Lipman: I’ll create thousands of jobs for haredim

ByGIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
August 6, 2013 03:46

“Haredim have suffered from discrimination from employers who do not want to hire them," says Yesh Atid MK.




YESH ATID MK Dov Lipman in his new office.

Yesh Atid MK Dov Lipman 370. (photo credit:Courtesy Dov Lipman)

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 MK.

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.

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“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 said.

“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 Israelis.

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 America.

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 immigrants.

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 non-stop.

“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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