Finance Minister: I know it isn’t easy to create a work environment for all, but it’s possible.

“Hire haredim (ultra-orthodox); give them jobs,” said Minister of Finance Yair Lapid at the small and medium business conference today. “Following passage of the new draft law, tens of thousands ofharedim are going out into the workforce. Hire them.”

Lapid continued, “I know it isn’t easy. People ask themselves: how do I deal with kosher issues? What do I do if a woman comes in to my business wearing a T-shirt? How do I create a work environment where everyone gets along? I am not saying for a moment that there are easy answers to these questions, but it is possible. Israel has tens of thousands of small businesses where haredim work and they have found solutions.”

Lapid said, “The important point is that if we, as a caring society, do not accept the challenge of bringing haredim into the workforce, if we only demand that they serve in the army and work, without us working to help them integrate into Israeli society, we’ll have done nothing. This will pay off for anyone who makes the effort, because they are hard and intelligent workers and they learn fast, and they know how to say thank you to those who have given them a chance.”

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com – on April 2, 2014

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