Rochel is a participant in Movilot, a yearlong training program for ultraorthodox women in Israel who want to advance their careers and develop professionally. UJA-Federation has funded Movilot since the program first began several years ago.

Rochel has a master’s degree in occupational therapy, and should be poised to make a good living.

Except Rochel is also a Haredi woman, living in Israel, where women like her can earn as much as 39% less than other Israeli women.

UJA is working to counter that reality with Movilot, a yearlong training program for ultraorthodox women who want to advance their careers and develop professionally.

Movilot, Hebrew for “leading,” provides industry leaders to speak about key insights into the workforce. A pivotal part of the program matches each woman with a business leader or executive in a professional field who serves as a volunteer mentor.

For Rochel, one of 30 Haredi women who participated in Movilot this past year, the program is also about women helping women.

“My mentor gave her heart and soul to me,” Rochel says. “My mentor is not religious and we bridge the gap between communities. It’s women helping women cross-culturally. Movilot gave me confidence and helped me make new connections.”

Rochel is a development and educational consultant, and is currently writing a curriculum for teachers. Movilot has motivated her to explore a career path beyond clinical work to an administrator role.

Her Movilot connections didn’t end when Rochel graduated from the program.

“There are meetings and social media groups with all the women who’ve gone through the program,” she says. “They all have a basic understanding of what’s needed in a professional environment and how to make changes. I posted a question recently about a project I’m working on, and 10 women called me to respond.”

As the program continues, there will be more graduates each year — and that grows the women’s circle of influence to get better jobs.

“There are a lot of Haredi women who want to do this,” Rochel says, with profound gratitude for being part of Movilot.