Seventy percent of ultra-Orthodox men who served in the Israel Defense Forces
were able to find a job after being discharged from the army, according to a study conducted by the Ministry of Economy's Research Administration.
In addition, more than one-third of haredi men who served in the army believe that their attitude towards the secular public improved following their military service.
Wanted: Diamond polishers in Israel / Reuters
In bid to bring back polishers and cutters of precious stones who have been replaced by cheaper workers in India and China, Israel plans on recruiting legion of ultra-Orthodox Jews
The IDF's Shahar program,
which stands for "Shiluv Haredim" (ultra-Orthodox integration), was launched in November 2007 and now has some 1,300 haredi soldiers in different positions and tracks. The program also has nearly 1,000 graduates.
The study reveals that the average monthly salary of Shahar graduates who worked after their military service stood at NIS 6,250 (about $1,753). About 25% of the graduates who integrated into the labor market after their service were employed in the banking and financial services sectors.
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett met last week with representatives of the Manufacturers Association, who told him that the Israeli industry had high hopes for the integration of haredim into the labor market. The haredi population, which has a relatively low employment rate at the moment, is seen as the industry's next source of high-quality manpower.
"Integrating haredim into the Israeli society is no longer a fantasy," said Bennett. "Their integration into society is a national target."