Amid Crisis, Teva Gets a New Sefer Torah

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Despite the labor crisis at the company, a hachnasas sefer Torah was held at the Kfar Sava plant of Teva. The event was attended by Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi Harav David Lau, as well as the widow and children of Teva founder Eli Hurvitz, z”l, who passed away in 2012.

The sefer was donated by the Ayelet Hashachar organization, which exists to ensure that all factories where Jews daven three times a day have their own sefer Torah.

Speaking at the event, Harav Lau spoke of the crisis facing Teva workers. “It is not the way of Torah to ignore the dedication of workers throughout the years. I believe that in the days of Eli Hurvitz, he would not have allowed this to happen,” Harav Lau said, adding that he was impressed with the enthusiasm of the crowd at the event. “It does not necessarily go without saying that this would be a joyous occasion because of these troubled times.”

Harav Shlomo Raanan, chairman of Ayelet Hashachar, said that being able to provide a sefer Torah at a factory where thousands of Jews worked was a great privilege. He said that the organization’s one condition for donating a sefer was that davening take place in a respectable area of the facility, and not, for example, in a bomb shelter. Teva management at the Kfar Sava plant had already dedicated a large room for services.

While Teva management announced last week that it was cutting 1,700 jobs in Israel, that edict does not apply across the board; according to Yediot Acharonot, the Kfar Sava facility was actually hiring, According to the report, as many as 100 workers were needed, to join the 1,400 that work their already. Eliran Kozlik, who heads Teva’s Kfar Sava branch, said that the jobs had first been offered internally to other Teva employees, but when there was no response, they were advertised for the public.

However, Teva’s national management said that “the ads are old ones and as soon as the layoffs were announced they were removed. Right now we are not hiring.”