With generous support from Yedidut Toronto, ITWorks opened in Betar Illit a program that provides vocational training and job placements facilitation to Haredi men. The vocational course trains the men as Help Desk professionals and is especially extensive to prepare the participants to work as team leaders. In addition – and no less important – the participants, all of whom are Haredi men without higher education (many without high school matriculation as well), will undergo professional development and softs skills workshops and an intensive course in technical and business English.
The program in Betar Illit is part of an extensive array of programs for the Hareid sector that ITWorks has developed and operated for the past two years as part of its core activities to advance quality employment to marginalized populations. Similar programs were provided in Bet Shemesh, Bnei Brak, Jerusalem, Elad and Lod, and we are about to open another group, probably in Modi’in Illit.
While in the field the demand for employment programs is very high, there is also bitter resistance from extremist groups and even some of the rabbis. There is clearly great tension between being a “community of Torah scholars” and the need to earn a living. We hope that ITWorks’ programs will open a window to new employment opportunities that more and more Haredi men will embrace as part of a way of life that accommodates both Torah studies and dignified and gainful employment.