Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel, long cloistered from the work world in their extensive study of religious texts, are moving into the high tech world, reports the Detroit News (April 8).
A recent lack of funds for seminary studies has forced some rabbinical students to seek employment, particularly as the Israeli government is less willing to give state subsidies to the burgeoning ultra-Orthodox community. The problem for ultra-Orthodox students is finding employers who can accommodate their strict rules and lifestyles, one of which is the near total separation of the sexes.
The more flexible work of computer programming has appealed to many of the ultra-Orthodox. Since there is a shortage of programmers, hi-tech employers have eagerly established training programs — and generally find their students and graduates excelling in the field.
One ultra-Orthodox student says the analytical and memory-based skill honed in studying the Torah made computers easy and fun. Some students, however, still worry about the negative reaction of their communities and the stigma of such work.