Israel – The High Court of Justice today ordered a haredi girls’ school in the settlement of Emmanuel to stop separating students based on their ethnicity and to remove all marks of discrimination from its midst without delay.
In its decision the court accepted the petition of No’ar Kehalacha, a non-profit organization dedicated to the eradication of discriminatory policies in haredi education.
Meanwhile, the court ordered the Education Ministry to make use of all the legal means it possesses to rectify the situation, including revoking the school’s license and stopping the institution’s funding.
In 2007 a policy of segregation was enacted in the school, with its Sephardi minority being cordoned off from the Ashkenazi majority.
Different entrances were set up for the two groups, plaster walls were erected inside the school and fences were constructed in the courtyard to separate the populations. In addition, the girls were instructed to wear different school uniforms based on their ethnicity.
The judges wrote in their decision that the school had “violated the Sephardi students’ right to equality.” The judges also criticized the Education Ministry for failing to use its authority to stop the school’s discriminatory policies. Meanwhile, the school’s administration was ordered to pay the petitioners’ legal expenses, at NIS 75,000.