Israel’s Ministry of Defense is now mandating that all companies that send representatives to IDF job fairs held for soldiers preparing to go off active duty must ensure their female representatives do not wear tank tops, short skirts or any other type of revealing clothing, and has also forbidden these employers (and vendors and universities) from bringing any published material that contains any pictures that Orthodox soldiers would consider to be “immodest.”
IDF Orders Outside Vendors, Employers At Job Fair To Follow Orthodox-Friendly Dress Code, Bans “Immodest” Pictures In Brochures, Tank Tops, Short Skirts After Orthodox Soldiers Complain
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Israel’s Ministry of Defense is now mandating that all companies that send representatives to IDF job fairs held for soldiers preparing to go off active duty must ensure their female representatives do not wear tank tops, short skirts or any other type of revealing clothing, and has also forbidden these employers (and vendors and universities) from bringing any published material that contains any pictures that Orthodox soldiers would consider to be “immodest,” Ha’aretz reported.
There are reportedly two large areas at the job fair site, the first devoted to post-IDF educational opportunities and the second devoted to employers offering jobs, and to HMOs and cellular telephone companies looking to sign up the about-to-be-reserve IDF soldiers.
According to Ha’aretz, the instructions sent to these companies by the IDF includes a prohibition against showing “any immodest advertisement or image.” But the IDF does not make clear what an “immodest image” is or, if there is a question about a particular image, who decides if it is immodest and what criteria to make that decision would be used.
The instructions also warn that people staffing booths at the job fair are forbidden to wear immodest or revealing clothing. “Tank tops and miniskirts are included in this definition,” the IDF’s instructions reportedly state.
The Defense Ministry also ordered employers and vendors at the job fair not to advertise or promote anything that directly or indirectly involved decommissioned soldiers going abroad. There is an “absolute prohibition on advertising in any way by companies whose businesses are connected, directly and/or indirectly, to studies and/or trips and/or work and/or living abroad,” IDF instructions sent to employers and vendors reportedly says.
Companies reportedly pay the IDF several thousand shekels each for a booth at the job fair.
The vast majority of IDF soldiers attending these job fairs are not Orthodox or haredi.
The IDF job fair for about-to-be-demobilized soldiers is held several times per year, and soldiers whose discharge date is no more than three months after the date of the job fair are allowed to attend. The fair is produced and hosted by the Israel Trade Fairs and Convention Center in Tel Aviv.
At the fairs, soldiers must attend mandatory lectures about the National Insurance Institute, the Income Tax Authority, career development, and other topics, but are given a significant amount of free time to visit the booths set up by employers, vendors and education organizations.
A spokesperson for the Israel Trade Fairs and Convention Center reportedly refused to comment on the mandatory modesty restrictions.
But the Ministry of Defense did comment.
“Following complaints filed by traditional and/or religious [i.e., Orthodox] soldiers who attended the demobilization conference, the Defense Ministry asked the companies advertising at the conferences (institutions of learning, professional training, employment and so on) to make sure to dress in a dignified manner. The reason was to allow all the soldiers about to be discharged to enjoy the benefits offered them as they begin civilian life without offending their sensibilities,” a Ministry of Defense spokesman told Ha’aretz.
The next IDF job fair is reportedly scheduled for November.