A translation of an e-mail I received yesterday:
We are a number of days before the opening of the new academic school year - but to our great dismay the year once again won't begin.
Not only won't the school year begin, also because of the situation, in the upcoming days there will be no choice but to close the entire university: there won't be administrative workers, there won't be researchers, the classes will have disappeared!
The school year won't begin because the government of Israel scorns the system of higher education, and because of this nothing is standing, for the best six years the government has cut the amount of money requested by hundreds of millions of shekels.
The system of higher education today stands on the side of one leg to attack! (clearly I had trouble translating this sentence...maybe it is idiomatic...)
We, representatives of the student body, heads of the student associations, call together wit the heads of the research universities to the Israeli prime minister, to minister Livni and to the minister of finance and ? the labor party, to the minister of education, the government and the Kinesset to save higher education, to restore to research universities the budged that was cut and to allow the academic year to begin once more.
It is up to us to stress that we are against the school year's not opening. The student body has suffered from the disruption of the school year for each of the past three years. Given this, it is clear that if they don't flow in a speedy fashion to restore the system of higher education, universities won't be able to continue their shared activities and to supply higher education at the level that existed in Israel in the past.
In this letter we have compiled a collection of e-mail addresses of the prime minister, the minister of finance, minister of education, and members of the committee of finance and committee of education in the Kinesset. We ask each of you to forward personal mail ? the struggle and call upon them to act to save higher education and open the academic year at the university in an orderly manner.
The head of the student association
The president of Hebrew University
the head of the national student organization??
As a result of the decision and (something?) that they won't begin the upcoming school year, tens of students obstructed the rode together with the president of the university. The demonstrators called with one voice to guard to turn the struggles over the budget for higher education and to end the crisis in order that the academic year can begin in an orderly manner.
As a result, the demonstration of the students will begin the negotiations and they don't intend to stop demonstrating
Tomorrow, Wednesday 10/29/08 the demonstration will begin
For the sake of higher education and to save the academic year
5:00 pm in front of the ministry of finance
I don't know if this effects the Rothberg School (though my Yiddish classes are outside Rothberg so one way or another it will affect me). As you can tell from these e-mails, higher education in Israel has been in turmoil for the past few years. If you're interested, I'll send you some newspaper articles about it - just leave a note.