Israel – Percent of Non Working Charedi Men Tripled

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    Israel – The percentage of ultra-Orthodox men not working has more than tripled over the past 30 years. In 2008, 65% of Haredi men did not work, compared to only 21% in 1979, reveals the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel in its annual report.

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    Professor Dan Ben-David, the Taub Center’s executive director, said the state’s increased allowances and funding for groups including the ultra-Orthodox have enabled them to choose workforce nonparticipation as a lifestyle.

    “At the same time, years of neglect of the human infrastructure, in particular in education, and the physical infrastructure, in particular transportation, prevent many people from [acquiring] the tools to manage in a modern, competitive economy,” wrote Ben-David in the center’s “State of the Nation Report – Society, Economy and Policy 2009.”

    Three decades ago, the percentage of Jewish males in Israel who did not work was similar to that in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries: 8.7% in Israel, compared to 8.2% in the OECD, the report states. Since then, the OECD numbers have risen by 50%, but in Israel the numbers almost doubled for Jewish males, and in 2008 were 25% higher than for OECD nations.

    A partial explanation lies in the Israeli educational system. The number of elementary students in state religious schools is increasing, by 8% over the past decade, while those in nonreligious schools has shrunk by 3% since 2000.

    But the big changes have come elsewhere: The number of elementary school pupils in the Arab education system has risen 33% in the same period, and in ultra-Orthodox schools the increase was 51%. As of 2008, because of these demographic changes, 48% of all elementary school children were either Arab or Haredi.

    “In order for these elementary schoolers to be integrated into the labor market, they must receive an education appropriate to the needs of a modern economy,” said Ben-David. “But the situation in Israel is such that the level of elementary education in basic subjects is lower than in the West, and among these two groups it is much lower.”

    Due to the continuous growth in poverty and income inequality since the 1970s, National Insurance Institute allowances were increased over the years to help alleviate the drop in net income levels, states the report. But despite the sharp cuts at the beginning of this decade, the average per capita allowances in real terms are still five times what they were in 1970 – while the standard of living, as reflected in per capita GDP, only doubled over that period.

    Ben-David said it is hard to see how such a gap could continue to exist in the future.

    However, such demographic changes also have huge potential, said Ben-David, compared to the trends in developed nations. Israel has a very young population – but the educational system must be changed to prevent the increasing growth in poverty and income inequality. But Israel does have the knowledge necessary to make such changes and raise the standard of living to the levels in the West, he said, if only Israel were wise enough to provide the best education in the West.

    Not using their rights

    In other news of unemployment, the Employment Service reports little exploitation by the jobless of its relaxed rules regarding eligibility for benefits.

    During the first half year of 2009, as the global economic crisis reached its peak, about 15,000 Israelis were losing their jobs each month. The trend turned in August 2009. Employment Service figures show that on average, 73,000 people claimed benefits each month, but it also found that most stopped claiming benefits before their eligibility expired, because they had found new jobs.

    The maximal term for unemployment benefits is presently 175 days.


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    62 Comments
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    a reader
    a reader
    13 years ago

    what a busha. does anyone really beleive that in europe (or in the days of the tana’im/amoraim/rishonim) that the majority of the able-bodied men in klal yisroel did not work/provide for their families??
    i wonder how many of these 65% actually read the words written in their k’subah (where the man obligates himself to provide financially/materially for his wife).

    seesrightthrough
    seesrightthrough
    13 years ago

    this story is a planted one that came from the Democrats. of course it isn’t true, it paints chareidim in a negative light, it must be anti-semitic. thats what we get for voting for obama.

    Tevye
    Tevye
    13 years ago

    As Shemayah said in Perkei Avos: Love work.

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    13 years ago

    If the taxes for someone who owns a business wouldn’t be suffocating from taxes, you’d find a lot more people willing to work. Whether a person cheats on taxes or not, if he is percieved to have, he is guilty. Their calculation of the money owed to them is also based on not reality, but again their perception. people normal drive to be self-sufficient is blown to pieces.

    Liberalism Is A Disease!!!
    Liberalism Is A Disease!!!
    13 years ago

    I am having a big problem believing this stat. I am sure it is cooked just a tad.

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    13 years ago

    Almos all of them have jobs. They are not alowed to own a bussiness due they don’t serve in miltary so they all have to work off the books

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    13 years ago

    This cannot be true. No society in history has survived with as large a percentage of their male population making ZERO contribution to society and leaning on others for their livlihood and survival. Lets avoid using dergogatory language and focus on how to save this and coming generations of chareidi men from the hopelessness of their lives and make become something positive.

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    13 years ago

    No. 3. I agree with you . the numbers are cooked a tad . it is not 65% . It is more like 64% .

