Dec 31, 2009

Are haredim at a disadvantage in the workforce?

Somebody asked me the following question, and I wanted to hear your thoughts...

Do you think "chareidi" looking people (mainly the kippa) are at a disadvantage when looking for a job? I know the answer probably differs for different industries and company size, i.e. technology, financial services, law, etc. And I'm sure the question can be posed to people in the workforce already (whether they feel they are at some competitive disadvantage), but my guess is that once you are "in", performance is the key factor.

I know statistics recently published say that it is a factor and haredim are hired less. It could be for a variety of reasons though (qualifications, lack of army, lack of education) and not necessarily due to appearance, so i am nto sure how accurate of a picture those statistics really paint.


  1. Think of the question in terms of "all else equal" - i.e. education, experience (not army service). For example american hareidi olim.

  2. Pick and ChoosiasmDecember 31, 2009 12:57 PM

    They will find a loophole to further their agenda just as the many "Charedi" websites are still operating.

  3. BS"D

    First - chareidi and kippa are not necessarily from same end of careful keeping at all. there are other factors, to be sure.

    there are many educated people out there who are not seeking positions that need army clearance.

    chareidi boys did higher on psychometric testing than their "pubic school" counterparts.

    Orthodox women are decidedly exploited financially. Many, many of these women have at least their bagrut, and have studied at least as much as their secular counterparts in terms of basic computer courses/degrees, secretarial, bookkeeping, and will be offered far less.

    In private sector, unless there is a strong religious (from dati leumi to chareidi) faction, covering one's head (male or female) can be a point "against" someone. Or not. Not mandatory. But there is a definite hostility in many almost all-secular environments.

    I think it is because most Jews feel guilty around frum people but don't want to even say it to themselves. They also feel less free to cuss and use bad language at times. Can't have that kind of de-moralizing atmosphere in the lunchroom, can we?

  4. "I think it is because most Jews feel guilty around frum people...."

    A friend of mine who oversees a team of 200+ said he finds the young charedi women - who qualify for positions - to be very dedicated workers. He's not charedi at all.

    My own thoughts drifted to another phenomenon - some people think things are "coming to them" and I've sometimes seen the kollel environment encourages that mentality. Even with the women - I work very hard to support my husband in kollel, people should be more forgiving of me than other workers.

    But I doubt whether it's a real and distinct "motivational issue" in the workplace - in other words I don't know if it's actually a common problem, and even if it were I'd venture that other types of applicants are prone to other character flaws.


  5. that bit about "I work very hard..." should have been in quotations, i.e. as said by a kollel wife.

  6. BS"D

    I don't agree with your thought that Chareidim think they have something extra coming to them - at least not in this world. And every eligible for that in the World to Come.

    And re Chareidi websites are concerned - many aren't so chareidi. those who really try and keep a kosher, torah atomosphere but still give news are under a lot of pressure by the rabbonim. etrog had to recently close, which is a shame. without a solid jewish base, we would be entirely at the mercy of leftist mainstream media like HAARETZ AND YNET, etc. It is already a horror. And if not them, there would be these milquetoast nebachim we have, but since I don't want to start a war w/ them (or anyone who except Jew haters), I won't name examples in this forum.

    No one says you have to hire a chareidi person as a doctor if they never went to medical school. qualifications, of course, matter. but being frum shouldn't be a negative qualification.

  7. Sarah Leah, you're living a fantasy charedi world spouting all the fantasy Mishpacha propaganda about charedi boys doing better on psychometri then regular students will not change reality.

    The reality being that many hardworking charedi men and women are valued in the workplace and those suffering from entitlement-itis aren't.

    And knowing many secular pple personally and intimately, they most certainly do not feel any "guilt" when religious people around (another piece of charedi propaganda). They really couldn't care less about keeping any mitzvot whatsoever.

  8. Let me share my experience in the US as a young actuary who was told that his boss' boss had said he would never go out consulting with that "thing" on his head (a black srugie).

    I went to the regional manager who told me iirc "Joel, some people are fat, some are women, and some wear what others think are funny looking things on their head. If you can make it work, fine, if not, you'll find something else useful you can do."

    Joel Rich

  9. regarding paying haredi women less, there is always an attitude (justified or not) that women can be paid less because of freuquent maternity/childcare leaves and they may not be interested in staying with the company longterm. obvuously with haredi women who intend to have large families this issue becomes magnified.

    "They also feel less free to cuss and use bad language at times. Can't have that kind of de-moralizing atmosphere in the lunchroom, can we?"

    i've worked with religious people (including in williamsburgh) and i've never seen a shortage of bad behacvior, cursing, etc.

  10. Lion of Zion said...
    regarding paying haredi women less,
    I would've guessed pure economics of supply and demand - if charedi women will only work in certain professions and atmospheres it means more supply of workers(e.g. teachers in bait yaakovs) competing for limited opportunities hence lower wages.
    Joel Rich

  11. "chareidi boys did higher on psychometric testing than their "pubic school" counterparts."

