Israel is facing a severe economic crisis. With all the difficulty and pain to think about it now, remember that times of crisis are a time for renewal and rethinking. Israel's economic renewal may come from a source that may surprise: ultra-Orthodox society.
The sector, which is perceived as the weakest link in the Israeli economy, can therefore become a growth promoter in the economy. From the scope of volunteer activity and the unprecedented mobilization of ultra-Orthodox society in the war effort, we learn about budding renewal in the level of involvement and social responsibility in the sector for what is happening in the country.
It can be assumed that the consequences of the expected crisis will be more pronounced among the weaker segments of the population. Haredi households coping with economic difficulties in the past has often led to a rethinking of the situation, and has driven changes in education and employment trends in the sector. Haredi society is comprised of disciplined, highly motivated people with a strong work ethic – qualities that the Israeli economy will need during its recovery from the war.
In order to realize the economic potential inherent in the Haredi sector, steps must be taken that include the development of professional knowledge and skills. Removing key barriers to qualitative integration of potential Haredi workers by making the necessary training accessible and adapted to the Haredi population. It is necessary to focus on the needs of employers in leading industries in the economy and to create dedicated, focused and fast quality training tracks, which will enable maximum compatibility between the unique skills and talents of the Haredi community and the needs developing in the various industries.
Developing initiatives through public and private partnerships will be a cornerstone of the strategy to integrate the ultra-Orthodox sector into the workforce. The partnerships will put the economy and the needs of employers at the center and drive economic growth, while creating significant employment opportunities.
It is difficult to say what a reorganization of the IDF will look like, but it is undoubtedly necessary to take into account its economic ramifications and its impact on ultra-Orthodox participation in the reconstruction of Israel's economy
Regarding the military issue: if before the war the issue was on the political discussion table, especially on the issue of the age of exemption as a barrier to going to work, now the discussion will focus on security questions and the reorganization of the military structure, alongside the question of the place of ultra-Orthodox society in the equation.
It is difficult to say what a reorganization of the IDF will look like, but it is undoubtedly necessary to take into account its economic ramifications and its impact on ultra-Orthodox participation in the rehabilitation of Israel's economy. Such an organization will require expanding the recruitment ranks, extending the length of service, and also opening alternative military service channels for additional populations, such as technological and back-end service in civilian frameworks as well. All these will also require a renewed decision regarding the scope of recruitment in Haredi society, the designated age groups, and also a decision regarding the status of those exempt from compulsory conscription and their ability to go to work.
Israel's economic recovery is contingent on the successful integration of the ultra-Orthodox sector into the labor force. The untapped potential, combined with strategic cooperation, is key to reducing economic challenges and building a more resilient and prosperous Israeli economy.
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