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Posts Tagged ‘jobs’

Holy Land of Opportunity: North American Jews Finding Jobs in Israel

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Jews across America, in the privacy of their own computer screens, are scanning the internet for job opportunities which will enable them to make the leap toward life in Israel.

A recent advertisement for Nefesh b’Nefesh sent to Jewish Press readers garnered a whopping 5 times the average number of clicks in the first hour.  The message was clear: finding employment in Israel is a source of great interest for North American Jews.

Though many are stirred by the passions of either ancient or modern Zionism, often bolstered by deep-seated religious understandings about the centrality of Israel in the practice of a full and lustrous Judaism, the noble quest for a more meaningful life is no longer the only reason to make aliyah.

Tough Times in America, Good Going in Israel

The last few years have been hard for the American working man and woman.  Between 2009 and 2010, the US unemployment rate hovered around 10% of the population.  Appeals to Jewish charities and sympathetic money lending groups increased significantly, with rabbis in major American Jewish communities appealing to members to reduce spending on costs such as mishloach manot on Purim, and on weddings.

In late 2011 and early 2012, the unemployment rate in the US dropped to 8.2%.  Despite the signs of economic recovery, many American Jews could not help but notice that job opportunities in Israel were far greater – fluctuating between 5.8% and 7%, where it stands today, down from 10.4% in 2004.

In 2011, Israel was listed with the 57th lowest unemployment rate by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Factbook – the US was at 103.  A 2011 report by the Federation of the Israeli Economic Organizations showed that as the world economy sank along with world trade and global credit, the Israeli economy grew by 0.8% in 2009, and leapt up to 4.5% growth in 2010.

But American Jews were not the only ones to take notice of the depressed state of US economics and the contrasting growth and progress in Israel.  Immigration statistics published in April by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, showed that the number of Israelis seeking to gain permanent residency in the US was at a record low in 2011 – just 3,826, down from nearly 6,000 in 2006, already in decline since the recession set in in 2008.  Moreover, Ella Saban, director of the department for returning Israelis at the Absorption Ministry, told the Jewish Daily Forward that since 2006 the number of expatriate Israelis returning to Israel has doubled and now stands at around 9,000 a year.

Over 100 foreign companies are invested in the little country via research and development facilities, including Google, Microsoft,  Applied Materials, Intel, British Telecom, Philips Medical, Sony, Fuji, Honda,  IBM, Cisco Systems, GE Healthcare, 3Com, Hewlett Packard, Motorola, Nestle, L’Oreal, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, and Kodak.  Together, as of 2009, they employ an estimated 35,000 Israelis.

With all that success on the part of foreign companies in Israel, Israelis still forge their own path in business.  As of 2011, the less-than 8 million citizens of Israel had 60 companies trading on the NASDAQ, the highest ranking nation on that listing except for China, population 1.3 billion, including Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics, Cimatron Limited, Elbit Medical Imaging, Comverse Technology, NICE Systems, OrganiTECH USA, Retalix, and Silicom (famed Israeli pharmaceutical company, Teva, transferred this year from the NASDAQ to the New York Stock Exchange).

The Three-Step Formula

Yet with such a load of opportunities available, the numbers of olim have not yet skyrocketed.   “People really want to come, but there’s this fear that they want to be certain or reasonably certain that they will be able to put food on the table for themselves and for their families,” Kim Ephrat, Associate Director of Employment at Nefesh B’Nefesh told The Jewish Press. “I think the fact that Israel has weathered the storm really well, and it’s sort of a snowball effect, the more people come, the more people are writing back home how well they’re doing,”

Nefesh B’Nefesh, which has spent the last 10 years helping North American and British olim with the technicalities of making aliyah, has developed what Ephrat calls a “three-step formula” for scoring in the Israeli job market.

First is networking.  “It’s what we all do naturally, it’s what we all do intuitively,” Ephrat said.  Ephrat emphasized the importance of using the internet, and especially recommended networking via LinkedIn (Nefesh B’Nefesh also has a LinkedIn aliyah board where it posts about 200 job listings a day gathered from over 2,000 employers).

Ze’ev Stub, founder of the popular Janglo community website for English-speakers in Israel, agreed that networking is key. His site features a powerful jobs “classifieds” section where employers and interested employees post daily about a wide range of positions across the country.  “The first rule in everything I’ve read or written about job searching is to network. Tell your friends what kind of job you are looking for, and keep your ears open,” Stub told the Jewish Press.

