Former Chief Rabbi Brigadier General Rabbi Avichai Ronski, is concerned that Shas's control over the Ministry of Religious Affairs will put an end to the Jewish Identity program set in place by Jewish Home during the previous government.
Rabbi Ronski stated in a special Arutz Sheva interview Friday morning that Shas could backtrack on the Religious-Zionist outlook the previous administration had over the ministry, which he noted reached out to the more traditional-leaning Israeli public.
"The program has brought together more than 100,000 young people so far to learn Jewish content, starting from the higher classes of high school, as well as in pre-military academies," he said. "I have a fear that all this will be hurt – nothing was agreed upon in coalition negotiations."
Rabbi Ronski expressed the hope that the program will be transferred to the Education Ministry, where Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett was assigned for the next government – but so far, nothing has happened.
"Jewish identity is one of the main banners of Religious Zionism and those who represent it are the Jewish Home party," he explained. "That's what I went for the primaries and unfortunately I did not get in. I urge anyone who is involved, to do all he can to at least maintain current operations in the program."
Incoming Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay (Shas) promised Thursday that he would not harm the national-religious sector.
"We must remember that once I am the elected minister of the state of Israel then I am minister for everyone, and therefore I need to consider all of them," Azoulay stated to the haredi Kikar HaShabbat news agency.
"I certainly would not be discriminatory, and I will try to make everybody happy," he added. "I came into the office reverently with the intent to learn and to teach."