Israel's Christian Schools Still on Strike Over Budget

A strike over budgets is keeping 33,000 pupils at home.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Students protest against education budget cuts in Jerusalem, May 2015.
Students protest against education budget cuts in Jerusalem, May 2015.Credit: Emil Salman
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Christian schools throughout the country remain closed by a strike over budgets that has kept 33,000 pupils in 47 schools home since the start of the school year Tuesday, with no solution from the Education Ministry in sight.

School administrators say the ministry has over the years been cutting funds from these schools, which are regarded as “recognized but unofficial” schools. Budget cuts have been so steep that the allocations from the Education Ministry cover only 29 percent of the costs of running the institutions. At the same time, the Education Ministry limits how much they can charge parents in tuition and fees.

“The cuts on the one hand, and the circular restricting collections on the other are dealing a death blow to the Christian schools,” said one principal. The school administrators note that ultra-Orthodox schools in the Maayan Hahinukh Hatorani and Atzma’i networks get full funding although they are not subject to Education Ministry inspection and many do not teach the core curriculum.

President Reuven Rivlin is expected to meet Pope Francis on Thursday at the Vatican, and the issue is expected to be raised. Haaretz has learned that the school administrations have also contacted officials in the U.S. State Department about the importance of saving the schools, some of which are operating more than a century and are considered successful.

A rally for the schools is slated on Thursday in Ramle, following those this week in Haifa, Nazareth and Shfaram.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Prime Minister Yair Lapid, this month.

Lapid to Haaretz: ‘I Have Learned to Respect the Left’

“Dubi,” whose full name is secret in keeping with instructions from the Mossad.

The Mossad’s Fateful 48 Hours Before the Yom Kippur War

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer