As part of Kivun’s “Developing a Future” hackathon, in which some 70 Haredi computer science students took part, systems to help businesses that were hurt by the war were developed. The winning development was is an AI-based system that helps farmers who need working hands.
About 70 Haredi programmers from various educational institutions in Jerusalem participated in the “Developing a Future” hackathon held at Kivun-Tech, the high-tech branch of the Kivun Center, designed to help businesses in times of crisis – the largest employment guidance center for Haredim. For over 12 hours, the participants worked on developing systems to help businesses from Gaza border communities, the south and other regions of the country struggling with business challenges as a result of the Swords of Iron War.
They received support from 20 mentors from Google, Amazon, Salesforce, Ness, 3Base, Israel aerospace Industries and other leading companies in industry. The judges were professionals from Dell, Elisra, Eubitech, Glilot, IpOp, Tevel Metro and Matrix.
The students developed, for example, a system that helps companies whose employees were called up into the reserves that need substitute workers; the system connects employers with people looking for temporary jobs in a wide range of fields. Another development focused on finding a solution for professionals in the field of therapy that will be a leading center for the people who suffered emotional damage as a result of the war. Other developments included solutions for dealing with stock left over as a result of the war, an artificial intelligence-based bot for businesses to help realize rights, and a system to promote the businesses of reservists and businesses that were negatively impacted by the war.
The development selected by the team of judges is “Farming of Iron” – a system that integrates AI, navigation software and other technologies to connect farmers who were impacted by the war due to lack of manpower with volunteers from throughout the country who are ready to help them. The winning team will receive a financial grant to continue developing the system and will be accompanied by a group of students who will assist in the development process.
The hackathon was initiated by the high-tech department of the Kivun Center in Jerusalem operating on behalf of the Municipal Employment Authority and the Ministry of Labor. The students took “mutual responsibility” to a practical stage and developed real solutions by thinking creatively and outside-the-box,” says Tzachi Ovadia, director of Kivun-Tech, adding “The students demonstrated curiosity and motivation to grapple very professionally with technological challenges and to develop excellent products that will help businesses in distress”.
Attorney Avraham Yustman, Deputy CEO of the KEMACH Foundation, which operates the Kivun Center: “We decided to prioritize helping businesses that were impacted by the war, in order to contribute our part to strengthening the economy specifically at this time. The students participating in the hackathon, who will soon be integrated into the high-tech industry workforce, internalized the importance of every business and company that continues to work and support many families, and mobilized to help. The integration of more Haredi programmers in the high-tech industry is a national mission that will allow many more Haredi families to earn a quality living with dignity and will help the high-tech industry deal with its manpower crisis.”
“The Ministry of Labor stresses the integration of diverse populations in quality jobs in all branches of the economy, said director-general of the Ministry of Labor, Israel Ouzan who visited during the hackathon. “The representation of the Haredi public in the high-
tech industry is still very low, and we are working with a variety of tools to promote the training and integration of Haredi into high-tech. The successful hackathon, which embodies the spirit of volunteerism and mutual responsibility to help the residents of the south and businesses impacted by the war, is one of the activities of the Ministry of Labor that enable Haredi youth to gain experience in development. In the coming year also, we will continue to support and lead initiatives and programs to promote the integration of Haredi in the high-tech industry.”