In recent years the Hareidi communities in southern Israel have grown significantly. Most young couples cannot afford to buy housing in Jerusalem or Bnei Brak, are are turning to communities such as Kiriyat Gat to build their homes. For many such couples, the wife's income is a major factor in meeting the costs of their growing families, yet there are few employment opportunities that meet the sensitivities of the community. There are only so many jobs available for teachers, and child care workers.
Two years ago Tova Abramowitz decided that something needed to be done. Many chassidish women learn at a young age to sew, but there are few jobs available for Jewish seamstresses in Israel as most clothing companies take their business either to China or to lose cost Arab run factories. Mrs. Abramowitz realized that if she could subsidize the cost of setting up a garment factory she could provide jobs for these women in an atmosphere that meets their needs. Turning to various organizations, including Yad Eliezer she was able to create a workshop in Arad where 30 women are currently employed.
Since the inception of the factory in Arad Mrs. Abramowitz was encouraged by Temech, an organization that helps Hareidi women to find work, and by others to repeat her success, this time in the growing community of Kiriyat Gat. Mrs. Abramowitz turned once again to Yad Eliezer, where they recieved tremendous encouragement and a pledge for nearly half of the money needed to set up the workshop. From there she was able to raise the rest of the necessary funding, and this week the new center opened. The opening was attended by the new seamstresses, prominent rabbis, and the mayor of Kiriyat Gat, Aviram Dahari.
Mrs. Abramowitz explains, "At the moment we have 2-3 applicants for each position. We recieve pre-cut fabric from various companies and the seamstresses assemble the garments. Unfortunately at the moment our workers are being paid minimum wage, but we hope that it the future we will get better contracts and even begin designing and producing our own line of modest clothing. Our seamstresses are truly grateful for this opportunity. Together with the lower cost of housing in southern Israel they are able to keep their families afloat."
Investors interested in helping to expand the operation are welcome to contact Mrs. Abramowitz directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations to the Yad Eliezer Job Training initiative which supports projects such as this can be made here.