Ultra-Orthodox go to work

Thursday, November 23, 2006 |  by Staff Writer  

The first of six ultra-Orthodox job placement centers was dedicated in Jerusalem on Wednesday, a center dedicated to helping the Haredi community find jobs. This comes at a time when the government is cutting back on Haredi stipends, money previously given to large ultra-Orthodox families (families with more than four children) by the State whose men study Torah full-time in Yeshivas.

The American Joint Jewish Distribution Committee is backing the project along with the State. They have been trying to integrate the ultra-Orthodox community into the workforce since 1996 and have invested nearly $10,500,000 into the project.

“Everything's been cut back, you can't live off of what you get anymore," said a 21-year-old ultra-Orthodox woman seeking employment because of the cutting off of the stipends. She, however, found the center helpful since she is a trained secretary.

A few rabbis were hesitant with the idea of the Haredi community involved in the workforce and so they instructed unmarried women to refrain from working until they are married. Rabbi Issachar Dov Rokach said once the women are married the burden of supporting the family falls on them because men must study Torah during the day.

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