The Mercaz HaChareidi for Technological Studies was established in 1996 by Dr. Avraham Fuss Z”l with its mission to create a professional framework to allow those men in the Chareidi community that want to learn a trade, to do so in a fitting atmosphere whilst at the same time maintaining their Talmudic studies. Dr. Fuss realized that there was no religious framework available for the Chareidi community to realize the goal of financial success so he forged ahead to create such a structure. The Mercaz caters to women during the morning hours and men during the evening hours, allowing the men to continue their Talmudic studies whilst at the same time preparing the ground to enter the workforce. The Mercaz, established with Gedolei Yisroel’s wholehearted encouragement, is the leader in the field of professional training in the Chareidi community both in quantity and in quality. More than 10,000 graduates attest to the importance and success of the Mercaz
As of the end of 2010, the Mercaz has established 5 branches in the large Chareidi centers: Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Ashdod, Modiin I’llit (Kiryat Sefer) and Haifa. The student body reflects a male\female ratio of approximately 40% male 60% female, with our current 2010/11 student enrollment at over 1600.
The Mercaz offers some 40 courses in a wide variety of fields designed to match the needs of the Israeli market. The courses include: computer program engineering, architecture and interior design, industrial design, construction engineering, computer maintenance and communication network management, computer graphics, multimedia, web-design, bookkeeping, wage accountancy, taxation consultancy, travel agency, real estate brokering and a fully accredited electricians course. All the courses are accredited by the relevant governmental offices such as The Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mahat and the Ministries of Justice and Tourism.
The overall success of the Mercaz can be measured by its graduates’ employment figures which stands at approximately 70% in the fields studied. Thousands of our graduates are currently employed in well known Israeli high-tech firms such as Checkpoint, Amdocs, Ness Technologies, Malam Team, Telrad, Ardics, Softov Systems, Elta and Partner to name a few. Many alumni are employed in private business in the fields of construction, architecture, interior design, accounting and administration as well as electricians and travel agents. The success of the graduates attests to the continued success of the Mercaz.
Elta Systems Ltd. is one of the world’s leading electronic defense companies, a subsidiary of Israel Aircraft Industries. With 4,200 employees Moishe Akiva Liberman has received many achievement awards during his 9 years at the company but the most prestigious to date was his being selected as 2009 worker of the year, ceremoniously awarded to him by the President of the State of Israel. Moishe Akiva, a graduate of our Ashdod branch, is a proud and tangible illustration of the Mercaz graduates’ achievements and the level of excellence the Mercaz strives for.
Oren Amar, a first year graduate, is a member of the Board of Directors. Oren successfully graduated and gained employment at Malam, Israel’s largest software company. Oren joined Malam Systems as one of its employees subsequently forming in 2004 SpairTech a salary control software startup company. SapirTec was later bought by Malam and Oren works there today as the department chief. Oren joined the Mercaz in 2009 and is a role model for the Mercaz graduates as someone successful giving back to his community.
The future graduate’s success is dependent on choosing the correct field of study and emphasis is placed on directing each potential student to a field of study fitted for his or her capabilities. The Mercaz entrance exam is given by “Til International” Research Corporation which has created the accepted professional aptitude tests geared for our specific studies. The exam, in addition to personal interviews, helps the Mercaz professionals direct the potential students to the field most suited to their capabilities and interests.
The Mercaz focuses on professionalism and does not compromise on the best lecturers in each field. In order to ensure a high standard of training, we work in cooperation with government bodies such as: The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, Ministry of Finance, the Israeli Accountants Association, Tax Consultant Association and the Ministries of Justice and Tourism. Likewise, the Mercaz operates a Practical Engineer training program under the recognition and supervision of MAHAT (The Government Institution for Technological and Scientific Training). Thousands have completed their studies, receiving government issued diplomas and being recorded in the Engineer Registry.
The Mercaz is the pioneer in the field of technological training and the only country wide institution with accreditation from MAHAT. In addition many of the Bais Yakov schools use the Mercaz for its courses as certified practical engineers in computer programming and architecture.
As a prerequisite to participation in the various courses, the Mercaz provides a basic preparatory “Mechina” program in English, math and basic computer skills. Our students, many who have spent years in Torah study, impressively succeed even beyond the average Israeli secular student. The Chareidi student’s ability to “catch on” quickly is proven time and time again, and in a relatively short time cover the necessary ground and acquire all of the background skills needed.
The original Rabbinical Board instituted by HoRAv Elyashiv Shlita included the Rov’s late son in law and other eminent rabbinic leaders; the original approbation can be found on the website. Currently, the Mercaz maintains continuous consultations with Rabbi Chaim B. Shatz, representative of the Joint Rabbinic Supervision Committee.
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