Israel proposes biometric monitoring of Talmud scholars

July 19, 2012 - 

Israel’s parliament is drafting a law that would have Avreichim, or full-time Talmud scholars, submit their fingerprint for a biometric scan each time they enter or exit their religious schools, known as kollelim.

In Israel, ultra orthodox Haredi Jews who study full-time are exempt from military service and are provided with additional social benefits such as subsidies for housing. Biometric monitoring systems would ensure that tens of thousands of Avreichim report to their beis medrash, or houses of learning, daily.

Under the proposed law, individuals’ attendance would be tracked, and those who are not attending the schools on a regular basis could be held accountable through criminal charges under Isreal’s penal code.

While many officials in the center-right Likud party are in favor of the law, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has reached a compromise position with Haredi Jews, an important constituency of his coalition government. While Netanyahu supports the law, he personally opposes personal sanctions, fines and criminal charges against Avreichim who do not comply.

Do you think installing biometric system to monitor Avreichim in kollelim is fair?

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About T'ash Spenser

T’ash Spencer writes full time for She has 15 years experience in the field of regional planning and earned her Master’s of Science in Regional Development Planning and Management from the University of Dortmund, Germany. Follow her @tashspencer1.