Promoting Women's Employment Using Modi'in Illit Model
By A. Cohen
The Finance Ministry's Budget Department is showing great
interest in advancing women's employment within the chareidi
sector. Recently several workshops were held for staff
members at the Budget Department, which is headed by Kobi
Haber. The main lecture was given by Modi'in Illit City
Council Head Rabbi Yaakov Guterman, who shared the successful
model used to employ women in his city.
He gave an overview of the comprehensive plan previously
presented to Finance Ministry Director General Yossi Becher,
noting that the women of Modi'in Illit are talented seminary
graduates. Most of these women do not drive, have limited
mobility and have children to care for at home. Therefore
they need a special work environment, including child care
arrangements and work close to home.
"When it comes to the hot-lunch program, beyond its
importance in promoting education, in Modi'in Illit and other
places in Israel there is an additional reason for its
necessity related to promoting employment for women. The
extended school day and hot food for children would allow
more and more women to go to work in an environment suited to
their needs," noted Rabbi Guterman. He also spoke of the
importance of setting up day-care and child care centers.
Budget Department staff members said they had asked Rabbi
Guterman to speak at the event because of the success of the
employment program in Modi'in Illit, which has brought 500
jobs to the city within the last few years. They wanted to
hear how to overcome obstacles and bureaucratic problems in
order to encourage more chareidi women to go to work, thereby
helping their households subsist. Several professors also
spoke at the event.