Several thousand haredi high-school girls gathered at the Jerusalem Arena on Tuesday to be told by leading rabbis from the Council of Torah Sages of the Degel Hatorah movement that they are forbidden from pursuing higher education.
Blessings and messages against higher education were read to the school pupils by Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, the spiritual leader of the non-hassidic Ashkenazi haredi community, as well as by two other senior haredi leaders, Rabbi Haim Kanievsky and Rabbi Gershon Edelstein.
At the assembly, it was decided that members of the haredi community “should be careful and protect themselves from all the blandishments of academia, including haredi women. The place of a daughter of Israel is not there, the place of a daughter of Israel is in Beit Ya’acov [schools] only. One should not independently be tested and one should not study such topics through online communication either.”
It emerged on Tuesday that the event organizers had been promised NIS 200,000 in funding by the Jerusalem Municipal Council.
The municipal council said in response that it had conditioned the provision of the funds on a guarantee that the speakers at the event would not speak out against higher education.
Following publication of the speeches and decisions at the conference, the municipality said that its legal adviser had requested clarifications from the organizers and would now decide whether or not to transfer the funds.