Number of J'lem haredim employed in industry up 70% since 2000

The number of haredim employed in industry in Jerusalem has ballooned by some 70% over the past five years, according to Yitzhak Reif, the chairman of the Jerusalem chapter of the Manufacturers Association of Israel. Reif called on the leaders of the capital's various ultra-Orthodox sects to allow their followers to pursue a technological education and a career in industry. According to Reif, who released the data ahead of Jerusalem Day, there are currently some 2,800 haredim employed in about 380 production plants in the city. Reif said that the majority of employed haredim were working as programmers, and that in companies that employed haredim, the ultra-Orthodox generally comprised some 2%-10% of all workers. Some 20,000 haredim are employed in industry nationwide, some 11,000 of them women, he said.