Channel 10: 1,000s of Chareidim Working Illegally


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According to a Channel 10 report, thousands of chareidim who have declared studying torah fulltime are in essence working illegally.

The report states that the chareidim who study fulltime maintain they are doing their part towards defending the country by learning torah, but in many cases, they are working illegally and simply avoiding military service.

Channel 10’s Dov Gilhar set up a sting operation, establishing a fictitious company called Ohel Avraham, advertising marketing positions in Bnei Brak. A man who left the chareidi fold was brought in to head the fake company, and he explained to avreichim who came in seeking work they need official papers since the job is ‘on the books’. The cameras rolled behind the scenes, and one avreich is seen interviewing, explaining he cannot provide papers due to the army and that his last job was under the table.

He explained he received cash, and if reported, he would have issues with the IDF as well as tax authorities, not to mention losing lucrative state aid.

The report states that an avreich receives 800 NIS monthly, 1,040 NIS monthly in supplementary income and his kollel stipend. In addition, the state give tax breaks and discounts for kindergarten and other services.

Channel 10 concludes that many avreichim who learn have sufficient spare time to do other things, including a job. They quote an avreich for example who says he can work from 18:00 to midnight, while others explained they can work daytime hours as well.

Nine of the ten persons videoed displayed a proficient knowledge of duping the system, how to bypass the restriction of working and paying taxes.

This has been the reason many opposed the Tal Law, which provides an exemption from military service but also locks avreichim in, condemning them to a life of poverty because they are prohibited to work.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Like duh!

    Do they think that Hareidim spend their time on street corners playing cards? How else would people support their families. Not everyone wants to be a full time kollel person (which means basically a teacher after a certain point).

    If you work “on the books” you are drafted. Since the army is very antagonistic towards frum Jews, at best treating them like Blacks in the American Army during the “Jim Crow era”, military service is not a realistic option. If the government resolved the matter, either by ending discrimination against frum Jews in the army, or by eliminating conscription (as most countries have done), all of the people who are nominally listed as “learning” (to avoid a confrontation with the army) would start working on the books (and probably cause a major boom in the Israeli economy and generate enough tax revenue to cover the costs of paying respectable wages to professional soldiers).

  2. IF this is true, this damages the reputation of Charedim terribly.

    It will be interesting to see how Rabbonim will react to this, when they see and hear of the supposed tangible proof. Will the criminals be defended? Will they allow this to continue? What will be their position?

    IF this is true, will our system be adjusted, as needed, and corrective measures taken to prevent continuation of the “duping the system” mentality?

  3. “A man who left the chareidi fold was brought in to head the fake company”

    There is an agenda behind this & they will conclude whatever they decide to. Whether it is statisticallt sound or true or not

  4. If they would advertise a “work at home” by the Chilonim, or ‘even evade the draft’ you can have just as interesting sting-show, but I guess it’s never that interesting as it is by Chareidim…

    We simply don’t have a government sponsered TV show that can set up to uncover their crime element.

  5. I’d rather they be working illegally than sitting around the kollels smoking, drinking coffee and otherwise contributing little if anything to the economy. This only proves that there is a middle ground for any normal yid to find time to balance limud torah and earning a parnassah. All those who claim it must be 100 percent learning are misguided and distorting what we learn from chazal and the history of prior generations.

  6. What’s the chiddush? Anyone who’s been in Yerushalayim for any amount of time can attest anecdotally to what this report reveals.

  7. Ido, its not lashon hara, but if you are offended then you should not be on the web. #6 brings up a valid point. Regardless if one admires the government of Israel or not, tricking and devious ways should not be followed.