    How many charedi boys did testing? You are comparing the few out of the whole, by definition the top boys who were interested in taking the test, vs. the whole of public schools.

    "I think it is because most Jews feel guilty around frum people but don't want to even say it to themselves."

    You are mistaken. Having been on both ends of the spectrum, every chiloni or secular jew has either had no problem with charediim (I believe I am in that camp) or they are embarressed by the charediim. Guilty? I've never seen or heard that in any of those situations.

    "They also feel less free to cuss and use bad language at times."

    My weeekly poker game was with a group of charediim. I knew them from when I was ortho so I was still welcome. A more racist, whoring and cussing group I have not experianced at any chiloni or non-jewish event. can anyone say tropper?

    Maybe some charediim are not hired for certain positions, but those are individual situations. It is not a problem endemic to society. At least no more so than there is always someone who wont hire a person of whatever group for some stupid reason.

  12. I've run into a lot of kollel guys who seem to be under the impression that EVERYBODY else has lots of leisure time and plenty of money. The idea that the rest ofus have to struggle is a surprise to them.

  13. BS"D

    I guess we associate with different kollel guys.

  14. or maybe the same kollel guys but in different settings. After all, you are a girl and not likely on the inside with these guys, regardless of how fabulous you might be.

  15. As per Avraham and Sarah, my husband ran into the guys, and I encountered their wives.

    Kibbitznikim know how to work; they don't know how NOT to. Arabs, for crying out loud, know how to work.

    Israeli haredim are not known to be particularly hard workers, and kollel couples have been told for so long how self-sacrificing they are that they actually believe it, whether that happens to true or not.

    They also tend to expect lots of special exemptions and priviledges. All things being equal, why would an employer take a chance? Why shouldn't they look for someone who expects to sweat?

  16. BS"D

    Well, I don't know about "fabulous" - but I am closer to a grandmother age - and my "in" with these guys is through their fathers, mothers, brothers & sisters, watching them grow, their education in the home as well as out, discussions at Shabbos tishes, the taking on of responsibilities in their communities as they grow, as well as upbringing, their weddings, the bris of their sons and birth of fine daughters...

    I think that is more than "some girl"; I never just look at the pshat of a matter.

  17. so what you are really saying is that you don't know guys at all. Which makes sense given that you describe events a woman would find revealing.

    Why don't you get a source at a local yeshiva and find out how much kvitlach was played and for how much, or poker. find out about day to day life for these guys during the times in between a bris or etc.

    tropper wasn't screwing around while he sat in bet din. He did what he did on the in between times.

    The point is, kollel guys, ortho guys, charedii guys, are certainly no better than chiloni, dati l, or non-jews.
    It is racisim based on bloodline and clothing that makes someone believe that these men are better.

    Or as a famous women once said, men are like toilets: the good ones are taken and the rest are full of sh**

  18. "so what you are really saying is that you don't know guys at all. Which makes sense given that you describe events a woman would find revealing."

    Honey, I work in a hospital, and believe me, I have more contact with more different populations and in more intimate situations than anyone you know.

  19. obviously the quality of what is accepted in the yeshivos today have gone downhill, as they want to avail Torah to Yidden in the hope that they will rise to the occasion. as one can see by your language, and your inability to see past your own ego, they have failed with you thus far. i wish you much hatzlocho.

  20. i don't recall inviting you to call me "honey". just because those who would call themselves frum do not follow through, doesn't negate what frum means.

    for instance, this blog, it turns out isn't a real forum for the good of Yidden, as it attracts those with new yir'as shamayim and no sense of achdus. i don't blame the person who puts this out, as perhaps it isn't a prank and he didn't know how much sediment will rise at first when you stir up a riverbed. but you will settle down, and the clean waters will remain clean.

  21. Sarah,

    I don't know why you think achdus is comprised of believing that charedii men are better than other jews or other non-jews.

    As for me, I am many many years out of yeshiva. But I stand by my opinion that people are equal. I don't imagine that it takes a huge ego to think that we are all equal in both good and bad traits. I am surprised that you think ego believes in equality and racism is humility.

    Sarah, you posted false and misleading statistics designed to make charedii boys look better. You posit reasons of behavior based on assumptions of racism. I get that you don't realize how deeply wrong and offensive it is to spout that certain groups are better than others, after all, you bet on this horse with everything you had, so you want it to be a winner.

    My point is that I've never seen non-jews attack a police station to free a baby murderer: charediim have done it 4 times in the last year in Israel that I am aware of. My point is that we are equal. And bringing it back to the blogs original point, if hareddim are discriminated against it is by individuals not by society as a whole. Because while society struggles to move past racism, some individuals believe that their group of people are better and more worthy and holier than thou.


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