The Benefits and Costs of Employment Programs for the Haredim (Ultra-Orthodox) Implemented by the Kemach Foundation

The Kemach foundation was established in 2007 in response to the large numbers of Haredi men that are not employed and rely on government and other sources of assistance to support their families. Many of these families live in poverty. The goal of the Kemach foundation is to assist the Haredim in integrating into the labor market so that they can become economically independent and support their families.  The Kemach foundation funds programs independently and together with JDC-TEVET, a partnership between the JDC and the Government of Israel that develops innovative responses to the employment of disadvantaged job groups.

The Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute was requested to undertake a study of the Kemach vocational programs. The study is based on a survey of graduates conducted by Kemach to examine their employment status and earnings. Based on this data and on the cost data provided by Kemach we conducted a benefit cost analysis.  The benefit cost analysis estimates the returns on investment as reflected in the comparison of benefits and costs from three perspectives: society (economic output), government (budget), and the participant (personal status).

Overall, we find that Kemach has been successful in increasing employment and earnings among most of the participants in the programs. Kemach’s efforts to assist the Haredim in integrating into the labor market generate a substantial return on the investment to society, the government, and the participants.