Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Rabbinic ordination or Talmudic Studies qualify for municipal jobs that demand college degrees

New government regulations will enable Israelis with only a religious education to be considered for jobs offered by municipal governments even if the job requirements demand an academic degree.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri spearheaded the change, calling it a “revolution” in employment prospects for ultra-Orthodox men that would allow them to better integrate into key positions in local authorities, Haaretz reported Monday.

However, critics reportedly said the move diminished the value of an academic education and the range of skills that it endows, and would create an opening for inappropriate appointments. [...]

The new guidelines would apply to anyone who holds rabbinical ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, or a certificate testifying that he studied for at least six years starting from age 18 in a yeshiva and has passed three tests set by the Chief Rabbinate. In effect, the change applies only to men.[...]

Experts at the Israel Democracy Institute, a Jerusalem-based think-tank, lamented the development.

Gilad Malach, head of the institute’s Haredi program and developer of a master plan for ultra-Orthodox employment, criticized the move for not taking into consideration the breadth of skills that academic education provides but that do not feature in religious studies, the report said.

“Rabbinical ordination or study… for six years doesn’t include the writing of academic papers, knowledge of English, or the study of statistics,” Malach noted. “If there are specific positions in local authorities that don’t require these skills, then an academic degree wouldn’t have been required for them” in the first place.

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