Recent studies show that more hareidi Israelis are joining the workforce – and Economics Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) is very pleased. Commenting on the phenomenon, Bennett said that the increase was exactly what he and Finance Minister Yair Lapid had intended when they pushed through legislation on requiring IDF service for all Israelis.
“This is one of the effects of the Equal Burden Law," said. “We developed the law in cooperation and dialogue with the leaders of the hareidi community, and we said this would be one of the greatest benefits – the opening of employment opportunities for thousands of ultra-Orthodox men," Bennett said.
As part of the effort to encourage more hareidi Israelis to enter the workforce, the Ministry established advisory centers in nine ultra-Orthodox communities, Five more will be set up early next year, Bennett said. “The centers help all applicants on an individual basis with job placement, training possibilities, and more. In coordination with the Ministry's Small and Medium Business Agency, we approved dozens of courses, workshops and vocational training programs for the community.
"In recent days, I was presented with data showing the dramatic changes these centers have fostered,” said Bennett. “Compared to the second half of last year, the number of new male clients of the Centers has tripled.” In the period of June-December 2013, 734 community members utilized the Centers' services. Between June of this year and last week, 2,135 clients have already signed up for services, said Bennett. “Hundreds have already found a job and we will continue to assist them,” he added.
This is a major change for Israeli society, Bennett said. “Society has benefited from a fall in the unemployment rate and the addition of excellent new members to the workforce. Hareidi Israelis are our brothers, and our methods of working with them has proven itself.”