“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” ~
Anne Isabella Ritchie
When The Kemach Foundation first opened its doors in 2007, Israel’s economic outlook was gloomy, particularly with regard to Haredi participation. 72% of individuals within the Haredi community live below the poverty line, and less than half the male population in this sector is employed. Haredim who wish to enter the workforce typically face obstacles that make it extremely difficult to find gainful employment including lack of qualifications, insufficient resources, negative preconceptions of Haredim and the difficulty of finding a job that is considerate of the Haredi cultural sensitivities. This creates a challenge in which there is little motivation for attempting to join the workforce.
Israel is documented to lose more than 13 billion shekel every year as a result of low Haredi participation in the workforce and welfare payments. Kemach’s operation is slowly transforming the way Haredim perceive their ability and to join the workforce and provides them with opportunities and tools to successfully integrate into the economy, directly impacting Israel’s GDP. More significant is Kemach’s impact on countless individual lives, providing new opportunities for each participant to improve his and his family’s fiscal, social and emotional wellbeing.