What do we hope to achieve with political advocacy? Our goal is to work with key decision makers to ensure that former Haredim are accorded the rights to which they are entitled. Our dream is that former Haredim will be recognized as an official population sector for the purpose of eligibility for funding and integration into existing programs, with adaptation.
In recent years, our struggle has focused on helping former Haredim receive the same rights and benefits accorded to those who were raised Haredi and remain Haredi. Since 2013, the State has invested hundreds of millions of shekels in programs that aim to provide Haredim, particularly men, with opportunities in education, employment and business, as well as a special status in the IDF. Until recently, those who were raised Haredi but left the fold have not been eligible for these programs and rights. We believe that, due to our continual efforts, equal rights and benefits will be achieved in the next few years. Finally, in order to ensure the continued success of the integration of former Haredim, we endeavor to create the position of coordinator for former Haredim in all relevant institutions and ministries.
In the area of legal assistance in family law, we are planning to work with the state-sponsored legal assistance bodies to help them understand the complexities of divorce cases in which one side is Haredi and the other has left the fold, in order to prevent parental alienation between formerly Haredi parents and their children due to unjust custody rulings. OFC is looking to expand legal options, work with welfare officers and change court policies.