An article today in The Jerusalem Post revealed that 40 new Israeli women paralegals worked long hours on an $8 billion U.S. real estate deal. The training sponsored by the Development Center for the Employment of Haredim, (an Orthodox sect of Judiasm that bypasses modern secular beliefs), a branch of the ministry, and the Joint-Israel, is a result of an increased effort by the Israeli government to help secure a more stable financial reality for the country’s haredi citizens, many of whom never before held down a steady job.
One company, Citybook Services, Ltd., set up more than four years ago in Modi’in Illit by New Jersey businessman Joe Rosenbaum, has grown from its initial team of eight people into a company that now employs approximately 200 haredi employees, the vast majority of whom are English-speaking women, in Modi’in Illit, Beitar Illit and Jerusalem.
There is four month paralegal training program, after which the newly trained professionals are equipped to either handle the back-office work for Rosenbaum’s lease abstraction branch, LeaseProbe LLC, or its title insurance office, Madison Title Agency, LLC.
Recently, Madison Title Agency and its team of more than 40 Citybook paralegals prepared title policies for one of the largest non-casino hotel deals in US history, an $8 billion real estate transaction involving the Extended Stay hotel chain. The transaction, involving some 700 properties in 44 states, presented numerous challenges in terms of the number of properties involved, the geographic scope, the tight deadlines as well as the need to maintain the company’s other businesses.
Citybook, originally established mainly for philanthropic purposes to strengthen the poor economic situation in Modi’in Illit as a company that handled the back-office work of Rosenbaum’s Madison Commercial Real Estate Services in the States, has now grown into a successful and internationally recognized company that performs numerous high-end outsourcing services for a number of US-based businesses.
The paralegals worked 12-14 hours a day on the assignment finishing before the due date. Similarities to U.S. paralegals are eerie: Four month program; work long hours on document intensive assignment; and all are women. In a recent survey conducted by Estrin LegalEd for in-house paralegals, the respondents were 93% female.
Besides India, are paralegal jobs also going to Israel? Anyone seeing a new trend?