In the coming weeks, members of the Council of Higher Education will vote on expanding gender-separated classrooms for ultra-Orthodox on academic campuses.
Dr. Gilad Malach and Dr. Lee Cahaner, researchers at the Israel Democracy Institute who drafted the model on integrated campuses, explain that this move will lead to a rise in the number of ultra-Orthodox academic students and could enable more ultra-Orthodox students to learn on already existing university and college campuses.
The model presented by the plan will open for the ultra-Orthodox students the possibility to study not just in their own “islands of separation,” but also on mainstream campuses.
This might not sound popular or correct at first. However, integrating the ultra-Orthodox into mainstream education through gender-separated classrooms will guarantee that they receive a quality education that can prepare them for today’s rapidly changing workforce. At the same time, this will lead to increased interaction between haredim and secular Israelis, while still guaranteeing that the needs of ultra-Orthodox students are met.
This is a step that will significantly increase the chances of these students to enter higher quality employment positions, and long term could improve the entire economy.