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Bennett to Spend $140 Million on Haredi Integration

The minister lamented the fact that Israelis are studying Law instead of programming.
Minister Naftali Bennett (R), Shas MK Amnon Cohen (C) and UTJ MK Israel Eichler at a Knesset State Control Committee encouraging Haredi integration in the Israeli labor market, August 06, 2013.

Minister Naftali Bennett (R), Shas MK Amnon Cohen (C) and UTJ MK Israel Eichler at a Knesset State Control Committee encouraging Haredi integration in the Israeli labor market, August 06, 2013.
Photo Credit: FLASH90

The Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor will allocate 500 million shekel ($140 million) to the integration of Haredim in the labor market, Minister Naftali Bennett announced today during a debate at the Knesset State Control Committee, ma’ariv reported.

“Integrating Haredim in the labor market is an acute national mission for the state of Israel,” the chair of the Jewish Home party said.

According to Bennett, “the dominant dynamic here is poverty. People who do not possess the economic ability to study Torah from morning till night would naturally seek a job. This is a blessed thing, and we must start working [to encourage it].”

Bennett added that his ministry is developing several axes along which to test the best way of integrating Haredim. “We want to direct Haredim to seek employment in areas where the market needs workers,” he said. “The current situation is that people are going to study and become proficient in areas the market doesn’t need. There’s a lack of coordination between what is and what’s needed.”

He gave one example: “Everybody is studying Law, instead of programming. There aren’t enough programmers out there, and any reasonably proficient programmer will be hired. The manufacturers are crying out, the hi-tech market is crying out for a workforce. That’s why we work all the time with the field and receive feedback. And the people in the field know well what works and what doesn’t, and we base our investment on their impressions.”

Bennett said the process will necessarily be one of trial and error, but his aim is to see in ten years the majority of Haredim integrated into the market.

Michal Tzuk, a Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor official in charge of employment, told the committee about a plan to create a prestigious program to prepare Haredim looking to work in hi-tech, which will include academic education and promoting Haredim as skilled workers.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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2 Responses to “Bennett to Spend $140 Million on Haredi Integration”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Bennett has a point about studying the law. At least here in the US, it's been 2 years since I got my JD and the legal market simply doesn't want or have room for me. I wish I had known this 5 years ago. I should have learned programming, some type of engineering, or microbiology. Lawyers are essentially parasitic and the market is full. Programming is a good place for detail-oriented Haredi. I would suggest the burgeoning natural gas and shale oil industry might also eventually be a very large employer.

  2. Anonymous says:

    INTEGRATION NOT ASSIMILATION.

    All these job programs must be made voluntary and if they wish to join them then they will. We should all have the attitude that their Torah studying is very valuable as it leads to Mitzva observance- our reason for existence. Its just that some can't afford full time studying so they will want to work as do many charedim. My point is that we don't have the following attitude many have:What we shouldn't do is have the attitude that the Chareidim are losers and leeches and their Torah study is worthless and dangerous(influence others to be religious) so lets make them less religious by INTEGRATING THEM (AKA ASSIMILATE) THEM and make them less religious and less influential as we the government and the workplace gain control over their actions- not the head rabbis. This is becoming a power game for the minds of the youth- where to steer the society- to a non religious Israeli society like America or a religious one following Hashems commands. Face it ITS A WAR FOR THE FUTURE OF ISRAEL. Many politicians couldn't care less about the economic well being of the chareidim- they just want to stall their growth and influence. Sad, very sad- we should be proud the country is becoming more religious. Its in our national security interests.

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