Will Haredis enter the workforce with the new exemptions?
Some 28,000 haredi men are to begin receiving full exemptions from military service immediately after Passover, under the terms of the ultra-Orthodox conscription law the Knesset approved last month.As I'd pondered, it's not like the Haredis have to enter the army if they'd at least make themselves useful in the workforce divisions around the country. However, based on the following, there could still be hurdles to overcome:
The government hopes many of these men will leave their full-time Torah studies in yeshiva and enter the workforce, and is therefore preparing programs to help them find jobs. [...]
Until now, it has not been legally possible for ultra-Orthodox men to work without first performing military or civilian service, but the government hopes that many of the men receiving a military service exemption will decide to enter the job market.
The state has already set up two large employment and career guidance centers in Bnei Brak and Jerusalem, respectively, and others are planned to be opened in Ashdod, Modi’in Illit, Petah Tikva and Beersheba.
Lapid acknowledged the difficulty in hiring haredi workers: training them, dealing with female customers who do not dress "modestly," creating a comfortable work environment.True, but the Haredis will have to prove they can overcome these superstitious customs of theirs and not be reluctant to deal with women or worry about how they're dressed, and come to think of it, whether there's glatt-kosher food available. The employers must make this clear, and Yair Lapid must honor that wish too. Only then will it be possible to integrate the Haredis into the workforce at ease, by getting them to recognize the rights of the opposite sides.
An Economy Ministry study released Monday found that 37% of employees preferred not to hire haredi workers and 30% of those surveyed (both employers and workers) preferred not to work alongside them.
Lapid said that the challenges were able to be overcome, that haredim were intelligent, hard workers and learn quickly.
"The important point is that if we, as a humane society, do not meet the challenge of bringing haredim into the work force, if we simply demand that they enlist in the army and work without enlisting ourselves to help them integrate into Israeli society, we have done nothing," he said.
And if they'll understand that, then we can be left to hope they'll go and get jobs.