Please enable JavaScript in your browser to experience all the custom features of our site.

Mr. Harry Skydell, Chairman
Mr. Mark Karasick, Vice Chairman
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, Director
Rabbi Avrohom M. Gluck, Director of Operations
The first 1000 members will have a chance to win a
16 GB
with Rabbi Horowitz audio

Membership Benefits:

  • Save articles to your favorites folder.
  • Save and print selected articles in a PDF journal.
  • Receive emails containing the latest comments on your favorite articles.
  • Mark articles as "READ".
  • More member features coming soon...

Raffle Rules:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter, complete the signup form and join as a member. Incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries shall become the property of CJFL. CJFL is not responsible for lost, misdirected or delayed entries.

The contest is open to the general public. Members need to be at least 18 years old. Identification must be produced on request. Employees of CJFL, its raffle sponsor, advertising and promotional agencies and their respective affiliates and associates and such employees' immediate family members and persons with whom such employees are domiciled are excluded from this raffle. ALL PREVIOUSLY REGISTERED MEMBERS WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY ENTERED INTO THIS RAFFLE. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Decisions of the raffle judges are final - no substitutions will be available. By claiming the prize, the winner authorizes the use, without additional compensation of his or her name and/or likeness (first initial and last name) and municipality of residence for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium (including without limitation, radio broadcasts, newspapers and other publications and in television or film releases, slides, videotape, distribution over the internet and picture date storage) which CJFL may deem appropriate. In accepting the prize, the winner, acknowledges that CJFL may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize. CJFL retains the rights, in its absolute and sole discretion, to make substitutions of equivalent kind or approximate value in the event of the unavailability of any prize or component of the prize for any reason whatsoever. This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. CJFL reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this raffle at any time without prior notice. One entry per person.

Give Us A Chance
by Rony Paluch
This article orignally appeared in Haaretz

  Rated by 6 users   |   Viewed 11506 times since 11/29/09   |   7 Comments
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size    [ Change Font Size ] Email This Article to a Friend



The 2009 report by the Ono Academic College on discrimination in the workforce, which revealed with great fanfare earlier this month that most employers hiring for positions requiring academic degrees are unwilling to give jobs to Arabs, the ultra-Orthodox and Ethiopian Israelis, didn't tell us anything new. I know these things firsthand.

Readers will probably not be surprised that the Arabs won first place in the discrimination parade, with 83 percent of employers saying they prefer not to hire them. This is a separate issue, in which I have no expertise, but it's hard to see how a society that complains to the Arab public about its separatism can, at the same time, prevent it from integrating into nearly any type of job - whether as a railway worker or a low-level administrator in public service.

In second place on the reprehensible list of those with an academic education who can't find jobs are the ultra-Orthodox. All right, you may say, how many of those are there, after all? Yet, in recent years the press has not stopped reporting on "the academic revolution" among the Haredi public. They photograph the thousands of graduates on the Haredi campuses and write admiringly about the women who manage to give birth to 10 children, cook, clean and launder, complete a programming course with honors and work as managers.

My ultra-Orthodox friends take umbrage at this admiration. It's patronizing, they say, and reflects secular people's profound ignorance about our lives. "My father and my grandfather and my great-grandfather and my great-great-grandfather worked and earned a living and also studied at a yeshiva," say my friends. "What's new?"

I myself have decided not to get insulted; any form the revolution takes is fine with me. The change is significant, it embraces large parts of the ultra-Orthodox public and it is affected by many, varied factors. These range from greater openness to the wider world and the influence of relatives abroad, to an accelerated process of Israelization and a fierce desire to participate in the economy and society.

It is true that our ancestors worked, and that alongside the devoted talmidei hakhamim - students of religious learning - whom our society has traditionally nurtured, there have always been balabatim, "heads of households," who bear the burden of earning a living. But academic studies are a different issue, one with far-reaching consequences. Such education gives Haredim the opportunity to learn the "language" and the "system," and thus to gain entry into the very heart of Israeli consciousness.

When I completed my law studies, and my wife, children and parents embraced me proudly, I thought there would be no problem joining one of the leading firms: My grades were high, I was no longer a child, I had extensive connections in the business world and everyone who knew me could warmly recommend me.

But the rejoicing was premature and excessive. In fact, it is hard to imagine the discouragement caused by my encounter with reality. I phoned a well-known law firm, to which some of my acquaintances had sent many recommendations on my behalf.

"Yes, yes, we'd be delighted," said my interlocutor, a well-known lawyer and partner in the firm. "Definitely. Come in and we'll talk."

However, when I entered his office he looked perplexed and surprised. "Ah ... look," he said. "Do you understand that the food here isn't kosher?"

I nodded.

"And that there aren't mezuzahs on the doors here?"

I smiled.

"And, well, there are women here and ..."

I tried to divert the conversation to the relevant topic: Was I suitable for the job in light of my qualifications and areas of knowledge? I did not get an answer.

"You know that many people in the firm work on the Sabbath, no?" asked my interviewer. "And what about laying tefillin? How many times a day do you lay tefillin?"

When I left, I already knew it was a lost cause.

"What kind of doss [a pejorative term for an observant person] did you send me?" the important lawyer protested the following day to someone who had recommended me. With that he slammed the door on the possibility that I would work at his firm. I tried another two or three places. The reaction was the same.

Israeli society cannot continue dancing at both weddings: It cannot both hate the ultra-Orthodox for their separatism and not allow them to work. Young ultra-Orthodox men are studying very practical professions - law, accounting, computers and paramedical professions - with the fervent hope that they will integrate into workplaces, prove themselves and support their families. If we are not given an opportunity, we will understand once and for all that the fine talk about the academic revolution is just that - fine talk.

Rony Paluch is a partner in the law firm of Hager, Paluch, and a member of the public advisory council to the State Comptroller and Ombudsman.

To sign up for Rabbi Horowitz’s weekly emails, please click here.

Reader's Comments:      Rating & Comments Policy      Rate & Write a Comment!
 Average Rating:              Rated by 6 users    (7 comments)
Subscribe to this Article
(by subscribing you will receive email notification
when new comments are posted)
There are no comments yet. Click above to write the first comment.
Dear Readers:

Please visit our Parenting Resource listing to learn about agencies and services that you can make use of. If you know of an agency that can be of assistance to others, kindly drop an email to our site administrator at and pass along the information to him.

I ask that you please consider supporting the work we are doing to improve the lives of our children. Click on these links to learn more about our teen and parent mentoring program that serves hundreds of teens and their families, or our KESHER program, now in 20 schools in 4 states. Your financial support can allow us to expand these services and help more children.

If you believe in the governing principles of this website – to help effect positive change through the candid discussions of the real issues we collectively face, please consider becoming a daily, weekly or monthly sponsor of this website and help defray the costs of it’s maintenance.

Working with Families and Educators on Behalf of our Children

This site is managed by The Center for Jewish Family Life, Inc., 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952
Project Y.E.S. was founded by Agudath Israel of America
The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES - 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952 (845) 352-7100 ext. 114 Fax: (845) 352-9593