In advance of the Open House and the Employment Fair for the Ultra-Orthodox Community in Beit Shemesh
By Yosef Gold
Over 1,000 people have registered on the Employment Unit database in the last two months,
and dozens of local residents have already found work and are making a good living.
Only about three months have passed since City Council member Rabbi Yeshayahu Ehrenreich began heading the Employment Unit of the Beit Shemesh Municipality, for the ultra-orthodox sector, and the move already appears to be a success which will go down in the annals of achievements of the city's public leadership, for the benefit of the residents.
The Employment Unit was established with the purpose of helping residents to find work, and to support their families. The unit was formed around three months ago with the support of the Jewish Agency's Partnership 2000 (Beit Shemesh - Mateh Yehuda - Washington - South Africa), and with the encouragement of the mayor who wanted to make the unit a municipal focus of employment for the ultra-orthodox sector . Since then the facility has taken off, in tandem with other national bodies.
Rabbi Abraham Greenberg, coordinator of the Employment Unit, leads the unit's operations alongside Rabbi Ehrenreich which operates in all channels and on all levels, in conjunction with professional training institutes, placement organizations and personnel companies, with a view to providing applicants to the unit with decent employment.
Many of the city's inhabitants who, at the instruction of their rabbis decided to find work, do not manage to find a decent source of livelihood that matches their skills and abilities and they are unable, by themselves, to find work that suits their skills while being able to make a decent living.
In the last two months the Unit has managed to devise a multi-channel strategic master plan for managing the municipal employment unit. This also involves strategic cooperation with leading organizations and institutes in the field, including: The Jewish Agency, Shipur, Mafteakh, the Kemakh Foundation, Uvneh, the JDC, etc.
In the last two months, the Unit established a high quality database of the ultra-orthodox workforce, with over 1,800 people who have registered and submitted their details, completed the detailed questionnaire about their professional skills, and a description of the type of place in which they would like to work.
Only in the last few weeks the Unit managed to find suitable work for dozens of local residents, with dozens more undergoing intensive processes of placement and guidance, to find a place of employment that suits them and provides them with a decent living.
There are a number of projects underway, at various stages of implementation:
The first stage: a comprehensive database of people which was established by means of a municipal survey of the ultra-orthodox residents, and provided a breakdown of over 1,800 residents, through announcements and letters from the Employment Center.
The second stage: Placement and incorporation of workers in jobs in the area, with dozens placed in compatible positions. Employment Center personnel note, with satisfaction, the relationship of trust of the employers who recognized them as an organization that knows how to match reliable and professional people for their purposes.
The third stage: Cooperation with well known organization Uvneh, which is known for its commendable work in the rehabilitation of families. Uvneh contacts places of work and asks them to take on people with various difficulties whereby half their salary is provided by the organization during the initial period of employment. The Center's coordinator applies to the employers and offers them a range of possibilities from the project.
The fourth stage: professional training activities. Courses for professional studies and enrichment of practical know how in various fields which will help job seekers. The courses are presented specialist lecturers from Shipur, a well known company in the field, and which tailors courses for the ultra-orthodox sector and has already proven its expertise in numerous ultra-orthodox towns. Employers note quality personnel, enhanced through these study activities and commended the incisiveness of the yeshiva graduates in the various professions.
In answer to a frequently asked question, one of the Center heads explains: "Today's economy is different form the economy of the past. In the past most work was physical and manual, and all the work involved technical production work. Today things are different. The contemporary approach to work is mostly based on intellect and creativity, and new ideas at work are welcome. Scientific studies take place prior to the start of employment, and this helps candidates to fit in more easily and to succeed in their new job."
The Center invites the general public to take part in the Employment which will take place at the Pisgot HaSheva Community Center near the ultra-orthodox district, at 21 Derekh Rabin in the Migdal HaMayim neighborhood. Entrance is free. There will employment advisors from the company. Women may attend the fair on Kislev 16, December 3 2009, next Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and men may attend on Monday Kislev 20, December 7 2009, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The fifth stage: Extensive preparations are underway ahead of the opening of an additional fair that will take place on December 22 2009 at the Sports Hall at 3 Abba Naamat Street, next to the Collection department. The fair for the ultra-orthodox sector will start at 6 p.m. and end at 7 p.m. The fair will be attended by personnel companies and employers looking for workers, and there will be information stands and flyers for suitable candidates.
The sixth stage: consultation for existing businesses. The course, which will take place in conjunction with Lehassig Mattara Ltd., is designed to provide business guidance through lecturers from MATI Israel. There will be sessions with owners of businesses who are looking for tips and training in business management.
Finally, the Unit will run a substantial program, from January 1 2010, together with the Joint Israel unit, through TBT Ltd. and the Mafteakh organization which operates a successful program of for ultra-orthodox workers in ultra-orthodox towns. Mafteakh has a wealth of experience in the field, and is managed by Rabbi Herschel Klein and the head of the ultra-orthodox sector of the Joint Mr. Reuven Gorbat, who runs TBT - Business Momentum, with great success. They will offer some of their great experience for the benefit of residents of Beit Shemesh.
The Employment Unit would like to inform readers of the telephone numbers of the employment and registration units:
Employers looking for suitable personnel, and members of the public looking for suitable employment, should send CVs by fax to: 02-9914880 or 02-9926250.
To register for enrichment activities, or for any inquiry or question, call the Employment Unit offices on: 02-9990517