M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentRuth Kachalov
SubjectProfessional Training of Ultra-Orthodox Women towards
their Work in the Israeli High-Tech Industry
DepartmentDepartment of Education in Science and Technology
Supervisor Full Professors Hazzan Orit
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


According to the Samuel Neaman Institute (http://www.neaman.org.il) the Haredi sector is on its way to constitute one fifth of Israel's population within a few years. Hence, a national importance is attributed to studies on the Ultra-Orthodox sector in general, and the learning processes in this sector in particular. In this context, Ultra-Orthodox women enrolling in training courses towards employment in high-tech is a new area of research. The present research aims to contribute to the nascent body of knowledge on the process of preparing ultra-Orthodox women entering the high-tech workforce.

This research process intended to characterize the mode of learning in professional courses for Haredi women towards their employment in high-tech companies. The following research question arises from the purpose of the study: what characterizes teaching and learning processes, as well as training courses, for ultra-Orthodox women towards their employment in high-tech?

The data was collected in three types of educational institutions offering training courses for Ultra-Orthodox women by applying a qualitative research approach (Flick, 2009): seminars where Haredi women study in a traditional Ultra-orthodox framework; Haredi centers that implement a non-traditional framework; training courses in institutions without any connection with the Haredi sector.

The main findings are: women students in a given type of vocational training programs chose to attend it for reasons differing from the ones exposed by students of another type of program. Students enrolled in seminars stated they enjoy math, logical and analytical thinking, as well as programming as the main reason for choosing the profession. In contrast, ultra-Orthodox women that attended training courses in non-Haredi institution and Haredi centers usually expressed that more practical considerations have been motivating their choice, such as the convenient location of the school within their neighborhood, as well as that courses were more self-contained than those from a formal academic degree.

A final key issue the study recognizes is the mismatch between the needs of the professional world and the materials taught to the Orthodox women. There is a noticeable gap between what a student studies in that courses and what she will actually need at work.