Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

15 Av 5763 - August 13, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











MK Rabbi Eichler Says Israeli Civil Service Barred to Chareidim
by Eliezer Rauchberger

"The public sector in this country is totally barred to chareidi workers; various unusual requirements are imposed to prevent their entry," said MK Rabbi Yisroel Eichler, presenting the Knesset plenum with a proposal to redress the issue.

"Seated around the government table are people smoking Cuban cigars and farmers who employ foreign workers and make their living from state funds, and do not know what the people want," said Eichler. "The people do not want benefits and allotments. The people want bread and work, but they also want the holders of capital in power not to steal taxes and exploitive fees used to fund ministers and officials who live at the public's expense. The state has a great deal of expendable bureaucracy, but like in a Soviet state, everything goes merely to justify the enormous apparatus. The public apparatus does everything to insure that only the elite are able to gain admission, and so for decades Jews from the Orient, chareidim and Arabs have not been able to get accepted. [The Civil Service] insures that every external job offer has an academic- degree requirement, while for internal job announcements there is no need for such a degree. All this is to prevent the crisis sectors from entering, and when they are allowed entry, it is only for simple positions and not in the upper ranks. It is understandable that a physician must present an academic degree, but why should a medical administrative position require this?"

During his speech he added that the media fulfills its task of bringing the cry of the poor, but if mothers with large families were to come, "Would they also be accepted? Because of one's status as a mother to a large family would the Finance Minister push off trips abroad? There can be no doubt that eventually there will be no alternative other than to institute food stamps. If hungry people are not given food stamps there will be an uprising. In other countries the people would have risen up and demonstrated long ago over such a gap between the rich and the poor."

In response, Finance Minister Meir Shetreet said, "The Civil Service is not barred to the chareidi public and numerous chareidi workers are already actively employed in the Civil Service." He went on to say, "An academic education is required for acceptance in most professional positions in the Civil Service. Since many members of the chareidi public do not have an academic education these individuals cannot vie for job announcements that include an academic education among their minimal entry requirements. But any individual who meets the minimal entry requirements can vie for jobs in the Civil Service regardless of his beliefs or way of life."

Many have argued that the years of training in yeshiva are the equivalent of an academic degree where specific expertise in a particular area is not required.


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