According to Ephrat, the second step is learning Hebrew.  She says, however, that while strong Hebrew skills are important for many jobs, conversational Hebrew is often sufficient.

Much of the work done in science and technology jobs is conducted in English, and “you don’t need especially strong Hebrew skills for it.  You need conversational Hebrew, to get the interview or sit in a staff meeting or converse with colleagues.”

Moreover, jobs in science, medicine, and technology are especially acclaimed in Israel, and expected to continue to increase.   “Israel is known as a high-tech capital of the world, high tech, biotech, clean tech, these are all fields that are cutting-edge in Israel and we are known for many, many cutting edge innovations, and there are many jobs for olim in this field, and it’s practical,” Ephrat said.

Indeed, the percentage of Israelis working in science and technology, and the amount spent on research and development in relation to gross domestic product (GDP), is among the highest in the world, with contributions in the fields of agriculture, genetics, electronics, computer science, optics, solar energy, and engineering.

Science and technology magazine Wired has called Tel Aviv the world’s second largest center for technology start-ups outside Silicon Valley, earning the metropolis the moniker “Silicon Wadi”.

Ephrat also said that the need for doctors and other medical professionals is high, and that anyone interested in converting their degrees for recognition in Israel would likely have an easy time finding a job.

She also noted that low-tech jobs, such as PR and marketing, are also in high demand, and that people who have no interest or skills in the high-tech sector should understand that they have a lot to offer – and gain.

Lastly, says Ephrat, it is important for job seekers to maintain flexibility.  “Flexibility as to realistic expectations what your first job is going to be, flexiblily as to how you’re going to adapt to the market, meaning using your skills in a way which is going to be most suitable to the Israeli market.  And possibility using hobbies and making them into money making ventures.  Using your creativity and using your chutzpah,” she said.

She noted with pride that many immigrants who made aliyah through Nefesh B’Nefesh have become entrepreneurs and returned to the organization to fill job openings.

“That’s exciting on so many different levels,” Ephrat said.   “It shows their integration into Israel, it shows their success – they’re looking to hire, and they’re coming back to us with a sense of loyalty with a sense of comradeship that we’re in this together, and they’re doing the sort of pay it forward – they have succeeded, and they want to help others succeed also.”

Successful Entrepreneurial Olim

Meyer Reich, who made aliyah in 2003, is just such a success story.  When he started a business in 2007 based on a platform to help businesses get their content noticed by search engines – RankAbove – he did not know that his aliyah from New York would earn Israel additional recognition in the field in which it is now becoming famous.

Wired magazine’s September issue features a list of 10 European cities that constitute important centers for high-tech activity, with each city on the list featuring 10 “hot” startups.  At the top of Tel Aviv’s list for 2012 – RankAbove.

“With regards to business/work life I was fortunate to come at a time that was not easy economically in Israel and was forced to improvise and make it work,” Reich told The Jewish Press.  “One thing led to another in terms of professional opportunities and I got to where I am today.”

“The advantage for entrepreneurs in Israel is tremendous since it’s a small country with fantastic welcoming people. Local entrepreneurs support each other and my contribution has been mainly through knowledge of the space that RankAbove has in our industry as well as my contacts in the US as an Oleh.”

In the end, the person who will succeed in Israel “is willing to take on challenges and willing to take on change, [a person] that’s driven by something that’s greater than knowing exactly what’s going to happen to them the next day,” Ephrat said.  “Really willing to take a risk to some extent and changing not only their environment but really changing most aspects of their lives.”

Yet, according to Janglo’s Stub, being an Anglo immigrant comes with advantages.  “Anglos come to the table with the attributes that Israelis are thirsty for – a natural sense for customer service, fairness, hard work, and politeness. In general, Israeli society wants itself to embrace those values more and more, even if it doesn’t always know how to,” Stub said.   “Israeli executives are secretly jealous of our politeness and willingness to work for the team, and respect that a lot.”

“The flipside of that is that nice Anglos can come off as vulnerable and naive to aggressive Israeli executives, and signs of weakness can open you up to abuse,” Stub said. “Like everything in life, you need a proper balance to succeed.”

