Shmuel Pappenheim, a member of the Eda Haredit ultra-Orthodox community, appeared in a campaign ad for none other than Yesh Atid, a party frequently denounced by haredi hard-liners as iniquitous.
Pappenheim, who previously served as a spokesman for the anti-Zionist Eda Haredit communal organization, has in recent years advocated for moderation within the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) community and for members of the haredi public to integrate into the workforce and play a greater role in Israeli society.
This stance led to criticism against him, and he was disowned by the Eda Haredit.
Speaking in the Yesh Atid ad, Pappenheim highlighted the lack of basic education in the haredi sector and advocated greater participation in the workforce.
“I think haredi Jews need to bring in an income, need to take care of their children,” he said in the ad. “You can find adults, 45 years old, they don’t even have a basic understanding of the ABC, it gets you stuck.”
Pappenheim continued by saying that the haredi community has things to contribute to Israeli society and vice versa, adding that “all we need is the places to connect the two together a little bit.”
He did not explicitly endorse Yesh Atid and could not be reached for comment.
Yesh Atid MK Rabbi Dov Lipman, who comes from the US haredi community, worked during the outgoing Knesset to increase employment opportunities for haredi men.
He said the Knesset lobby for the integration of haredim into the workforce, which he chaired, received 500 résumés every month from haredi men looking to leave yeshiva and find work.
“In every single place where we’ve been campaigning, at least one haredi man has come over to me and said that they’re fed up with the representatives from the haredi parties, and that they will support Yesh Atid at the ballot box,” Lipman said.