Rabbis Cancel Teacher Training Programs at Beit Yaakov School District

Rabbinical council cites surplus of teachers as reason, major portion of religious sector's likelihood to suffer as a reslut of decision.

School has only recently gone into session at the "Beit Yaakov" chain of girls' private religious schools, nearly two months after the rest of the country's schools. The delay was caused by the rabbinical committee's decision to make a number of changes to the school system, including canceling the awarding of degrees to girls seeking to become teachers within the "Beit Yaakov" school system.

The decision will deal a severe economic blow to thousands of teachers. Women are typically the main if not only breadwinner in religious households, and teaching is one of the main professions in which they work.

For years, graduates of the Beit Yakkov school district have entered degree plans for acquiring teacher certification. After two years, the students receive a certificate allowing them to teach in the Beit Yaakov school district.

The changes will most seriously affect teachers and students who will have wasted years of study and thousands of dollars in money in order to acquire partial degrees that will not allow them to teach.

Sources in the Beit Yaakov school district argue that there is a surplus of teachers available for their schools, and that even without the cancellation of the program, many teachers would stay unhired.