Gafni: Chareidim Want To Work, But State Doesn’t Want Them To


moshe-gafniKnesset Finance Committee chairman Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) lashed out on Wednesday at Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz’s assertion Tuesday that chareidi communities are themselves partly┬áresponsible for the high unemployment in their ranks.

“Chareidi men want to work, chareidi women want to work,” he said. “The government doesn’t want to integrate them into the work force. This is an ideological battle.”

Gafni said the primary obstacles to chareidi integration into the work force come from the government, not from private employers choosing not to hire chareidim.

For example, he said, the Tax Authority has refused to certify graduates of Bais Yaakov as tax advisers, even though they have been accredited in a process that ends with exams similar to the regular bagrut (matriculation) exams.

“They take all the tests,” Gafni said. “They learn math, physics and biology. But they are not granted [certification], they do not become tax advisers, even though everyone admits they’re better than others.”

“Either you want to adapt yourselves to us and us to you, or you only want us to do what you want,” Gafni said.

Chareidim want to earn their livelihoods honorably and contribute to the economy, but no government has wanted to address this,” he continued. “I say there must be affirmative action for Haredim, as there is for other sectors of society. But the Justice Ministry tells me there’s no such thing as a ‘chareidi’ group. I tell them, what do you mean there’s no such definition? One who’s kept down by the country, that’s a chareidi.”

{Haaretz/Yair Israel}


  1. Guy- Don’t speak to me about hakaros hatov .I was one of those people serving in the front lines and we gotta be realistic there are those that don’t work just because they don’t want to go in to the army. The strongest army in the world is the U.S army and its all volunteer. I have spoken with numerous members of Knesset to change the law but they would not listen to me

  2. The reason that we cannot have a volunteer army is that we are just to small to field a sizable quality military for our needs.

    The US has approximately 1,200,000 members. This from a population 39 times the size of Israel and it can afford to pay much better benefits than Israel can. Volunteer army? You are dreaming.