Minister of Education Naftali Bennett and the Jewish Home party received special thanks on Monday morning from the Head of the Union of Hesder Yeshivot, Shmuel Yosselson. The thanks were given for the higher budgetary allowance granted to the yeshivas and Zionist Institutions for Higher learning of Torah.
Hesder yeshivas combine military service with intensive Torah study, and are among the flagship institutions of the religious-Zionist community in Israel.
Yosselson, in an interview with Arutz Sheva, spoke about the efforts that were put in to attain this increase in budget. “The most recent election was the first time that all of the Zionist institutions for higher Torah learning worked together. The yeshivot, the pre-military academies, the kollel union, all worked in conjunction with each other to further the cause of the Zionist religious world.”
According to Yosselson, following the drastic financial hit the befell the yeshivot under the auspices of Finance Minister Yair Lapid in the previous Knesset, the institutions managed to gather what support they had in the Knesset and overcome the financial challenges imposed upon them by the cutbacks.
The current campaign was to assure that the demands of the Hareidi parties and yeshivot to return the budget for the yeshivot back to what it was in 2012, would not cause a decrease of funding for Zionist yeshivot.
The main opponents of the move were indeed haredi representatives. According to Yosselson, “MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) fought stubbornly to return the budgetary allocation to what it was in 2012. At one point it seemed that it was more important to him what we wouldn't get, than what he would,” said Yosselson. “However with much thanks to Bennett and the Jewish Home party, we have succeeded in attaining a 40 percent increase over what we were being allocated in 2012.”