Shlomo, 34, participated in one of the Joint’s first ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) employment programs – “Livelihood with Dignity” – about 15 years ago. He came to the program at a young age, having a basic Haredi education and no professional background.
“Most of the studies in ultra-Orthodox schools revolve around the Torah,” Shlomo explains, “but when students grow up, some choose to leave religious studies and enter the labor market. They soon realize that there is a wide gap to bridge in order to integrate into the economy.”
At Livelihood with Dignity, Shlomo got professional training in computer programming. When he finished the course, he began working in hi-tech and started “Harav Dot Net,” the first “kosher” blog in Hebrew in the field of programming. The website (haravdotnet.co.il) was a hit, and Shlomo quickly became a sought-after lecturer in the ultra-Orthodox community.
Livelihood with Dignity enables ultra-Orthodox men studying in seminaries to acquire professions that are in demand in the labor market. Alongside specialized training, the program helps participants find a job.
Today, Harav Dot Net is a software development firm where Shlomo employs about 20 people, most of them ultra-Orthodox, supplying products to some of Israel’s top companies. In addition, Shlomo also lectures at several colleges around the country.