A major ceremony was held at the Illit Business Center in Modi'in Illit to mark the opening of a customer service phone center operated by Cal (Israel Credit Card Company) and slated to employ 150 local women, bringing to fruition Mayor Rabbi Yaakov Guterman's latest initiative to boost employment in the city. The ceremony was attended by Moro De'asra HaRav Meir Kessler, Rabbi Guterman, Councilman Rabbi Golan Chassidi, Cal CEO Boaz Chechik and Discount Group Board Chairman Shlomo Zohar. Cal issues Visa and Diner's Club credit cards in Israel.
At the height of the economic crisis, Cal responded to a proposal from the Mayor by setting up a new call center in Modi'in Illit. The modern, 7-million-shekel facility will employ 150 phone representatives, mostly working mothers. Cal is working to adapt the work environment to meet the needs of chareidi women, including convenient work hours and accommodations for the special spiritual requirements in the city.
Modi'in Illit's Department of Employment Services, which was planned in cooperation with the Interior Ministry, used its pool of job seekers to hire women who met the criteria set by Cal managers.
The ceremony was opened by HaRav Kessler, who honored the event with his presence, praising the businessmen who responded to Rabbi Guterman's calls to open a customer service center in the city. He spoke of the unique characteristics of the city and the company's efforts to accommodate the needs of the workers, not compelling them to compromise their principles. He also thanked the Mayor for working to promote employment in the city, saying through siyata deShmaya he has seen a lot of success in bringing companies and employment solutions to the city.
Cal CEO Mr. Boaz Chechik said, "In the current economic state it's hard not to feel excited and proud at an event to inaugurate a center that will provide sustenance for 150 families in the city. Our decision to go out to peripheral areas stemmed from the need to recruit quality human capital to accompany Cal and its customers over time. But in Modi'in Illit we found more than what we were looking for: the Mayor, who devotes much of his energy to the issue of creating employment for city residents, as well as chareidi women who are resolved to work to maintain their families."
Mayor Guterman thanked all of the partners involved in opening the call center, noting the gamble the company heads took in making this large investment during a period of economic crisis. "Cal discovered the human capital here in this city, families wholly devoted to Torah and whose heads toil in Torah. The company receives both a good return in terms of reliable work and a quality investment, as well as substantial reward for maintaining families dedicated to Torah study." He also thanked the city's Department of Employment Services for its tireless efforts to arrange jobs for local women.
Mr. Shlomo Zohar said, "Working with Rabbi Guterman is a real partnership. We came to give our blessings [i.e. employment for residents] and found ourselves being blessed. The setup of the call center in Modi'in Illit is proving to be an unprecedented success that will be held up as a model as part of Modi'in Illit's successful employment program."
At the end of the inauguration event Rabbi Guterman awarded Mr. Chechik a certificate of appreciation and then Mr. Zohar in turn gave the Mayor a certificate of appreciation signed by Mr. Chechik and bearing the words: "Thanks to your exceptional willingness to create employment for the sake of your city's residents and your unstinting support, we have been able to set up of the Cal customer service center in Modi'in Illit. In our names and in the names of the employees we say thank you!"