Kollel guys at the Telz Yeshiva of Lancaster, PA are facing the harsh reality that in tough economic times, sometimes you actually have to work for a living. For many years, they were able to squeak by having their wife or their father-in-law work , and they also got some help from the nice people who process Pell-grants and work-study grants. But with the very difficult economy hurting us all, some have come to the conclusion that the days of living off the hard work of others is coming to an end. Hopefully the economy will turn around, and Kollel guys will again resume the holy act of getting other people to work hard so that they can live the life of learning pilpul. But for now, they are looking for jobs.
Some modern orthodox job consultant guy came to Yeshiva Lane to run a mini seminar on Personal Branding and getting a job. It was a rehash of all the crap you see on the Internet about this. Unfortunately none of the kollel guys ever go to those sites (if you know what I mean).
After searching online job listings, monster lists, and even craigslist (now that it’s totally boring since you can’t find out where to get a rub-and-tug near the Yeshiva anymore), the consensus was that they do not qualify for much.
Listing their most relevant skills and traits, they realized they would be reasonable mashgichim, since all they could do was sit around and watch other people do work. The problem, there are too many mashgichim in the area. So what other job would take advantage of their unique, but limited skills? Customer service? No way! Kollel guys are abrasive and augmentative. Retail sales? No again! They are too indecisive to be helpful.
And then, like a bolt of Ruach Hakoidesh, it hit me! They would be perfect at being a TSA Security Officer. They have the right personality skills, and they get to pretend they are at the mikveh and check out people’s junk.
“It’s mamesh meen hashomaiym” claims Officer Zalmie Bender — one of the new Kollel TSA agents. I got this job where all I have to do is ask “do you want us to see it or feel it?” And the best part is I can usually tell if the traveler is Jewish, then I ask them if they put on tefilin today. Talk about a Kiruv opportunity!