MK Asher. "Discrimination of an entire public" (Photo: Knesset Spokesperson, Dani Shem Tov)
Important news on the way to solving the acute housing crisis in the ultra-orthodox sector?
Today, the Committee of Ministers approved the bill of the Chairman of the Interior Committee, MK Yaakov, which stipulates the obligation of adequate representation for the ultra-Orthodox in all institutions of the planning committees.
This is a first step on the way to correcting a situation where precisely in the places most significant to the fate of the housing programs, there is no proper ultra-Orthodox professional representation.
In his explanatory remarks to the HC, MK Asher stated that "Beyond the fact that this is discrimination against an entire public that is almost unrepresented, there is professional and civic importance to the representation of professionals from the ultra-orthodox sector in the planning institutions, since adequate representation will help ensure that the housing plans are prepared in the most adapted manner to the needs of the population The ultra-Orthodox.
According to the bill, the obligation of adequate representation for the ultra-Orthodox will be established in all institutions and planning committees, where until adequate representation is achieved, the appointing ministers will be obliged to prefer the appointment of an ultra-Orthodox representative. The Minister of the Interior will be responsible for the implementation of this section and will be entitled to establish instructions for the implementation of the adequate representation.
The ultra-orthodox authority in the Prime Minister's Office headed by Deputy Minister Uri Makleb submitted a professional opinion to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation stating that there is an urgent need to advance the bill.
22 ultra-Orthodox out of 381
A document submitted to the committee by the Knesset's Research and Information Center indicates that as of May 2022, the
professional planning bodies (the Planning Administration and the District Planning Bureaus) have 22 ultra-Orthodox employees out of a total of 381, meaning that the proportion of ultra-Orthodox employees is 6% of all employees. The
highest rates of ultra-Orthodox employees are at the headquarters of the planning administration - 5 employees which are about 8% of the total number of employees and in the district planning bureau in the Jerusalem district there are 4 ultra-Orthodox employees who make up about 20% of all employees. An ultra-orthodox employee, one of the 37 employees in the district.
There are no ultra-Orthodox workers in the North, Haifa, Tel Aviv and South districts.
For comparison, it should be noted that as of 2021 in the general civil service, the proportion of ultra-Orthodox employees was 1.9% of all employees, from this it follows that the proportion of ultra-Orthodox employees in all planning institutions together is higher than their proportion in the general civil service.
How many ultra-Orthodox in the National Council and Bethel?
Unlike the professional planning bodies, the composition of the various planning committees, national and provincial, includes representative members
who are appointed by various parties such as government ministers and representatives of local authorities.
Only two statutory planning bodies - the National Council and the Committee for National Infrastructures (Hotal) - have the duty of adequate representation, by virtue of the Government Companies Law. In this regard, according to the data submitted to the Knesset, it
appears that out of the 32 members of the National Council, there is only one ultra-Orthodox member (3% ).BothML - Out of the 15 members of the committee, there is no ultra-orthodox representation at all, but 3 are substitutes.
In the rest of the sub-committees of the National Council there are no ultra-Orthodox members at all.
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One of the factors influencing integration in the planning bodies is the existence or lack of relevant education.
The educational requirements required for most planning job tenders are academic education in geography, architecture, sustainability and environmental studies, civil engineering, social sciences with a specialization in urban and regional planning or city planning.
The document shows that in the last decade there has been a significant increase in the total number of ultra-Orthodox students in the planning fields from 29 ultra-Orthodox students in the 2010/11 academic year to 142 students in 2020/21, an increase of 390%.
The percentage of ultra-orthodox students out of the total number of students in the planning professions also increased gradually in the last decade until it doubled - from 1% in 2012-2013, to about 2% in 2020-2021.
Despite the gradual increase in the number of ultra-Orthodox students in the subjects relevant to the field of planning in the last decade, in practice the number of graduates of these subjects remains low, even in recent years and is estimated at 17 and 18 ultra-Orthodox graduates in 2019 and 2020 respectively.