NEW YORK (JTA) — A New Jersey telecommunications firm will launch a cybersecurity yeshiva at its Newark headquarters to teach computer science alongside the Torah.
The IDT Corp. said it will open the yeshiva for some 40 students in September. Its founder and chairman, Howard Jonas, plans to donate $500,000 to the program as well as human resources, payroll and secretarial staff.
According to the The Wall Street Journal, the yeshiva will help train future cybersecurity professionals for an industry with an abundance of vacancies.
Jonas, who funds a variety of Orthodox causes, has estimated in the past that 25 percent to 40 percent of IDT employees are Orthodox Jews.
Golan Ben-Oni, the chief security officer at IDT, which generated over $1.6 billion in revenue in 2013, said the program is an especially strong match for newly married Orthodox men who come out of years of Bible study without concrete job prospects.
“There are a lot of people who don’t know what to do with themselves – they’re the perfect candidates,” Ben-Oni told The Wall Street Journal.
Ben-Oni started an IDT yeshiva program around 2000 that fizzled a few years later.