Kids to Miss School Sunday as Buses to Be Used for Lag Ba’omer

School holiday first set for Sunday, but postponed to Monday due to concerns of desecrating Sabbath the day before, says Education Ministry

Lag Ba'omer celebrations at Mount Meron.
AP

Thousands of children will not be able to go to school on Sunday, as hundreds of school buses have been commandeered to take people to the Lag Ba’omer celebrations on Mount Meron.

In addition, more than 1,000 children will not be able to go to schools and kindergartens in the Upper Galilee that day, as several roads will close to traffic in the region, in anticipation of hundreds of thousands of revelers at Mount Meron.

The Lag Ba’omer school vacation was initially scheduled for Sunday, but last month it was postponed to Monday, due to concerns of desecrating the Sabbath the day before, the Education Ministry said.

The Transportation Ministry had allocated hundreds of school buses to take people to Mount Meron before the Education Ministry postponed the Lag Ba’Omer vacation. The Transportation Ministry said it would not change the arrangements despite the vacation’s postponement, “to prevent danger to hundreds of thousands of people planning to take part in the Meron festivities.”

“The Education Ministry’s decision to move the holiday from Sunday to Monday is unprecedented and could cause chaos on the roads and constitute a severe safety hazard to hundreds of thousands of people who may be left with no transportation,” the statement said. “So we decided to stick to the original plan.”

Despite Haaretz’s request, the Transportation Ministry refused to say how many school buses were recruited for the celebrations. The Forum of Regional Parents’ Unions said some 800 school buses will be used to take people to Meron, leaving thousands of students with no transportation to school next Sunday.

“When the Education Ministry moved the Lag Ba’Omer vacation up by a day, it should have made arrangements to enable schools to operate as usual,” said Amatzia Deutch, chairman of the Regional Parents’ Unions in Modi’in. “Are parents supposed to take a day off on Sunday as well, to drive their children to school, or take care of them while they’re at home?”