Progams for the Haredi Community

Contact Us

Contact the Department of Development and External Affairs

Progams for the Haredi Community

 

 

Academic Studies for Students from the Haredi Community

 

The academic education of young men from the Haredi community and their entrance into the workforce is one of the central issues facing contemporary Israel, key to its social and economic well-being. 

 

The Jewish environment firmly incorporated at the College is consistent with the special requirements of the Haredi community; In addition, JCT focuses its academic curriculum on those subjects that lead to professional career development.   For these reasons, the Jerusalem College of Technology, having pioneered academic studies for Haredim in Israel, is an ideal school for the Haredi community,

 

By designing special study programs for this segment of Israel's society, JCT is:

 

  ●  Enabling students from the Haredi community to acquire the necessary tools to work as equals within the Israeli workforce, to support themselves and improve their economic situation. This will, in turn, reduce their dependence on government and social support.

 ●  Giving this community the opportunity to actively participate in Israeli society and its economy.

 ●  Creating the opportunity for the general Israeli public and Haredim to interact directly in a work environment, thus putting mutual prejudice to the test of reality.

 

JCT is making a major effort (with the blessing of the Israeli Gov't) to attract large numbers of male students from the Haredi community. In so doing, JCT is aided by the quiet approval and tacit support of leading Haredi Rabbis and communal leaders who see the necessity for their followers to be able to provide for themselves and their families. 

 

 

These students, however, face a double hardship:

a) Haredi males usually have no high-school education;
b) They come from impoverished families and need stipends for living      expenses while they are studying towards a degree and a profession.

 

Emerging from the Yeshiva into Pre-academic studies (Mechina) at JCT

 

Two basic conditions are required for the advancement of an academic education for men from the Haredi community:

 

   ●   Participation in JCT’s year-long Pre-academic Program (Mechina) allows these young men to earn high-school equivalency matriculation and thus qualify to be accepted to institutions of higher education. 

   ●   Provision of living stipends.

 

JCT recognizes the importance of going "all the way" to ensure the success of these students, equipping them with every tool necessary for them to reach their goal. By establishing the Mechina program and providing them with ample tuition scholarships we are advancing towards a situation where any capable male student from the Haredi community can have the opportunity to study at JCT towards an academic degree, attain a profession and enter Israel's high-tech workforce. They will be able to support their families and make their own contribution to the economy of Israel.

 

For the academic year – 2015/2016, there are nearly 300 male students from the Haredi community studying at the Jerusalem College of Technology Pre-Academic Program. Students entering this program have had very little formal secular education and therefore face the following academic issues:

 

1.      Lack of basic knowledge in subjects connected to academic studies at JCT such as mathematics, physics and English as well as poor Hebrew language.

2.      Little familiarity with professional disciplines, which is necessary when choosing which academic field to study.

3.      Poor learning skills such as summarizing study materials, writing and comprehension.

4.      Poor study habits such as preparing homework, test-taking and group collaboration.

 

Haredi Atuda (IDF Academic Reserve)

 

A unique group within the Haredi population are 18-20 year old men, who are eager to exit the Yeshiva world and pursue professional careers.

 

The IDF now permits such young people to delay being drafted for one year, on condition that they spend this year studying in a Mechina (Pre-Academic Program). At the end of that year, they have two options:

1)   to join the IDF for regular three year service (and pursue professional studies after their service, if they so wish) or

2)   to enter a ten-year program, consisting of four years of academic studies, followed by six years of military service in the IDF as officers in cutting-edge high-tech areas. They will then remain in the IDF as career officers or join Israel’s technology sector in important positions.

 

Nearly 300 eighteen-to-twenty year old Haredi men are currently enrolled in JCT’s year-long Mechina Pre-Academic Program, with the intention of being accepted to the IDF Atuda and to academic studies at JCT. JCT is investing great efforts to ensure that these students succeed in this intensive program. Such success will make it possible for them to join the IDF Atuda program and commence their academic-professional education. To this end JCT wishes to expand the help given to the students.

 

An additional 200 students are already enrolled in the college’s four-year academic program and in the IDF Atuda.

 

We are striving to double and triple the numbers of students in this program track, for their own benefit, as well as for their families and communities. Having hundreds of young Haredi men join the IDF will contribute to Israel’s defense, repair the rifts in our society and add to Israel’s economic welfare.

 

In order to realize JCT’s ambitious goals, it will be necessary to relate to two areas of specific need:

 

1.   To address these students’ social and spiritual needs. They are young collegiates just out of relatively restrictive frameworks. They need an alternative social framework, as well as personal guidance, during their Mechina studies and throughout their college years.

 

2.      One of the major deterrents to enrollments by young Haredi men in the new Atuda Program is financial hardship and uncertainty. Coming from extremely poor families with many siblings, they do not have the benefit of parental support, even to cover basic room and board expenses.

 

Academic Studies for Women from the Haredi Community

 

At the Jerusalem College of Technology we believe it is our responsibility and challenge to enable many segments of Israeli society, who otherwise would not have the opportunity, to pursue a higher education and become productive members of Israel's work force.  The academic education of young men and women from the Haredi community and their entrance into the workforce is one of the central issues facing contemporary Israel, key to its social and economic well-being. 

 

The Jewish environment firmly incorporated at the College is consistent with the special requirements of the Haredi community; In addition, JCT focuses its academic curriculum on those subjects that lead to professional career development.   For these reasons, the Jerusalem College of Technology, having pioneered academic studies for Haredim in Israel, is an ideal school for the Haredi community,

 

By designing special study programs for this segment of Israel's society, JCT is:

 

 ●    Enabling students from the Haredi community to acquire the necessary tools to work as equals within the Israeli workforce, support themselves and improve their economic situation which, in turn, will reduce their dependence on government and social support.

 ●    Giving this community the opportunity to actively participate in Israeli society and its economy.

 ●    Creating the opportunity for the general Israeli public to interact directly with the Haredim in a work environment, thus helping to change each other's pre-conceived views of the other.

 

There are currently over 800 Haredi women enrolled at the Jerusalem College of Technology's Institutes for Women. Unlike the men in this community, most of the women are taught secular subjects in their school system and most have a high school graduation certificate.

 

JCT offers these women the possibility of going into the high-tech and accounting worlds, thereby earning considerably more than they would were they to continue working only as teachers in the Haredi school system.  Furthermore, the number of teaching positions available does not nearly equal the number of women graduating from teachers seminaries. There is, therefore, an urgent need to open new avenues of employment for these women, who are often the main bread winners for their families.

 

All students in their final year of studies gain practical experience in the workplace whilst working on their Final Project. Leading financial and high-tech companies are so impressed with these Haredi women that they actively recruit them even before they have completed their studies.

 

Just over two years ago JCT opened a MBA program and last month 47 Haredi women were presented with their MBA degrees by Governor of the Bank of Israel, Stanley Fisher who too was vey impressed with the caliber of these women and the positions they have achieved in the Israeli workforce.

 

One very important factor in the success of attracting Haredi women to JCT, is the issue of funding.  Most of these women are married and their husbands are learning in Kollel and are thus unable to financially support themselves.  Hence the dire need for scholarship aid.

 

In order to help them, JCT does it all can to generate scholarship assistance.  If we had sufficient scholarship funds available, the Jerusalem College of Technology could, within a very few years, multiply the number of students from the Haredi community studying advanced professional subjects and receiving academic degrees.  Our target is to have 2,000 Haredi students studying at JCT by the year 2014.