A unique leadership course for workers' unions of the religious councils in Israel ended this week, as part of the Histadrut’s commitment to workers in the ultra Orthodox sector. The course was led by the Religious Division of Histadrut Hamaof in cooperation with the International Institute of Leadership at the Beit Berl College.

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Some 35 heads of the unions who participated in the course acquired knowledge and skills in the fields of business negotiation, public speaking, pension management, provident funds and study funds, guidance in the field of obligations and rights in social security,  and familiarity with collective agreement laws. A unique course dealt with organized labor in halakhic (religious) law.

The leadership course in action. (Photo: Histadrut)

The topics were taught by top lecturers and lawyers who deal with labor issues, some of which have accompanied workers' unions for decades. The halakhic aspects of the field of organized labor and workers' representation were covered by the rabbi of Kiryat Ono and a member of the Chief Rabbinical Council of Israel, Rabbi Ratzon Arussi, and the rabbi of Or Yehuda, Rabbi Zion HaCohen.

Histadrut chairman, Arnon Bar-David, said at the end of the course: "The Histadrut is the home of all workers and all political parties in Israel. As someone who started out as an organizer, it warms my heart to see a class full of union organizers developing their leadership skills."

The chairman of the religious division, Adv. Rafi Malachi said: "The Israeli labor market has hundreds of thousands of workers from the religious and ultra Orthodox sector. It is our duty to ensure their working conditions, employment security and collective agreements with employers."

Top rabbis addressed organized labor from a halakhic perspective. (Photo: Histadrut)

National Director of the Religious Division, Yaniv Shapira added: "A unique course for religious council unions brings with it another advantage, beyond enriching knowledge. You are together and know each other and it will strengthen the power and bring on the achievements you have been waiting for in the past decades. "

"You are with the workers every day, every hour," said Rabbi Zion Cohen. "This is hard and unconventional work that will pay off in providing job security and good working conditions. This is your opportunity to be together, led by the religious division of the Histadrut, and to strengthen your activities."

Shlomo Tanami, chairman of the religious councils, shared that he still remembers the last conference for religious council employees that took place about 25 years ago, and added that he cherishes the work of the religious division in the Histadrut, which works to enrich the profession and the workers.