Jerusalem – Bank of Israel: More Ultra-Orthodox Jews, Arabs Must Work


    Governor of Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer speaks at a press conference about the annual Bank of Israel report which was distributed today. March 28, 2012. Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90Jerusalem – Israel’s central bank chief wants more Arabs and ultra-Orthodox Jews in the work force to spur economic growth.

    Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer says the government must help to make that happen. In his annual report on Wednesday, Fischer called for better schooling to help these two fast-growing sectors enter the labor market.

    Discrimination and substandard education have long limited economic opportunities for Israel’s Arabs. Many ultra-Orthodox Jewish men opt for a life of religious study, don’t work and live on state handouts. Together, the two sectors make up about 30 percent of Israel’s population.

    The bank said Israel’s economy grew 4.7 percent in 2011, though growth slowed in the second part of the year due to Europe’s debt crisis.

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    1. If there were no army requirement to work on the books in Israel, many more would work. I know Satmar and Toldos Aharon Chassidim in Israel who work, but they work off the books in their own businesses. Also, if jobs like bus drivers, etc., which are common for Haredim in the US were made available, but the unions in Israel don’t let.

      • it says 18 years old to the Chuppah 20 lirdof (to get a job) – for the first two years of married life, one can sit and learn without working. after that, if you are not a metzuyan, get a job. But in Israel it is tought to get a job because you have to serve in the Army first. They are conscientious objectors (even if you disagree with their shitah).

      • The few answers here tell you the problem. People who don’t work are conscientious objectors. Many of the same people who oppose welfare are more than happy to have the taxpayer to give welfare to those who learn.

    2. nothing new it is pure common sense simple solution limit the handouts.

      want to learn, wake up early learn go to work. learn after work. just like many people do who go to a gym.
      Kollel has become to many a 9-5 job

      • if people are really learning, and people are willing to pay for them to learn, they should be paid. how is learning any different than being an entertainer (from the secular sense) – an actor, filmmaker, artist, professional athlete, etc. does not produce anything useful, but people pay for this because it is valuable to them. The same thing with learning, if a sponsor finds this to be worthwhile to pay for (because of his religious belief), what is wrong with someone being a professional learner? HOWEVER, there is a difference between a professional athlete and an amateur athlete, a professional actor and and amateur actor, etc., etc., etc. So too, every Jew must learn Torah, but there is a difference between a professional learner and an amateur learner. Most Jews should only be amateur learners, because we do not learn well enough to get paid, but for the metzuyanim there is no reason it should not be a 9-5 job. Also for those who are starting their married life, there is nothing wrong with learning in Kollel for one or two years to start their life in Kedushah, even if they are not the best learners, but after one year they should really examine where they are holding.

    3. Unfortunately, notwithstanding our common “semitic” dna, the majority of arabs want to work, even in menial, low paying jobs that yidden will not perform, while many chareidim are too lazy to work , even when presented with opportunities that don’t require prior military service and/or vocational schools. They feel that digging ditches, working on farms, assembling boxes, etc. is “beneath them” and that their time is better committed to sitting in a kolel and “learning”.

    4. I have no comment about the need for those receiving welfare to seek out employment. What I find offensive is the “lying statistics” What I would like to know is the # in the “non-ch…” community who do not work or are on the dole or are in prisons or who are drug addicts and do not work or cost the country gross amounts of $$ and create “jobs” for the “other community”. While I decry that tens of thousands of Jews “learning” on the public purse rather than working for the standard 40 hours or so per week and then learning diligently for say 20 hours ON THEIR OWN TIME (while still helping at home), such ‘statistics” must be taken in context and with accompanying statistics of other groups. While commenting, what we need is a “Jewish University” for our real Jewish scholars. We do require dayanim and community rabbanim and there is no reason why the state only supports universities for ” Dr. of History or English literature” etc as well as for the necessary Dr of Medicine or Engineering. We require Dr’s for Spiritual needs as quoted in Rambam Hilchot Dayot chapter 1 wherein he describes how “jewish professionals (Rabbanim) are req’t to hear Spiritual illness. Protest this! Chaim

    5. To #8 People who don’t work are NOT what you say!! They are LAZY!! They also want everything handed to them!! Let them go out and earn it like everybody else does! Why should they be like LEECHES and suck out our hard earned dollars?? It is too much!! GENUG!!


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