Hareidi Work Studies Soar

The number of hareidi-religious Jews learning professions has tripled in the last three years, the Bank of Israel announced.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu , | updated: 3:03 PM

Hareidi women at work
Hareidi women at work
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The number of hareidi-religious Jews learning professions has tripled to 6,000 over the last three years, the Bank of Israel announced, reflecting a continuing trend of the entry of the community into the job market.

Business management and law head the professions that most interest hareidi-religious Jews in Israel.

Earlier this month, Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer was on hand for the unveiling of a new business center in Bnei Brak, which hosted “The Manhattan of the Dan Region" conference. Bnei Brak is a predominantly hareidi-religious city adjacent to Tel Aviv, and a 15-building business center is expected to be built there.

"I am pleased that everyone emphasized that the employment situation and poverty need not exist in hareidi cities, and that there is no reason for this to continue,” Fischer said. "The mayor of Bnei Brak wrote me that he wants to make an important step to make Bnei Brak a major business destination and to increase revenue of the city and its residents. What the city will do with the extra revenue is very important - some of it should go to education, because the people need to obtain the tools for dealing with the new situation."

A Ministry of Industry study last year revealed that the overall employment rate of Israel’s hareidi-religious sector, including both men and women, is 43.2 percent, with 65 percent of unemployed men saying they would not work in a mixed setting with female or non-religious co-workers.

Israel’s hareidi community is reported to be roughly 650,000 people, comprising 8-9 per cent of the Israeli population. The number of the community's men and women of working age, between 20 and 64, is estimated at approximately 235,000 and is expected to grow by 7 percent a year.