Posts Tagged With: Employment

Protests Begin at Restaurant Banning Thursday Night Waitresses

Protesters in front of the Heimishe Essen restaurant. Click image for additional photos.

Yesterday men and women gathered on a cold Thursday Jerusalem night for the first time in front of the Heimishe Esin ( ‘היימישע עסין’ ) which removed women from busy Thursday night shifts after Badatz of Agudat Israel demanded it as part of its Kashrut certification process.

About 30 male and female demonstrators gathered for over an hour to sing a selection of popular Israeli songs that includes both songs about the love of Israel and Jewish religious values. The singing ended with HaTikva and the waving of the Israeli flag. They included secular and religious Jews from a variety of streams and even earned some applause from on-lookers, as well as Jerusalem Council member Laura Wharton.

The demonstration was organized by the Jerusalem branch of Israel Hofshit (ישראל חופשית)  . Protesters plan on meeting again at the restaurant next week on Thursday night unless Badatz withdraws its demands and women continue to be employed as waitresses on Thursday nights.

The owner told photo journalist Nir Alon that the protests are unnecessary because he convinced Badatz Agudat Israel that women will only serve tables with women and men will only serve tables with men. However, when asked directly by News1 if women will wait on tables on Thursday nights or serve only in the kitchen he did not give a direct answer.

The Heimishe Esin restaurant is located in the heart of pre-state Jerusalem. There is a secular high school across the street from the restaurant and the majority of the area is secular/non-Haredi dati. It’s in the heart of the very secular original post-independence Jerusalem. The Jewish Agency building where statehood was proclaimed by Ben Gurion is virtually around the corner. Teddy Kolech’s old aparment was a few blocks away. So is Golda Meir’s home.

Expanding Media Coverage

Since our coverage of this story at the beginning of the week the story has been picked up by two major Israeli papers, HaAretz and the Jerusalem Post, and syndicated to US Jewish world papers such as the Los Angelos’s Jewish Journal on the West Coast of the USA and the Forward and Vos Iz Neias on the East Coast . It has also been picked up in the Israel Haredi press via LaDaat. The story is also beginning to make the rounds of the blogosphere: Failed Messiah, Frum Satire, and Life in Israel have all featured pieces and reader comments.

Based on mynet’s poll of its readers and the tenor of blog comments, opinion is strongly against this demand of Badatz Agudat Israel. A mynet reader poll resulted in 91.5% disapproval rate.

Discrimination or Just Good Business?

The owner sees this as a customer preference. He told HaAretz, “My right as the restaurant’s owner is to do anything I want.” . He does not see his actions as discrimination because no one is being fired. They are only being asked to switch to less busy shifts. He told the Jerusalem Post, Continue reading

Categories: Building a Just Israel, Extremism, Gender Segregation | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Contribution, Integration, and the “Learn and Network” Program

This week the Haredi community in Lakewood hosted a first-of-its-kind job fair. Although only 1500 or so people were expected to attend, the fair attracted over 5000 people, Despite strong pressures to learn all day even in the American Haredi community, there clearly is a strong interest in employment.

The job fair was an offshoot of the “Learn and Network” Kollel program started by Duvi Honig, a member of the Haredi community in Lakewood, New Jersey. The “Learn and Network” program provides a framework where Haredim can combine job search skill development, networking, and Torah learning. Begun at the end of 2010, by May 2011 it had branches operating in four communities in the USA: Lakewood, Monsey, Flatbush, and the Five Towns area.  There are now plans to expand to  Israel as well.  Talks are already under way in both Beit Shemesh and Bnei Brak.

In Monsey, participants meet in the morning for Shachrit. This is followed by an hour and half of chevruta study at 9AM. From 10:30AM on, participants attend a variety of lectures on job hunting skills, small business development, networking, and of course Torah topics. Networking is encouraged both during study and lecture times. Other local program have slightly different schedules or run in the evenings, but the basic format is the same: a blend of Torah study, networking, and practical skill development.

From the Haredi point of view, there are two important advantages to this program over job training programs for the general public. The first and most obvious Continue reading

Categories: Building a Just Israel, Diaspora and Israel | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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