While Stub touted his site as an excellent place to begin looking for the perfect job in Israel, he recommended taking it slow.  “Don’t go too crazy with your job hunt. Spend a few hours working on your job search every day, pray for divine assistance, and then let go,” Stub said.  “Now is your time to enjoy the treasures of Israel, while you aren’t cooped up behind a desk. If you can do that, not only will you enjoy your time more, but you’ll have a more “Israeli” mentality that will help you for the rest of your life in Israel.”

Despite his success, Reich’s praise of Israel extended far beyond his professional accomplishments.  “Truthfully, aliyah is one of the wisest moves my wife and I ever made,” Reich said.  “We feel that our children are being raised with a fantastic education and being given an opportunity for their future.”

Malkah Fleisher

An Analysis of the Presidential Candidates

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

http://haemtza.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/an-analysis-of-presidential-candidates.html

Mitt Romney went to the Kotel on Sunday. It was quite a sight. But not an unusual one for a candidate running for the highest office in the land. Nor was all the pro-Israel rhetoric that unusual – especially at a fundraising event in Jerusalem.  Watching all of this on the TV news on Sunday night made me think about the upcoming Presidential election. I thought I would do a snap analysis of the candidates as they stand now and see whether either of them deserves my support.

I have come to the conclusion that where it matters the most to me – the security of the State of Israel and the overall welfare of the Jewish people, there is virtually no difference between them. Both President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney would be “good for the Jews.”

This may come as a shock to Obama haters and Romney supporters, but any fair analysis of the candidates cannot help but see them this way. A lot of the Jewish opposition to the President has been because of things that are not of any substantive value.

For example there is the fact that the President has not visited Israel… or the time he said that any treaty between Palestinians should be based on the pre-’67 border lines …or his criticisms over Israel’s settlement polices … or the less-than-warm relationship with Israel’s prime  minister.

If one looks at these issues and measures them over substantive ones – like Israel’s security, Obama has a magnificent record – one that surpasses any of his predecessors.  He has helped fund Israel’s Iron Dome defense system over and above the foreign aid allocated to them.  He recently approved additional millions in foreign aid to Israel.  He has instituted the greatest level of intelligence co-operation in Israel’s history. Same thing is true about joint military exercises. Both are at unprecedented levels. He has also insisted that one of his most important foreign policy goals is preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

That’s just a partial list of things he’s done to show his ‘unshakeable’ support for the State. I therefore do not buy the argument made by the anti Obama forces that President will put any more pressure on Israel after the election. If this is being anti Israel – I’ll take it!

The non-substantive issues are virtually irrelevant in light of all these pluses. Sure, I’d like for him to have visited Israel at least once during his Presidency, but what difference does it really make? Sure I’d like him to have warmer relations with Israel’s prime minister… but again as it affects Israel’s security – what difference does that really make?

What about his rhetoric with respect to Israel’s settlements policy? His statements hardly differ from policies the US has had in past administrations. Why pick on him? For example let us look at the pre-’67 border statement. He didn’t say that Israel had to go back to the exact pre-’67 borders. He said that there would be land swaps to accommodate “the facts on the ground.” Meaning that border areas like Maale Adumim would be annexed by Israel in exchange for unoccupied territories from Israel proper. I happen to believe that this is going to be the scenario in any peace treaty in the unlikely event that it should ever happen. I saw nothing wrong with that statement. He was merely stating the obvious.

Aside from some pro Israel rhetoric – I do not see Romney doing anything substantially different with respect to Israel or Iran than the President has.

So as it stands now – and for the first time in many years, Israel will not be the issue that will make the decision for me in the next election. I will instead be voting for who I think will do a better job for the economy.

Right now, after Obama’s three and a half years in office – the economy is not doing  well. Far too many people are unemployed. Jobs are being created at a snail’s pace and the rate of jobs being created has actually been decreasing over the last two fiscal quarters.

Businesses aren’t hiring. They are being over taxed and over regulated which increases operational costs and tends to discourage production, and thereby hiring. His environmental policies have cost jobs too. In at least one case it has caused cancellation of a project (an oil pipeline from Canada) in the private sector that would have created jobs and helped stabilize oil prices.

Harry Maryles

Would Moses Make Aliyah Today?

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Ha ha ha ha ha! What a stupid question! Ha ha ha ha ha! Of course he would! Moshe wanted to make aliyah more than anything else in the world!

This week’s Torah portion begins with Moshe beseeching Hashem to let him go to the Land of Israel: “I pray Thee, let me go over and see the good Land that is beyond the Yarden, the goodly mountain region and the Levanon” (Devarim, 3:25).

