Israel Sci-Tech Schools has been at the forefront of working with secular and religious authorities to forge educational curricula that adequately educate and train charedi (ultra-Orthodox) women for employment in technology fields, including the defense and weapons industries. Among them is Meitar, a graduate of an Orthodox girls' Israel Sci-Tech High School in Beit She’an, who recently joined RAFAEL, Israel’s Weapons Development Authority, one of the most prestigious positions in the country.
Meitar (security concerns prohibit the publication of her last name) was raised in an ultra-Orthodox home in Beit She’an, in the northern part of the country. Her mother is an educator and her father is an electrician. In 10th grade, she joined a campaign alongside her classmates that lobbied for the Beit She’an religious girl's school to become one of the first in the nation to offer an advanced technology course to all its female students. The program was unique at the time for its collaboration with RAFAEL. After graduating, Meitar went on to a junior electronic engineering college, then the Israeli Defense Forces and ultimately to RAFAEL.
“I am grateful for the investment that Israel Sci-Tech Schools made in me and my friends, and happy that it has brought me to a place where I am able to contribute to the safety and security of our country,” said Meitar. “The network and its supporters, by offering our group the opportunities and foundational training in electronic engineering, has led me to the professional role I now play. For me, Israel Sci-Tech Schools represents my roots, my drive, and now my future.”
“Our children, regardless of whether they are from cities or periphery towns and villages, religious or secular families, are our future. We have an obligation to make sure that every student can be exposed to educational opportunities that provide them with the skills to contribute to the future of Israel, whether it be in the military, civilian, high tech, or any other field,” said Zvi Peleg, director-general of Israel Sci-Tech Schools. “Were it not for our transformation of the curriculum in periphery and specialized schools like Meitar’s religious girls' school, these students would not be prepared to go on to either higher learning or successful positions in the industry.”
Friends of Israel Sci-Tech Schools is a U.S.-based non-profit dedicated to supporting the 206 institutions and 100,000 students that represent the largest independent network of science and technology educational institutions in Israel. Today, there are more than 500,000 alumni, many of whom have gone on to become senior leaders in the military, high tech entrepreneurs, as well as some of the top engineers and scientists in Israel.