…Jonas terms himself modern Orthodox and believes in helping members of the haredi community integrate into society via the workforce. About 20% of his employees in the US are haredi. In Israel, the proportion is even higher.
"For year we were coming here to Israel and seeing how bad the poverty among the haredim is. Of course I can give charity, and we give $15 million every year, but there's no end to poverty. Giving people jobs is a much better way of dealing with it," he said.
"To encourage ultra-Orthodox men and women to work, IDT provides them with the kind of environment they need, including time off for prayers and a strictly kosher canteen."
"I just think it's morally not right to live here and not serve in the army," he said. "So many of them just sit around not getting any success in life, and it goes with them ever after. Instead, those who join the army get a sense of direction in life, self-esteem and a job afterward. It changes their whole life."…
Jonas is aware that much of what he is doing is highly controversial within the haredi leadership. He says, though, that he has not heard many objections.
"We are also big contributors to the Yeshiva world and I believe that the rabbis realize that what we're doing works well for people and improves their lives. They just look the other way," he said.