The government approved the addition of NIS 11 billion ($3.23 billion) to the 2020 provisional state budget. According to the decision, NIS 3 billion will be added to the defense budget, and the remainder as support to various projects and institutions, including Jewish renewal organizations and the gay community in Israel >>
On Wednesday evening, September 9th, 2020, after a long deliberation, the government approved the method in which the additional government expenditure for 2020 will be distributed. The NIS 11 billion increase puts the total government budget for 2020 at NIS 411 billion. In addition, an updated three-year budget plan for 2021-2023 was approved during the meeting.
Prime Minister MK Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) and Finance Minister MK Israel Katz (Likud) submitted budgets for approval to the government regarding: disability benefits; helping 2,000 Falash Mura immigrate to Israel; an aid program to integrate members of the Ethiopian community; dozens of educational programs in state and religious education; a grant for the advancement of the gay community; for integrative education, and for Jewish renewal organizations.
The Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage, Rabbi Rafi Peretz working with the Ministry of Finance, made sure to secure funds for the religious Zionists. "We have saved the state-religious education (Hamad) so that religious education does not collapse in such a complex and difficult year.” Peretz said. "Torah study institutions for women are at the top of my priority list, so I made sure we have a designated budget for Halacha Consultants and for other projects with the Midrashot (Institute of Torah study for women).
"The government has also approved a budget for Garin Torani (Torah-Oriented Community), which for me is at the forefront of social engagement. Within the Administration of Jewish Identity, I was able to preserve the budgets earmarked for religious Zionist organizations involved in instilling Jewish identity in Israeli society."
Minister of Religious Affairs Ya'akov Avitan (Shas) said: "I would like to thank Interior Minister Rabbi Aryeh Deri from the bottom of my heart, who fought for the religious councils to be counted in the NIS 11 billion budget we approved last night in the government, and insisted that their current budget not be harmed. This is a vital budget, especially during the Corona period, when everyone knows that the religious councils are at the forefront of finding solutions for the High Holy Day prayers, as well as continuing to address issues of kashrut, mikvahs, marriage and more, despite the significant drop in income."
Minister of Communications Yoaz Hendel (Derech Eretz), who promoted the integrative education budget, commented: "I am glad to share that as part of last night's budget increase, after lengthy negotiations, and at the demand of Chili Tropper and myself, the government has approved a budget allocation for inclusive education. The most significant vaccine for Israeli society during these days is fostering mutual respect - secular and religious children, from the left and right, who study and live together."
As part of the government's decision, 17 million NIS will be transferred to the Ministry of Social Equality, headed by Minister Meirav Cohen, and an additional 3 million NIS to the Ministry of Culture, headed by Minister Chili Tropper. Both ministries will be responsible for allocating the budget according to the needs of the LGBTQ community with the coordination of MK Eitan Ginzburg (Blue and White).
MK Ginzburg (Blue and White) said: "I am very happy with the achievement we have led. There are many organizations in the LGBTQ community that are pleading for budgets, and will simply close if we do not take care of them and soon. As we have promised in the past, the rights of the gay community are at the core of our work and we will continue to fight for them from within the government and the Knesset. "
MK Tehila Friedman (Blue and White) who pushed to secure a budget towards Jewish renewal organizations and Youth Movement organizations said: "For many years I have been working with and for educational, cultural and social organizations that promote a Judaism that is social, inclusive, Zionist and seeking solidarity. It took time and effort, but yesterday we approved budgets for Jewish renewal organizations so that they can continue to do meaningful work. A treaty of moderates is what it is…. Tens of millions will be transferred to youth movements and organizations, to pre-army programs, and student villages. This was a joint effort and it was a true pleasure to be part of a party whose heart and wallet are in the right place."