Noting that the Hebrew verb for “And I besought,”(Va’etchanan), has a gematria of 515, our Sages teach that Moshe offered 515 prayers to Hashem, begging him to allow him to enter the Land of Israel.

He didn’t say, “I’ll go when Moshiach comes.”

Or, “I’ll go after my children finish getting their masters degrees and doctorates in Egypt.”

Or, “I don’t want to go into the IDF.”

Or, “It’s too dangerous in Israel.”

Or, “The Canaanites drive their chariots on Shabbos.”

Or, “I’m worried I won’t find a job that pays the same that I’m making now.”

Moshe Rabainu didn’t say any of the other 515 excuses you usually hear. Just the opposite. Moshe begged again and again and again, 515 prayers, to be granted the incomparable blessing of entering the Land. Dropping down on his knees and prostrating himself on the ground, he pleaded, “Please, Hashem. Turn me into an ant, if You want, and let me crawl into the Holy Land. I don’t have to be the king of the Jews, or the Chief Rabbi, or a Federation director, or any other fancy title. Make me into an ant and I’ll be happy. Just let me enter the Land!!!”

If Hashem had said OK, Moshe would have raised up the hem of his tunic and sprinted like an Olympic racer, all the way to Israel in his joy to reach the Land. Even though it was filled with bloodthirsty idol worshippers and there wasn’t even one kosher bakery to be found.

Today, there are people frummer than Moshe. The Land of Israel isn’t glatt enough for them. Or they don’t want to serve in the army. Or they don’t like the government. Or they’re worried about finding jobs, as if the hand of Hashem is too short to feed them. They prefer to rely on Uncle Sam instead.

I don’t know whether to cry or to laugh. Imagine. People frummer than Moshe!

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Frummer than Moshe Rabainu!

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!

Tzvi Fishman

Will Obama Destroy Socialism?

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/will-obama-destroy-socialism.html

You can make corncob pipes, eighteen wheel trucks or microprocessors– but you can’t make jobs. Jobs are not a commodity or a service. They cannot be created independently through a job creating program. Rather they are the side-effect of a working economy. Trying to short circuit the economy with job creation programs is like trying to run a fruit orchard by neglecting the trees and instead buying fruit at inflated prices to resell to your customers at a lower price. It’s feasible, but not sustainable.

The government can promote job creation through subsidized education and training, but there is a ceiling on such efforts, since government programs still have to be paid for through taxation. It can encourage companies to do business locally through tax breaks, though this is an admission that the tax rates are an obstacle to job growth. But what it cannot do is create jobs out of whole cloth. Except for government jobs.

Just about anyone in the White House this term would have launched job creation programs. And like most such efforts they would have been a wash. But Barack Hussein Obama’s approach was different in that he did not even pretend to make the effort. His economic programs went by business friendly names, but invariably turned out to be concerned with only one kind of job creation. The creation of public sector jobs.

The spoils system has a long history in American politics, but it was never as spoiled as all this. There is no parallel in American history for the spoils system being used not just to rotate out supporters of the old administration and replace them with your lackeys, but to hijack the economy as your own spoils system to the tune of trillions of dollars.

Obama responded to an economic crisis by working to create two kinds of jobs. Government and union jobs. This was not about anything as simple as rewarding his supporters. The Black community got very little in exchange for supporting him. The Hispanic community similarly ended up with some token appointments, but not much to show for it. This was about shifting jobs from the private sector into the public sector and its feeders. To manufacture the types of jobs that feed money back into the Democratic party and expand the scope of the government bureaucracy.

No previous administration has as thoroughly disdained and tried to crush the private sector. But then none of them were nearly as clueless or irresponsible when it come to basic economics. The Democrats who had spent eight years mocking Reaganomics, practiced a Krugmanonics that treated money like an imaginary number. In Krugmanomics wealth is created through spending, and poverty is created by practicing wise fiscal management. The whole premise of Krugmanomics makes no sense, unless you have already decided that the private sector is a mythical beast with no room in the socialist bestiary.

This wasn’t even Keynesian, it most closely resembled the Bolshevik radicalism that destroyed the Russian economy, right down to the belated realization that only by assigning some limited role to the private sector could the situation be salvaged. Obama’s pre-election turn echoes Lenin’s New Economic Program. But like Lenin, Obama hasn’t embraced the free market. All he has done is tried to retreat to it after the spend and burn economics of his brightest radicals had ignited too much public fury.

