How many “programs” has the government announced over the years to bring disadvantaged groups — ultra-Orthodox, residents of peripheral areas, Arabs, Bedouins — into the workforce? We’ve lost count, but the answer is “a lot.” Yet Bedouin score far worse than almost every specific ethnic or religious group in Israel; employment rates for Bedouin (60% of Bedouin men are in the workforce, compared to 76% of all Arabs and 83% of Jews); matriculation rates (22%, vs 38% for all Arabs and 53% for Jews); and high school dropout rates (29%, vs. 13% for all Arabs and 5% for all Israelis) — all show that Bedouin are at a strong disadvantage.
Does that mean the programs being provided are not valid or usable by the Bedouin population? Not at all; but I believe that the magic of effectiveness, at least in this case, lies not in the availability of services — but in how they are distributed and used.
This is why we created Siraj — as a way to better use the available resources, and develop new ones.
Read more of Siraj Technologies CEO Othman Alsheikh’s Times of Israel blog post here.