Friday, October 26, 2007

Israel Pulls Support for Foreign Yeshiva Students

(via DAG) This is interesting, but let me explain why.
During a party meeting it was explained that the government has decided to execute the following:

1. To stop funding payments for students from abroad studying at yeshivas in Israel. As such it was decided to cut NIS 18 million ($4.5 million) from the foundation of the 2008 budget from the area of support for Torah-based learning institutions.
In case you're wondering why it's so much money being pulled just for that, I remember an interesting detail a Rebbe in one of the yeshivos I attended in Israel telling. He was an American living in Israel, and he noted that while he learns in Israel, he is not an Israeli citizen. He was willing to refuse the perks of making aliyah, which surely would have saved him a lot of money, to avoid the responsibilities that come with it (as is his right). But as I understand it, he still was able to receive some perks as a foreign yeshiva student learning in the Holy Land.

From a logical and economic standpoint, this cut makes a lot of sense. Why allow people who won't become citizens to take government money for providing the State with nothing? Of course, a person doesn't need to become a citizen, but it doesn't help the State to encourage it. This move could put a lot of Americans who live in Israel without citizenship into an interesting dilemma.