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General Background

Of all Israelis with academic degrees in high-tech fields, only 3% are ultra-Orthodox. Of the 311,000 people employed in high-tech, only 2.9% (around 9,000) are ultra-Orthodox – and less than 100 of them are university graduates. At the same time, Israel’s high-tech industry is suffering a shortage of skilled manpower. It is estimated that around 18,000 positions need to be filled, and that 30% of those recruited are people with academic degrees but no experience.

Target Population

Men and women from ultra-Orthodox populations who wish to study in a pre-college academic preparation program in fields related to science and technology, toward earning bachelor degrees and finding jobs that will allow them to join the high-tech sector as experienced and educated professionals.

Vision and goals

To break the religious glass ceiling in the high-tech industry by integrating men and women from ultra-Orthodox communities into leading companies and quality jobs.

Links

Heznekim addresses the needs of both the haredi community and the high-tech sector by:

  • Guiding haredi students through the process of earning a technology-related degree. Through Heznekim, groups of haredi men and women are provided pre-college academic preparation and assisted through the process of identifying the academic programs most suited to their goals.
  • Providing mentors to them while they are pursuing their bachelor degrees, to help them develop skills for success and to keep dropout rates at a minimum.
  • Offering scholarships of 12,000 per year during the pre-college stage and the first two years in an academic program.
  • Providing employment guidance while they are students, to help them find entry-level positions, suitable for students, so they can gain work experience while in college.
  • Help them find positions after graduation in large high-tech companies – jobs that will jump-start their careers and give them room for professional development.

 

Heznekim leverages its resources by combining them with those at the respective academic institutions.

The demand for Heznekim far outstrips the available spots: in the program’s first year (2019), 45 beneficiaries were chosen out of a quality applicant pool of 350; in the second year, 120 were accepted, out of 1,440 qualified applicants. As of 2020, the dropout rate is only 7.5%, far below the national average for haredi college students.

Want to Join the Program?

Registration for the second cohort was completed in January of 2020. For questions, contact [email protected]

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