Yes, you read that right. The Haredi community actually does have a growing workforce, despite what much of the media is reporting. Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal printed what they considered to be front-page news: “Ultra-Orthodox Jews Shake Israel’s Sense of Identity,” the headline read. The article essentially spoke about how the Haredi Jews are leaching resources from Israeli society and not giving back anything in return “except” for their Torah learning.
The piece is unfortunately incredibly one-sided, only discussing the negative components of a Haredi lifestyle on Israeli society. It fails to mention any of the initiatives that are currently in place to counteract the challenges that exist. These initiatives, it should be noted, are being spearheaded by Haredim themselves, who recognize the challenges and are working on solutions from within.
At the end of the piece, the authors do quote Eli Paley, the head of the Haredi Institute for Public Affairs and businessman (the article fails to mention that qualification) saying that a Torah-learning lifestyle produces good husbands, fathers and community members, and those values and roles are perhaps unappreciated. It’s almost thrown in at the end, a bone after dismembering any positive aspect of Haredi society and poking fun at the lifestyle many choose to live — i.e. in small apartments, selling food, etc.
In reality, many wives of Haredi men work full-time and have excellent jobs in Israeli hi-tech. Further, there are many programs aimed to train both men and women to be able to earn a higher income and support their families. Here, just some that we have reported on in the past. Hopefully in the future, the secular media will also be able to report in a more balanced, nuanced, fashion.
This initiative put $25 million into getting more underrepresented groups into Israeli hi-tech which includes Haredi Jews, women, and Israeli Arabs.
This global company hired 300 new Haredi employees for their office in Beit Shemesh last year.
A program that pairs Haredi Jews in Israel with hi-tech jobs. The secular Israeli newspaper Globes recently picked a Kamatech company to be the number two most promising start-up in all of Israel.
An organization in Israel started by a Haredi mother and single, secular Israeli woman to educate and prepare Haredi women in Israel to enter the workforce. The secular Israeli woman actually said she initially had negative views on Haredim because of the media’s portrayal.
Hasidic Programs in Schools
Menachem Bombach grew up in the religious neighborhood, Meah Shearim, and has since founded and directed a high school that was awarded the Religious Education Prize. He created a program for Haredi students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He did all this while leading the Berdichev Hasidic community in Beitar Illit and overseeing its school systems which is giving Haredi children preparation needed for professional advancement.
Integralytic is an organization filled with consultants who use data analytics services to improve business models and make better and faster decisions. The company released an app called DolphinCare which is an IV fluid app revolutionizing the SNF industry. The company is entirely run by Haredi women. The name of the company explains that because of their Torah values, they run a company filled with female bosses yet don’t compromise their integrity in order to do so.