Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

7 Av 5766 - August 1, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Malam Group Brings Dozens of High-Tech Jobs to Beitar Illit

By Yechiel Sever

At a grand event attended by the Minister of Trade and Industry, the Mayor, the head of the Malam Group and other distinguished guests, the Malam Group inaugurated Maalot — The Center for Development and Training in Beitar Illit.

Twenty-six women will be employed in the initial phase at the branch opened at the Mifal Hapayis Professional Training Center on Rechov HaRav Auerbach. The Malam Group announced it has begun recruiting 30 more women to work at the new center, which focuses on developing software for the high-tech industry. Malam is a private company that was once the Israeli government's captive software development house.

The ceremony opened with a working meeting attended by Minister of Trade and Industry and Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai, Mayor Rabbi Yitzchok Pindrus, Malam owner R' Shlomo Eisenberg, Ministry of Trade and Industry Director Prof. Gabi Maimon and representatives from the JDC (Joint Distribution Committee), the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Malam Group. At the meeting Mayor Pindrus called on Trade Minister Yishai to promote the construction of industrial areas in Beitar Illit to increase the number of women employed at the Malam Group as well as other companies slated to come into the city.

Minister Yishai said he has been promoting the issue of women's employment in the city for the past ten years and will continue the efforts made by his predecessor, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, to advance the various employment projects in full cooperation with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the JDC and the City of Beitar Illit.

Afterwards Municipality Director and Founding Council Head R' Moshe Leibovitz led a ceremony opening the new Malam Group project. "Im ein kemach ein Torah," he said, and the leaders of the city of Torah in the Judean Mountains are working in accordance with daas Torah, which has enabled the city to set an example in every area including advancing employment solutions for kollel wives.

The first speaker was the rov and av beis din of Beitar Illit, HaRav Dovid Tzvi Ordentlich, who began by citing the Rambam in Hilchos Tzedokoh, saying that the highest aim is not to give tzedokoh but to make it possible for the receiver not to need it anymore — vehechezakto bo. "One cannot wait until somebody falls, but must stand him up before he falls by means of a dignified livelihood. The project set up here today is a realization of this and the goal is to allow people to stand on their own two feet. Our generation has the merit of neshos chayil who support their families to allow their husbands to press ahead in their Torah learning and to grow into gedolei Torah. This allows bnei Torah to rise up, which benefits Am Yisroel. All this thanks to the dedication of neshos chayil.

"They say chareidim don't want to work. Yet here women are working after studying a viable profession and they work just as well as their detractors. This event symbolizes another building block in the life of the city and its Torah development."

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and Industry Eli Yishai said that years ago he was a full partner in the setup of the Center for Professional Training. "I extend my blessings to all those who took part in setting up this important project and we will help advance employment solutions for women in the city, and little by little we will bring many more [companies] to Beitar Illit, because this is the best form of tzedokoh for the residents — finding employment solutions for kollel wives."

R' Shlomo Eisenberg, the owner of the Malam Group, was visibly excited over the opening of the branch in Beitar Illit. Chareidi women are typically responsible, reliable and have a high work ethic, he said, calling on the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the City of Beitar Illit and the JDC to be full partners in help advance the project.

Mr. Chaim Posner, representing the JDC, said the organization is providing half of the budget the government allocated for promoting the employment of chareidi women. "It's easy to bring contributions from abroad for promoting employment for women from the chareidi community," he said and expressed hopes that the project succeeds.

The final speaker, Mayor Rabbi Yitzchok Pindrus, said, "The Malam Group's R' Shlomo Eisenberg and I formed a partnership to ease the burden on lomdei Torah by allowing their wives to provide them a dignified livelihood." He also called on the JDC to stop the various steering committees and to begin funding existing projects and others slated to begin operating in Beitar Illit. "We want to develop the project and this requires government funding. I call on the Ministry of Trade and Industry to act as a guarantor and to provide funding and training support for five more years."

He thanked all those who assisted in setting up the project, including his office director, Rabbi Yosef Shetreet, Mrs. Meller of the JDC, a Beitar Illit resident who formed ties between the Malam Group and the city, Mr. Ayal Kaminka and Mr. Yossi Ofer, coordinator of chareidi communities for the Ministry of Trade and Industry-JDC program, Mr. Reuven Gorbat and Rabbi Hershel Klein.

The way was paved for the opening of the Malam Group facility several months ago when Mayor Pindrus signed an agreement with the company following a series of meetings. Several weeks ago the company screened women with a background in computer engineering and software development or graduates of computer courses with an employment history. The company is offering a high salary and opportunities for advancement. In later phases the branch hopes to provide jobs for hundreds of kollel wives.


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