Haredi man working 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Seventy percent of the haredi men who graduate from the IDF’s Shachar Orthodox
service program enter the workforce, a study released on Wednesday by the
Economy and Trade Ministry’s research arm showed.
More than 1,000 haredi
men have graduated from Shachar, which was developed in 2007 by the American
Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the IDF’s Human Resources Directorate to
help integrate haredi men through a military technology framework, helping them
gain professional experience and fill knowledge gaps.
haredim into Israeli society is no longer a fantasy,” Economy and Trade Minister
Naftali Bennett said, welcoming the study results.
In 2012, Bank of
Israel Gov. Stanley Fischer said only 40 percent of haredim were
employed, a situation he said was unsustainable.
Bennett promised to
invest NIS 70 million in haredi vocational guidance centers in places such as
Bnei Brak and Jerusalem.
“The haredi public wants to work, but we have
some responsibility as well. We have to work hard so the haredi public will have
somewhere to work. This is our most worthwhile investment,” he
“Although the majority of the graduates found work on their own
after being released from the IDF, the essential need for direction, information
and professional guidance still stands out,” said Benny Pepperman, who directs
the ministry’s research arm.
According to the study, which included 270
graduates of the program and was conducted two to four months after they were
released from the army, the average monthly salary for Shachar alumni was NIS
6,250. More than a quarter were working in banking or finance.
the study only looked at people who chose to enter and completed the program,
however, it cannot be generalizable to the entire haredi community.
over a third of those surveyed said they had encountered any opposition from
family or friends to joining the army, and a quarter had themselves at one point
That opposition, they said, had more to do with concerns
about maintaining their haredi lifestyle, and not ideology.
surveyed, the main motivations listed for entering the program were to improve
skills for the job market and serve the country.
Just over a third said
their relationship with the secular public improved somewhat or greatly after
the army program.