Haredim lots of haredim 521.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Government programs to help the haredi population integrate into the workforce
are insufficient and inefficient, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira wrote in a
soon-to-be released report.
The report revealed several deficiencies in
government programs, noting that some of the projects are not ready for
implementation, sufficient oversight has not been established for the
initiative, and in some cases not all budgets allocated for the various programs
have been used.
Knesset State Control Committee chairman Amnon Cohen of
Shas said the findings showed that the government was responsible for the “lack
of [haredi] integration into the workforce due to contempt, bureaucracy and
laziness,” and that claims made by Finance Minister Yair Lapid on the issue were
No specific program to encourage haredi integration into the
workforce has been devised and the Economy and Trade Ministry has not prepared
an operative plan for employment, while a staff panel has not been established
to deal with the issue either, the State Comptroller’s Office
“This is a socioeconomic mission of national importance, but the
picture that arises indicates that progress in dealing with it is slight and
slow,” the report states.
Many haredi men over the past 35 years have
chosen to study full time in yeshivas rather than perform military service and
subsequently join the workforce. Haredim postponing employment until after age
31 cost the economy NIS 4 billion in 2009, according to Treasury
One example highlighted by the report was the allocation by
the Treasury of a fund to finance special study programs for haredim from 2005
to 2008. In 2008, only 50 percent of the money was used, while at the same time,
requests by academic institutions to establish courses for haredim were not
The State Comptroller’s Report also notes that the targets set
by the government for haredi employment by 2020 are unrealistic.
data from 2008, showing that the total rate of employment in the haredi sector
between the ages of 25 and 64 was 48% compared with the national rate for the
non-haredi Jewish population of 77%.
For haredi men, employment stood at
40%, compared with 82% for non-haredi Jews, and 57% for haredi women, compared
with 74% for non-haredi Jewish women.
More recent data published by the
Bank of Israel in 2012, however, shows male haredi employment at 45.6% and
female haredi employment at 61.2%.
The government’s target for men by
2020 is 63%, and for 9,200 haredi males to join the workforce every
The report noted that just 620 men signed up to the central
government program, “Income with Dignity,” for professional training for haredi
men, during the years 2005 to 2010, with 250 finding jobs as a
Similarly, a government work placement program has succeeded in
placing just 1,250 haredim in employment since 2006.
is important, but its rate is almost insignificant bearing in mind the targets
established by the government,” the report notes.
Said MK Cohen, “They
promised to provide fishing rods instead of fish. They’ve cut out the fish and
the rods haven’t been made yet.”
The State Control Committee is scheduled
to hold a hearing on the issue on Tuesday, with Economy and Trade Minister
Naftali Bennett as well as representatives from other ministries expected to