Israeli entrepreneur Zohar Zisapel tells participants at Tel Aviv business conference that the modest arrangement once reached on exemptions must be overturned before "the tumor becomes malignant"
Published: 12.10.07, 19:47 / Israel Jewish Scene
Zisapel made the remarks while speaking on a panel of businesspeople and senior officials regarding the influence of failures in Israeli education on the economy. Zisapel claimed that the fact that many haredim do not work has made them impoverished and harms Israel's economic achievements. The successful entrepreneur added that he is intimately familiar with the problem, as his RAD Group employs many haredim.
"Expunge the tumor"
Over the years, the combination of skilled haredi deal-makers and overly flexible secular leaders, the arrangement grew until today, when almost ten thousand of those haredim receiving exemptions annually are students in name only.
"In order to prevent this tumor from becoming malignant, we must expunge it without compromising. We can allow a few dozens of students a year (to continue in yeshiva), as in the original agreement, and as the religious world requires to fill its reserves with the rabbis of the future. Also, we need to demand that every school implement the core curriculum- including mathematics and English, not just Gemara and Aramaic."
As the panel continued, Zisapel expressed his opinion that the government must transfer funds currently marked for yeshivas to support IDF soldiers. His remarks were received with applause by the audience, which included many important members of the Israeli business community, most of whom are secular- with almost no haredim.
Dinur: Haredi unemployment- enormous waste
As an example, Dinur pointed to the government's project to increase employment opportunities for haredi women, like software companies, high tech firms, telephone call centers, and others- which were established with government support.
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