One of the most fascinating briefings our Farash Foundation Strategic Partnerships Mission enjoyed was by my colleague, Reeva Ninio, Director of Strategic Planning for JDC-Israel’s TEVET Initiative. TEVET is the JDC department working with the Israeli Government and our local partners on all issues of employment and poverty.
Reeva’s insights are fascinating. TEVET works with four major population groups with unique employment challenges: the Haredim (Orthodox), Arabs, Ethiopian-Israelis, and youth.
With our work, the successes have been significant. In 2008, 38% of Haredi men worked. Just four years later that has jumped to 46%.
We have nine employment centers for Haredim in
Israel. They’ll all eventually be
transferred to the Government.
But why is employment so critical?
Because the average Haredi family has seven kids. And when two parents are both working, only 5% of these families are living under the poverty level.
But when both parents are unemployed, 60% of these families are under the poverty level.
Employment and poverty go hand in hand. The more tax-takers we can convert into tax-payers, the better we all are.