Those praying for a surge in the Israeli stock market indexes received spiritual reinforcement from an unexpected source: Twenty-five yeshiva students have enrolled in a special two-and-a-half-year course that will train them to become investment consultants and portfolio managers, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.
The course is being given in the framework of project "Dignified Livelihood", which was launched by the minister of industry, trade and labor in cooperation with the Open University and the Jewish American Joint Distribution Committee with the aim of incorporating ultra-Orthodox Jews into the workforce.
The majority of the 1,000 yeshiva students who have already attended 50 such training courses, which focus on math, economics, computer science and English studies, have already entered the job market.
'More and more want to work'
According to project's academic director, Aryeh Nahmias, the program's graduates will take the Israel Securities Authority exam, after which they will be able to work as investment consultants in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and in banks.
Betar Ilit resident Avraham Herschkowitz, 29, says he is taking the course because he decided it was time to support his family "in an organized manner."
"The course is very interesting, and it touches on various subjects," the married father of one says, "There is demand in the haredi community for professions that are money-oriented. I believe that I will be able to consult and assist other haredim in the financial field after I graduate. In the meantime I'm also continuing my studies at the Kollel (yeshiva which pays married men a regular monthly stipend or annual salary to study classic Jewish texts)."
Thirty-year-old Haim Ansbecher of Gush Etzion, who is married with two children, says he registered for the course because the investment consulting field has been "developing rapidly" in recent years.
According to him, "more and more people within the ultra-Orthodox community are looking to go out and work.
"Not everyone is suited for the yeshiva way of life," Ansbecher says.