Yesterday afternoon in Jerusalem, vast numbers of ultra-Orthodox Jews protested the court-mandated integration of a religious girls’ school, raising provocative questions in the Israeli public about what constitutes racism, what defines religious adherence, and what enables effective learning:
Parents of European, or Ashkenazi, descent at a girls’ school in the West Bank settlement of Emanuel don’t want their daughters to study with schoolgirls of Mideast and North African descent, known as Sephardim.
The Ashkenazi parents insist they aren’t racist, but want to keep the classrooms segregated, as they have been for years, arguing that the families of the Sephardi girls aren’t religious enough.
Israel’s Supreme Court rejected that argument, and ruled that the 43 sets of parents who have defied the integration efforts by keeping their daughters from school were to be jailed on Thursday for two weeks.
Read more about the protest here.