Obama has only one idea. The same one idea that the left has beaten into the ground repeatedly. The monopolization of power. This monopolization is disguised behind organizations claiming to represent the people, community activists, unions and public interest lobbies, whose only message is the vital necessity of a government monopoly in every economic area of life.

It’s the old Soviet strategy writ large. Every red error brought back to life and pushed forward with cunning and brute force, but no understanding of why it failed last time around. The slower transition of Wells’ “Open Conspiracy” does not make them any better at running a country, than the radical armed revolts of the Bolsheviks did. Repeating the same mistakes at 1/20th the speed does not lead to a better outcome. Only to more chances to see that they are going the wrong way.

Daniel Greenfield

GOP Hopes N.Y. Rematch Puts Second Jewish Republican In House

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

WASHINGTON – Jewish Republicans nationwide are hoping a heated congressional race rematch in the New York suburbs puts a second Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives.

Following a narrow 593-vote defeat two years ago to Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), Jewish businessman Randy Altschuler again is running against the incumbent in New York’s 1st Congressional District, which encompasses parts of Suffolk County.

“There’s not a huge Jewish community, but there certainly are Jews in the district and whenever there are Jews present in a close race like this, the Jewish vote can play an outsized role,” said David Harris, president and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council.

Observers also are watching closely since the district is known for a tendency to swing its presidential vote, favoring Barack Obama in 2008 and George W. Bush in 2004. The recent round of redistricting has left the district relatively unchanged, with 35,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats, according to the Long Island Press.

The campaign differs substantially from the most recent New York race that drew national Jewish focus. Last year, Republican Bob Turner bested Democrat David Weprin in the race to replace Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) in the heavily Jewish 9th District. Dissatisfaction among Jewish voters over President Obama’s support for Israel was a major issue in that campaign while jobs seem to be the focus in the rematch.

The 1st District race might not have that strong a Jewish flavor, but the potential for Altschuler to join House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) as the second Jewish Republican in Congress is significant, according to Matthew Brooks, director of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

“I think he [Altschuler] will be a common sense leader who is a proven, successful businessman and understands how the economy works,” he said. “He knows how to create jobs and obviously as a Jewish Republican he is a strong, passionate and articulate defender of Israel.”

Altschuler apparently has a tough fight ahead of him: a recently released poll by the Bishop campaign showed its candidate with a 17-point lead over the likely challenger.

Altschuler is one of several Jewish Republicans drawing attention from RJC supporters. Others include Adam Hasner, competing for a House seat in the Florida delegation, and former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle and Ohio treasurer Josh Mandel, both vying for Senate spots.

Altschuler, who has family living in Israel, said his support for the Jewish state has a “personal element to it.”

For his part, Bishop told JTA, “Maintaining our relationship with Israel is crucial to stability in the Middle East.”

Like many areas, Suffolk County has been hit hard by the economic downturn. Yet, it has recently seen a decrease in unemployment. Since February, when the unemployment rate reached 8.3 percent, the level there has dropped to 7.5 percent.

“My focus is on strengthening the middle class and I think the people of this district – as well as the people of this country – are going to be presented with a real choice and there are two conflicting visions of how you achieve economic stability,” Bishop said, noting he will continue to concentrate on sustaining the middle class.

Altschuler has released a 10-point jobs plan that outlines ways to jumpstart Long Island’s economy. It calls for finding ways to reform and simplify the tax code, cutting taxes, easing regulations on small businesses, and providing tax credits to businesses hiring veterans.

In 2010, Altschuler was criticized for outsourcing jobs from his business support services company, Office Tiger, to India and Sri Lanka. Surrogates for Bishop are taking up the charge once again.

“Randy Altschuler made a fortune outsourcing American jobs to India and Sri Lanka, and now he’s running for Congress to lower his own taxes and the taxes of other millionaires and billionaires,” Suffolk County Democratic Committee Chairman Rich Schaffer said in a statement. “That doesn’t play well in Suffolk County.”

Altschuler countered that he “created over a thousand jobs in America and I’ve created jobs around the world because I have an international business.”

Altschuler believes that campaign adjustments he’s made this time will make the difference.

In the 2010 race, he was ahead on election night by 3,400 votes, but would lose one month later after a recount. The lack of an absentee ballot program in his campaign made the difference, he said.

