Microsoft buys haredi-founded tech firm

Julie Wiener

NEW YORK (JTA) — Microsoft has purchased a software company created and run by a Hasidic Jewish man from the Satmar village of Kiryas Joel in New York.

The purchase price of FieldOne, a New Jersey-based company’s whose software helps companies manage employees when they are out on assignment, has not been disclosed. However, Geektime, a site that covers tech and start-up news, described the deal as “one of the largest exits for a Hassidic, or Haredi, company.”

Shloma Baum, the company’s founder, president and chief technology officer, is a Satmar Hasid who taught himself several computer languages. He is “part of a growing movement of haredi startup entrepreneurs in both Israel and the diaspora,” according to GeekTime.

Baum also created a filter for Orthodox Internet users that blocks sexual websites and other sites deemed inappropriate.

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“I am personally excited about what the potential for this transaction with Microsoft could mean for the tens of thousands of people in Israel who identify with this religious background and who live in a cycle of poverty with little means to extract themselves from it given their lack of education,” Ilan Slasky, FieldOne’s CEO, told GeekTime.

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