The Jewish Agency for Israel offices in Jersualem.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The Histadrut and the Jewish Agency announced an agreement that will allow 100 Jewish Agency employees to retire early with special benefits. The move was made in an effort to allow the agency to become more efficient and maintain financial stability, according to a release.
A spokesperson for the organization told The Jerusalem Post that the decision to eliminate such a large number of employees has been in the works for more than six months until an agreement was signed on Sunday.
“There is an understanding that this decision will help ensure the organization’s success as we move into the next era and will also open doors for more young people to work with the Jewish Agency,” the spokesman said. “Like all organizations, we simply needed to downsize.”
He said the Jewish Agency strives to use every dollar it earns to achieve its goals and he believes that the move will reflect positively by those who scrutinize the Jewish Agency abroad. He said that at this time there are no specific services that will be eliminated by the move.
“The idea is to do as much as possible for as little as possible,” he continued.
The employees who meet the retirement criteria will receive an immediate pension benefit up to retirement age, with an increase of up to 5% in pension rates. However, all employees will be able to choose between receiving the pension until their retirement age or a one-time grant of up to NIS 300,000 that will be given to them immediately.
In addition, according to the agreement, each employee who retires will be able to receive funds for any unused sick leave and/or vacation time, among other elements of the agreement.
“The Jewish Agency is the largest Jewish organization in the world. Since I assumed my position, I have set a goal of making forward-looking changes in order to preserve it as an efficient and stable organization that serves the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” said Chairman of the Jewish Agency Isaac Herzog in a statement. “The agreement … allows eligible employees of the agency to retire early. This will enable us to become more efficient and bring about a change of generations in the organization.”
Hanan Mor, chairman of the workers' committee of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency, said that, “The negotiations with the management were complex and challenging, and I am happy that we have reached an agreement that will allow employees to retire under the best conditions. The agreement was born out in the spirit of true cooperation.”