Zach Silberman

Israeli Startup Helping Americans Find Jobs

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

As the US economy suffers from a stagnant unemployment rate, an Israeli startup company is using innovative technology to change the way Americans search for and find jobs.

Utilizing social networking as its base, Jobsminer.com is the only job search engine that aggregates jobs in real time from social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and more. While such social networks are generally limited to family, friends or followers, JobsMiner offers a ground-breaking means to access job opportunities hidden within the vast and relatively untamed social networking frontier.

In unlocking these hidden jobs, JobsMiner presents potential employment opportunities that otherwise would have been missed by the job seeker.

If someone for example, wants to search for potential jobs in Maine, a simple click on the website’s map of the state yields a list of jobs, ranging from office manager in Portland to registered nurse in Bangor, all drawn from various social networking sites. The job seeker can always tailor the search by specifying the job field he or she is interested in and the geographical area.

According to the company’s CEO, Ran Enoch, over 22 million Americans have used social networks to find their most recent job in 2011.

“The majority of jobseekers today use social networking,” Enoch told Tazpit News Agency in an exclusive interview.

“Ours is the first and only on-line tool that searches all social media websites for relevant jobs,” he added.

JobMiner’s social media search engine is based upon the unique technology of Makam, a leading Israeli company which has been monitoring and analyzing social media for seven years, providing services in the fields of government, security, and healthcare to thousands of users in organizations both in Israel and internationally including the US.

“The reason that we chose to launch JobsMiner in the United States is due to the current economic climate of the country and partly because of our familiarity with the market there,” explained Enoch.

“Our search engine crawls through social networks, blogs and forums, filtering out the clutter and presenting those job opportunities that are relevant to the job seeker. What we realized is that company employees many times will post about a job opening on their social networks before it even appears on the company’s website or job board. JobsMiner gets this information out to a much wider circle of people in the quickest possible way.”

Launched in February 2012, JobsMiner has already helped countless Americans locate jobs, according to Enoch.

Joyce Lain Kennedy, a Los Angeles Times syndicated Careers columnist predicts that JobsMiner “holds the potential to play a major role in the 21st century job search revolution.” She described JobsMiner in her column as “an impressive burst of creative energy to refresh your job search.”

With ten Israeli employees who oversee one million job postings per month, JobsMiner is a small start-up company located in Kiryat Ono near Tel Aviv, and is looking to expand its services.

“Following our success in the American market, we are looking at the job market in Spain right now,” said Enoch. The company is also looking elsewhere in Europe and plans to make its job service technology available in its own home country in the coming months, with the Hebrew-language system already set.

“Even with our plans to continue expanding, one thing will not change and that is we plan to always keep our services free of charge,” Enoch told Tazpit News Agency. JobsMiner provides its services for free as it generates revenue through clicks on Google advertisements on its site.

“In general, our company’s vision is to continue to help people find work across the globe,” concludes Enoch.

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

Government Job Cuts to Pay for Gas Tax Reduction

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Prime Minister Netanyahu announced before pesach that he would lower the gas taxes by 15 agurot. However, he waited until no one was paying attention – due to the media focus on the Machpela House incident with Defense Minister Barak – to announce that 2% of government jobs would be cut in order to fund the tax reduction. Netanyahu explained that lowering taxes means shrinking the government, and, this time, cutting taxes means cutting public sector jobs. He emphasized that no one needs to be fired if enough workers embrace early retirement or quit, but conceded that this means the ministries will not be hiring for a long time.

Among those affected are the Justice Ministry, which will lose 134 jobs, Homeland Security Ministry (77), Health Ministry (48), Defense Ministry (45), Education Ministry (43), Industry and Trade Ministry (37), Prime Minister’s Office (35), Welfare Ministry (19), State Comptroller (12), and the President’s Office, which will need to lay off one worker.

There will be many exemptions. Minority workers will keep their jobs, since the government must reach its target of a 10% employment rate of affirmative action groups in the public sector by the end of 2012. In addition, pressure from various groups has succeeded in exempting soldiers, policemen, doctors and nurses in hospitals, and teachers from the cuts.

Netanyahu is known to be a master spin-doctor, and the way he managed to cut public sector jobs by 2% under everyone’s noses will surely be added to his list of spin-doctor achievements.

Jeremy Saltan

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/knesset/knesset-corner/government-job-cuts-to-pay-for-gas-tax-reduction/2012/04/19/

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