Thursday, March 10, 2005

Changes / trends in Haredi society in Israel

Posted by Shmuel Himelstein on Mail-jewish Vol 47 #21:
Yediot Acharonot of 8 March carried two items of interest in the Jewish realm:
  • R' Vozner, one of the leading Poskim in Bnei Brak, ruled that if anyone sells caps or fireworks, one is permitted to report him to the police because of the dangers of these products.
  • A seminar was held on Charedim in Israel, and the findings are veryinteresting, including the following:
a. There are no fewer than 40 Charedi papers in the country
b. At least 12 health clubs for Charedi women were opened in the last year
c. 36% of Charedi families went on vacation in the last year
d. 82% of the families have at least one cellular phone, but unlike the other groups, these phones are not given to young people.
e. Between 20-25% of all food sold now has a Mehadrin Hechsher. One of the reasons for this is that non-religious people often buy at Charedi supermarkets, which are cheaper. Further, of the National Religious stream, 45% can be classified as "Chardal," or "Chareidi Dati Leumi,"whose food buying patterns are like those of the Charedim.
f. The percentage of men in the "Litvak" stream learning full time hasgone down from 60% a few years ago to 30% today.
g. In the next ten years they expect a massive entry of Charedim intothe job market, including jobs which require academic degrees.
h. 55% of families have a home computer
My (PJS) instant gotta-get-out-to-work analysis of this is that the gap between the 'public' and the 'real' character of Haredi society is widening. The public demonstrations of a) control (Slifkin etc) and b) conformity (?? Siyyum Ha Shass) are the louder precisely because the reality is drifting in the opposite direction...

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