Yesh Atid’s haredi MK, Dov Lipman, is working on programs that could help
thousands of ultra-Orthodox enter the work force, Lipman said in an interview at
the Knesset on Monday following the conclusion of his first session as an
Lipman formed a special Knesset caucus on assisting haredi entry into
the work force. In that capacity, he helped persuade Alljobs, the top online
employment agency in Israel, to start a haredi division and help a young
ultra-Orthodox man form his own haredi employment agency.
“There are many
haredi work training programs in Israel, but after they earn their degrees, the
graduates of the programs still need help getting jobs,” Lipman
“Haredim have suffered from discrimination from employers who do
not want to hire them. Now companies are coming to Alljobs with jobs
specifically for haredim.”
The employment agencies are just one step
Lipman has taken to help haredim and aid their integration into Israeli society.
He helped establish a haredi high school program that includes matriculation
tests and pre-army training, and the first haredi hesder yeshiva, which follows
two years of Torah and technology courses with two years of daily army service
and nightly yeshiva study.
Lipman is working with The Karev Program for
Educational Involvement to bring music and cultural enrichment programs into
haredi schools for the first time. Together with Yesh Atid MK Ruth Calderon, he
established a caucus for dialogue between haredim and secular
As the first American-born MK in 30 years, Lipman has
spearheaded the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee’s
work to unite the government’s efforts in equipping Israel advocates on campuses
here and around the world with helpful information. He intends to use the summer
recess to explore how to use the committee to inspire more aliya from North
One meeting of the committee focused on the problems of
English-speaking immigrants who are doctors and nurses obtaining medical
licenses in Israel. Health Minister Yael German and top ministry officials
attended the meeting and committed to easing the process for the
In the Knesset plenum, Lipman proposed a bill that would help
returning Israelis with spouses or children who make aliya obtain immediate
medical insurance without a standard six-month wait. Lipman said the bill would
help hundreds of returning Israelis.
Lipman’s most controversial bill
would ban the trade in Israel of fattened goose liver known as foie gras. The
bill passed in its preliminary reading in the Knesset, but it still has to pass
several stages to become law, including the Ministerial Committee on Legislation
and the Knesset Economics Committee.
Using his ties to Yesh Atid’s Social
Welfare Minister Meir Cohen, Lipman persuaded the ministry to expand funding for
blind people to have seeing eye dogs.
The first-ever MK from Beit
Shemesh, Lipman has lobbied to ensure that the road to the city from the
Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway will be widened and for a national park with
archeological sites to be established near the city.
Asked what surprised
him in his first session as an MK, he said he did not expect the work to be
“The positive surprise is how wonderful people are in the
Knesset regardless of their views,” he said. “I see how much you can accomplish
on a daily basis. You can really do good things, assist people and help the
country. I haven’t lost the feeling of awe and thanks to God for this
opportunity to be an MK.”
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