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July 12, 2013

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 12, 2013 PAGE 11A By Linda Gradstein The Media Line It's the first day of school for Chani Dickman, an ultra=Orthodox woman in her 40s. She is one of 20 ultra-OrthodoX women participating in a train- ing course, for medical coding--reading patients charts and diagnoses and assigning the proper codes that are used for insurance reimbursement. If she passes her examsl she is guaranteed a full-time job with HRS, a Baltimore- based company that does medical coding. She'll start out above minimum wage and her compensation will increase every year. Dickman will be coming to the Jerusalem Technological Training Center every day from Ramat Beit Shemesh, an ultra-Orthodox commu- nity about a 40-minute bus ride away. "This course wilt give me the specific skills I need to get a proper job," she told The Media Line. "I've been working but I need more work, and this guarantees us a full-time job for at least two years." For other women, like Malka Mittman, it's an op- por tunity toget back into the work force. "I was doing English proof- reading but I didn't have enough work," she tells The Media Line. "I've also done some medical proofreading which will be helpful." Like much of the ultra- Orthodox community, their husbands don't work and these women are the primary value is based on full-time course after one of her em- study of Jewish texts. Unlike in the United States, where most ultra-Orthodox men work at least part-time, in Israel only about 25 percent of ultra-Orthodox men are part of the labor force. "This is huge--we're mak- ing history here," Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennet told The Media Line enthu- siastically. "Twenty percent of Israel is ultra-Orthodox. Historically they had very low employment rates. What we're doing ,here and in hundreds of other programs is getting a big chunk of the population into the work- force. This is good news for breadwinners for their large able way." families with an average of Wendy Copeland Gould, eight children. In the ultra- the owner of HRS, says she Orthodox world, thehighest was inspired to open the Joint Distribution Com- ployees in the U.S. moved mittee and an organization back to Israel. While other medical coding companies are looking to India, she de- cided to invest in Israel. The new course comes on the cusp of a revolution in medical coding in the U.S. that is set to take effect in 2014. "The new coding system is already causing havoc in the health care system," Gould told The Media Line. "We're going from 14,000 codes to 140,000 codes. My American staff have to learn it, hospital staff have to learn it, and there,s a projected 50-60 percent drop in productivity:' As long as she had to called Temech, meant to help ultra-Orthodox women in Israel find jobs. The women themselves will pay $300, which they will get back if they complete the course. They will attend class from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. fivedays a week for eight months. As most young children finish school at 1 p,m. the course seems more suited to women with older children. In Israel, secular and ultra- Orthodox Israelis often know little about each other. School systems are separate, as our most neighborhoods. In 2011 Israel was rocked by social Israel and for them, because retrain her own staff, she now they'll be able to provide says, why not open a course fortheirfamiliesinarespect- in Israel to train staff there as well?" The $2,700 cost of" the coui'se is being split among the Israeli government, the protests calling for ultra- Orthodox men to be drafted as are all other Israeli Jewish Shaindy Babad, the di- rector of Temech, which is helping to fund the medical coding course, says having more ultra-Orthodoxwomen in the workforce is good for Israeli society as well. Her organizationhas trained 3~000 ultra-Orthodoxwomen in fields ranging from hydro- therapy to high-tech. "Each of these women is an ambassador," she told The Media Line. "It can build a bridge with the rest of Israel and show both sides that they have a lot to offer each other." She said that most busi- nesses need to make only minor adjustments to employ ultra-Orthodoxwomen. They prefer to be in female-only areas, and they may need more vacation time around men and women. The parlia- the Jewish holidays. mentiscurrentlyworkingon "They are committed, several plans to draft these educated and dedicated em- ultra-Orthodox men. ployees," she said. tire on sex a By Uriel Heilman NEWYORK(JTA) Inhis letter announcing he was stepping down as Yeshiva University's chancellor and rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Nor- man Lamm acknowledged his failure to respond