The first two sewing studios were opened in Arad and in Moshav Tifrach, near Netivot in southern Israel. These studios employ dozens of Hareidi women in the south through cooperation with clothing companies and suppliers. The new, recently opened studio in Kiriyat Gat is furnished with state of the art machinery, including top of the line industrial sewing machines and a professional ironing station. The machinery was purchased with a generous grant from Yad Eliezer’s micro-financing fund. Currently ten women are employed in the new studio. Funding for their training was received from Temech. The project is being run by Mrs. Tova Avramovitz.
There are currently 2500 Hareidi families in Kiriyat Gat, about 20% of the city’s population. Many of them are interested in finding opportunities for gainful employment, and therefore the Kiriyat Gat municipality is working together with the Ma’aleh organization to help this and other initiatives geared towards helping Hareidim find work while preserving the unique atmosphere of the Hareidi community.
Meir Shikmo, the head of the southern division of the Industrial Union commented, “I bless Tova Avramovitz’s initiative in creating employment opportunities for Hareidim in our community. Despite the fact that the textile industry in Israel is experiencing a general decline, I believe that this project can add to our industry, by creating high quality production, and supporting other local sources of production. Perhaps it is possible to even reverse the trend and return Israel’s textile industry to its previous greatness.”
The southern division of the Industrial Union has been very helpful in working together with the municipality towards the success of this and other projects. They have succeeded in bringing significant numbers of Hareidim into positions as factory workers in the various local industries, and Meir Shikmo has taken initiative in connecting the sewing studios with clothing companies who engage their services.