Yesh Atid leaders joined the Knesset Caucus for the Integration of Haredim into the Workforce and the AllJobs employment website on Monday to launch a dedicated section of the site for haredi job seekers. It aims to provide ultra-Orthodox Jews with greater access to employers interested in taking on haredi workers.
The purpose of the website, the initiative of caucus chairman and Yesh Atid MK Rabbi Dov Lipman, is to collate suitable job openings from around the country for haredim.
Joining Lipman at the Knesset launch were Yesh Atid chairman and Minister of Finance Yair Lapid, Minister of Science and Technology Yaakov Peri, MK Ofer Shelah, and several other Yesh Atid MKs.
The government bill on haredi conscription, which is expected to be approved by the Knesset on Wednesday, will award exemptions from military service to some 30,000 haredi men currently engaged in full-time yeshiva study.
Yesh Atid hopes that these men will leave the study halls of their yeshivot and enter the work force.
The new section of the AllJobs website will allow employers interested in taking on haredim to indicate specifically that they wish to do so. Positions advertised by employers will appear in searches conducted through the haredi section of the site.
The site will also block the display of any inappropriate advertisements and pop-ups.
It includes career guidance, interview skills and preparation, SMS updates for possible positions, information on the labor market, a tool for constructing a resume, an advanced search engine for finding relevant positions, and other services.
There are already 1,000 jobs on the site appropriate for haredi job-seekers.
Lipman said the website would be a revolutionary step in the integration of haredim into the workforce, calling it a one-stop shop for all the needs of a haredi job-seeker.
The MK also said it is critical for the haredi community to be financially self-sustaining.
He listed a series of statements and sources from Jewish rabbinic literature attesting to the importance ascribed by Jewish tradition to providing for oneself and learning a trade.
“Integration of haredim into the workforce is the order of the day,” said Lipman, who has met with employers, employment centers, haredi job-seekers, and other bodies as part of his work within the caucus.
“We know it is possible to integrate Torah study, work, and service,” he said, adding that the integration of haredim into the work force “would benefit those studying Torah, the economy, and Israeli society.”
Lapid said that it is the job of the state to help haredim integrate into the work force, “both because it is the right thing to do and because the middle class can no longer – and should not have to – pay their bills.”
He also said the process is critical in integrating the haredi community into Israeli society and unifying the country, and turning the state into “a society that truly has mutual responsibility.”
Benayahu Yom-Tov, a haredi activist working to help haredi men interested in joining the workforce find jobs, said during the hearing there is discrimination against haredi job-seekers that must be overcome, especially in light of what he described as the thousands of people from the community wishing to join the workforce.
Analysts of the haredi sector have argued that there are indeed certain prejudices among employers toward employing haredim, often based on the possible demands that might be made by haredi employees in the workplace, such as gender- separate work areas, or providing for special kashrut requirements.