Haredi InvasionCan Israel survive itsbiggest challenge yet?
Jewish Religiosity Spectrum in Israel Hiloni Masorati Dati Le’umi Haredi Secular Traditional Modern Orthodox Ultra-Orthodox less religious more religiousReligiosity in this context is simply defined as the average proportion of time devoted to religious-specific activities
Jewish Religiosity in Israel SephardimHiloni Masorati Dati Le’umi HarediSecular Traditional Modern Orthodox Ultra-OrthodoxAshkenazim Ashkenazim
Haredi Data• Reliable data on Haredi trends are difficult to obtain: • Due to its inherent loose definition (floating signifier) • Lack of participation in surveys • 50% refusal rate (CBS study) • Moreover, data is biased towards more moderate haredim • For example, 35% of Haredi men completed military service• This leads to an overreliance on anecdotes and poor categorisation of datasets. "The plural of anecdote is not data." (R. Brinner)
Haredi DataHiloni Masorati Dati Le’umi HarediSecular Traditional Modern Orthodox Ultra-Orthodox Haredi anecdotes
Haredi Data Haredi data categorisationHiloni Masorati Dati Le’umi HarediSecular Traditional Modern Orthodox Ultra-Orthodox
Key Economic & Social Issues• Low participation in workforce (particularly for men)• Lack of marketable education• High birth rate (7-9 per woman)• In Haredi cities, more than half are under the age of 15• Large informal economic activity• Exemption from military service• Welfare dependencyAs the proportion of Haredim grow, can Israel remain a moderndeveloped economy under these conditions?
Difference in Growth Rates between Arabs and Jews2.50%2.00%1.50%1.00%0.50%0.00% 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016-0.50%
Comparison with Haredim outside of Israel• A common misperception is that Haredim in other countries are far better integrated.• Some key characteristics are, however, very similar: • Welfare dependency • High birth rate • Lack of marketable education • Informal economy
Haredi leadership• The survival of the Haredi society is fundamentally dependant on its socioeconomic characteristics.• Financial dependence on the internal system acts as a mechanism to prevent Haredim from defecting.• Consequently, social punishments are very powerful.• Lack of formal education, early marriage and high birth- rate acts as lock-in mechanisms.• The leadership are, therefore, resistant to any change - as it is effectively a negotiation on the death of haredism
Summary & Policy Perspectives• Acknowledging the fundamental threats to Haredi survival, and that these cannot be separated its economics characteristics.• Welfare reform may also impact Haredi behaviour in different way.• Should government support be available to those who leave the Haredi community?