ad- equately to allegations of sexual abuse against Y.U. rabbis in the 1980s. Lamm, now 85, became the school's third president and head of its rabbinic school, the Rabbi Isaac El- chanan Theological Semi- nard, in 1976. He stepped down as president in 2003, becoming chancellor, but stayed on as the head of RIETS. His resignation July 1" from his two posts a[ the school were attributed to an agreement reached three years ago. It comes several months after a report in the Forward newspaper that detailed allegations of abuse dating back to the 1970s and '80s against two rabbis at Y.U.'s high school for boys, prin- cipal George Finkelstein and Talmud teacher Macy Gordon. "Rabbi Lamm's deci- sion to retire is based on an agreement that was reached three years ago," the university said in a statement. "His contract expired June 30." Last December, Lamm acknowledged to the For- ward that he knew about some of the allegations but chose to deal with them privately; law enforcement authorities were never informed. "My question was not whether to report to police but to ask the person to leave the job," Lamm said. On July 1. Lamm issued a mea culpa for failing to pursue the allegations. "At the time that inappro- priate actions by individu- als at Yeshiva were brought to my attention, I acted in a way that I thought was cor- rect. but which now seems ill conceived," Lamm wrote in a letter emailed to fac- ulty, students and alumni in which he discussed his retirement. "And when that happens one must do l~eshuvah. So, I too must do teshuvah [repentance], "We must never be so committed to justifying our past that we thereby threaten to destroy our future. It is not an easy task. On the contrary, it is one of the greatest trials of all, for it means sacrificing our very egos, our reputa- tions, even our identities," he wrote. "But we can and must do it. I must do it, and having done so, contribute to the creation of a future that is safer for innocents, and more ethically and halakhically correct. "True character requires of me the courage to admit that. despite my best inten- tions then, I now recognize that I was wrong," Lamm wrote. "This is what I am modeh [acknowledge] as I reflect on my tenure." Finkelstein was forced out of the school in 1995 after being accused of in- appropriate contact with students by wrestling with them. He went to work as a dean at the Hillel Com- munity Day School in North Miami Beach. Gordon was placed on a leave of absence in 1984, according to the Forward. Both rabbis now live in Israel. Lamm's comments about thesexual abuse allegations represented four paragraphs of a six-page resignation letter that otherwise was Norman Lamm Yeshiva University a reflection on his tenure at Y.U. Lamm also made an oblique reference to his fail- ing health, noting, "Condi- tions have caused me to rely on help from my family in writing this letter." Richard Joel, the presi- dent of Y.U., declined to discuss Lamm's remarks on the sexual allegations or be interviewed for this story. He released a statement to JTA through a spokesman. "I would like to express my appreciation to Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm for his half-century of seivice to Yeshiva University. Dur- ing his tenure he helped guide the university with steadfastness and vision," Joel said in the statement. "Dr. Lamm's contributions to the Jewish world as a distinguished rabbi, phi- losopher and Scholar are unparalleled." In its report last fall, the Forward cited three former students who said Finkel- stein invited students into his home or office to wrestle with them, that they could feel his erect penis against them during the tussling, and that Finkelstein told the students he loved them and tried to kiss some of them. Everyone at the school knew of Finkelstein's pen- chant for wrestling with boys, the former students said. Finkelstein denied to the Forward that there was any- thing sexual about his con- tact with students, though he said the wrestling, in retrospect, was wrong. Gordon was accused of sodomizing a former student with a toothbrush wheh the student was 16. The former student and his father told the Forward that they reported the incident to Y.U.'s leader- ship but not to the police because they did not want to damage the school's reputation or further harm the boy. Gordon told the Forward he had "no recollection'~ of the to6thbrush inci- dent and said he had not conducted himself inap- propriately. Hand,hake lmegri6. ~)r t~e~" A Hgndmd YEa,'~. Woil~ll~an~neighl~oo~ome locat~in M~nd. 4/3 pool ~om-~ll~r~e Mir~tha~lose t~th~C, ~ schools, stl a d call: Sarah Eagan, Realtor Winter ParkLand Company 321-439-3444 A Sisted Living Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Care. 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