Deputy Finance Minister Michal Waldiger (Religious Zionism) last week told an audience at the Jerusalem College of Technology’s Tal Campus for women: “There’s a drought of freedom of speech in Israel’s academic institutions.”
“Unfortunately, as of late, we’re seeing less and less freedom of speech and it’s impossible for people to share their honest opinions in many academic institutions,” Waldiger said, adding that, “here, at the Jerusalem College of Technology, democracy exists and everyone is free to respectfully express themselves equally. This is the way of the Torah and this is also the philosophy of JCT as an institution that combines holy and secular studies and excels at doing both. I’m thrilled to see so many young women come to study at an institution that prioritizes uncompromising professionalism together with studying sacred texts.”
Waldiger’s remarks were directed at Israeli academia’s uniform opposition to the coalition government’s judicial reforms. Many Israeli colleges and universities have issued a joint statement warning that should the judicial reforms pass, it would impact Israel’s higher education negatively.
Last week, thousands of female students kicked off the academic year at JCT’s Tal Campus for women on the traditional date when Jewish houses of learning start their year: the month of Elul (rater than mid-October for most academic institutions). Currently, the Tal Campus accommodates more than 2,100 women. The school recently broke ground on the campus’s new location, to be completed in 2025. The new campus will be home to as many as 5,000 female students in nursing, computer science, industrial engineering, accounting, and management.
More than 90% of JCT’s alumni find employment in their field within a year of graduation. JCT graduates enter the workforce in leading firms such as Intel, Google, Microsoft, Amdocs, Rafael, Elbit, Check Point, Texas Instruments, and IBM.