origin" and because a girl's "brother attends a Sephardi elementary school".

We are sticking our neck out for a large number of families in Elad who cannot get their daughters into Bais Yaakov," said the girl's mother on Tuesday.

Discrimination against Sephardim in Yeshivos and girls schools is not uncommon in Israel, with many Ashkenazi Charedim suscribing to a approach not unlike the "seperate but equal" doctrine that existed in the U.S. with regard to blacks prior to the successes of the civil rights movement. Thursday, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a petition against the Emanuel Local Council and the independent education system over the segregation of Ashkenazi and Sephardi girls at the Bais Yaakov school in that community.

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