Knesset Committee Discusses Funding for Chabad Activities

from The Jerusalem Post:

Knesset C’tee to gov’t: Fund Chabad activities overseas

Almost three years after the deadly terror attack at the Mumbai Chabad House, the Knesset’s Immigration and Absorption Committee discussed terror threats against Chabad Houses worldwide, as well as Israel’s cooperation with programs for outreach and education of overseas Jewry. MKs called on the government to increase funding for Chabad educational institutions worldwide, and to restore the budget for Jewish education in the Diaspora, which has been reduced by nearly 80 percent in recent decades.

… Chabad, said Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, had developed to previously unknown levels a model of emissaries for the Jewish people. “Although Chabad does not declare their desire for in-gathering of the exiles, the fact is that more people immigrate to Israel after receiving Jewish education,” he added. “In places where the Jewish Agency is unable to maintain an institution or an emissary, we certainly rely on the Chabad emissary. Chabad rabbis lead the struggle for Israel on campuses. The co-operation between us and Chabad is not sufficient, and we are ready and happy to expand it.”

Deputy Education Minister Menachem Eliezer Mozes (UTJ) revealed that in the past two decades, Israel’s budget for overseas Jewish education had plummeted. In 1987, the budget stood at NIS 48 million,, and by 2003, former education minister Yuli Tamir had stripped it down to a mere eight million shekels. Mozes said that he had requested that the budget be restored to NIS 50 million, and that Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar promised to discuss the subject in the government.