Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Brick by Brick

Aharon Granot

It might take a bit of getting used to — peyos and beards underneath the hard hats on Israeli building sites. But as more chareidim seek honorable work without the compromises that often come along with a modern office setting, construction has become a logical, if not a novel option. The pay is good, the environment is clean, and they get to build Eretz Yisrael.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The air is noisy with drilling jackhammers kicking up clouds of dust, while crane operators in hard hats are busy transferring platforms of building materials to the base of the construction site. Soon these skeletal structures will turn into a neighborhood of high-rise apartments in the central Israeli town of Rosh Ha’ayin, but the new residents will have no idea that their walls were erected by a Sanzer chassid named Dovid who lives in Jerusalem’s chareidi Givat Moshe neighborhood. A visitor to the construction site would likely be taken by surprise at the sight of the Tidhar construction company’s staff: Under the safety helmets are big black yarmulkes, beards, and dangling peyos. And instead of hearing shouts of guttural street Arabic among the workers and wondering if any thoughts of terror are buzzing around beneath their helmets, the visitor might hear their amused voices wishing him “a gut morgen” in Yiddish, these workers’ preferred language of conversation. The new cadre of construction workers has taken advantage of a NIS 90 million government program to train Israelis for construction work, an opportunity that has already drawn several hundred chareidi men. The program was set up as a means of getting more Israeli citizens to work in a field that had become dependent on Palestinians and foreign workers. And it also reflects the steady changes to an industry that progressively requires more skills and high tech. Anyone who’s seen how drywall is put up or how a staircase is erected today knows that the Israeli building industry has taken a quantum leap from the days when putting up a house meant Arab laborers hand-mixing cement in a discarded bathtub. 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


 
Drink to Eternity
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Redemption doesn’t simply mean being let out of jail
Klal Yisrael Is Always Free
Yonoson Rosenblum "In that merit will Klal Yisrael continue to exist”
Home Free
Eytan Kobre My baseline for comparison is admittedly weak
Believe in Your Own Seder
Rabbi Judah Mischel Hashem is satisfied when we do our best
Picture Perfect
Yisroel Besser Take a picture — and this time, send it to yourself
Flying Solo
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman As Pesach loomed closer, his resentment was growing
Hanging on by a Hair
Jacob L. Freedman MD “Do you still think that I’m not completely crazy?”
A Song for Every Season
Riki Goldstein Influencers map out their personal musical soundtracks
Subliminal Speech
Faigy Peritzman The deeper the recognition, the deeper the effect
The Big Change
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Spelling things out clears clouds of resentment
The Count-Up
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz Tap the middos of Sefirah to recreate yourself
The Baker: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP with Zivia Reischer "She can't get married if she can't build a relationship...
Know This: Infertility
As Told to Bracha Stein There was no place for me. I didn’t belong
Dear Shadchan
The Girl Here's the thing: I need time