    A E ANDERSON
    A E ANDERSON
    13 years ago

    Who pays for this Haredi welfare state?

    chief doofis
    chief doofis
    13 years ago

    I find this hard to believe. Perhaps many members of this group start working at a later age. It’s almost impossible to believe that most will not EVENTUALLY enter the work force. Since there are so many relatively younger members, the percentages are skewed. I wish there were statistics showing how many thirty year olds, thirty five year olds, etc.
    While I’m not Charedi, and I don’t fully approve of the educational and vocational systems inherent in their society, this article seems to be deliberately misleading people to despise them, rather than to politely disagree with them

    chasid
    chasid
    13 years ago

    Money is always right. The State should not fund them, and obligate some form of military or public service on the. (Like visiting the sick etc.)
    I believe only with economic force you can drive some sechel into these lost and wasted lives. I can only feel the pain and cry for all the abused wives and children paying the price of irresponsible leadership(leadership?!).
    May we see Moshiach immediately and may the King show us the proper way!
    But in the meantime, go work for your money.

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    13 years ago

    Its the problem of the state the charedi people don’t work b/c in order to get a job without paying waping taxes you have to have passed the army which is in no way suitable for any frum boy the opposite is reality (regardles of what we think about the legitimacy of the state al pi torah)so the majoraty will opt to learn with some side jobs under the table rather than jeprodise their yiddishkeit.

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    13 years ago

    As someone who lived in Israel for a couple of years, I have seen it first hand.
    Since they don’t go to the army, almost everyone has to work off the books, so the record will always show that most people aren’t working

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    13 years ago

    since there are more younger people in Israel especially by the chareidi community. And since almost all of them stay in yeshiva untill they’re in their low twenties. the precentage of unworking ‘adults’ will always be rising
    I would like to know if the PRECENTAGE of 30 year olds not working is also rising

    rdj
    rdj
    13 years ago

    And the NON Chareidi men are doing what exactly? Selling sunflower seeds?

    Oh maybe Obama could look at Israel for some Job Creation ideas
    We can have here in America a million people selling seeds

    ???????
    ???????
    13 years ago

    If it’s true, it’s disgusting!
    I strongly believe, however, that it’s very misconscrued.
    A few reasons why are
    Charedim start working at an older age (normaly over 25 y.o.). Being that their population more than doubles every 20 years the under 25 age group are the majoraty.
    They don’t go to the army and therefore cannot work on the books.

    moshe
    moshe
    13 years ago

    I am sure that the majority of that 65% including their wives and family are living a very happy and fulfilling life and dont want to change it so what are you gonna say ? their living off the govt? In America and Canada you get almost triple the ammount for child benefits.
    Its important to remember the fact that most Israeli men cant go into the work force because they havent served in the army. I think if the wanted to change these numbers all they have to do is allow them to go out and get jobs.

    Israeli
    Israeli
    13 years ago

    Ha’aretz, here we go again. #16 makes a good point.
    You can find similar distorted figures in the Der Sturmer archives (yes, I’ve checked it. I can read German, even Gothic script).

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    13 years ago

    I am a volunteer for a charadi organisation helping people who are in the poverty trap. Many people do work off the books, but earn far less than on the book jobs, most have no career or education so that they cannot get decent jobs paying enough to support their families. I learned in various so called “good kollelim” for 12 years, even one where the Rosh kollel is world reknown and yet 85% of the Avreichim shouldn’t be there. Yet this is the life thatthey know and it is very difficult to get out of with no education or training. But who at 25 and upwards with a few kids wants to learn a career. The system is changing. It is though unfortunate that so many people comment with out really knowing what’s going on.

    clear in the rambam
    clear in the rambam
    13 years ago

    Rambam, Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:10

    Anyone who decides to be engaged in Torah study and not to work, and will be supported by Tzedaka – this person Chillel es Hashem, degrades the Torah, extinguishes the light of our faith, brings evil upon himself and forfeits life in Olam haBo; since it is forbidden to derive benefit from the words of Torah in this world. The Rabbis said in Pirkei Avos 4:5: Anyone who derives benefit from the words of Torah in this world, forfeits his life in Olam haBo. They further commanded and said: Do not make the words of Torah a crown to magnify yourself or an axe with which to chop. They further commanded, saying: Avos 1:10 Love work and despise positions of power (Rabbonus). And: Avos 2:2 Any Torah which is not accompanied by work will eventually be nullified and will lead to sin. Ultimately, such a person will steal from others.

    SOmebody here wants to argue with the Rambam, maybe?

    chief doofis
    chief doofis
    13 years ago

    I attended Yeshiva until I was in my mid 20’s. About 3:30 every afternoon, we ran home, grabbed a bite, and went to night college. Quite often, we made it back home by 9:00 and were back in the Bet Hamedrash for Ma’ariv and another hour of learning.
    It took us a little longer than the usual four years to graduate, but we eventually had legitimate degrees, and sacrificed little of our Torah education. Many of my friends are still in Chinuch, or are constantly giving shiurim. laining or davening for the amud..
    There is no need to be completely estranged from society in order to be 100% frum.

    This system existed thirty years ago. Let’s bring it back.

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    13 years ago

    I don’t understand how so many religious people think it’s okay to work off the books. Fine, disagree with the government and complain about taxes all you want, but not paying taxes is stealing and last time I checked that was a pretty major problem in Judaism–why would anyone want to risk such a big aveira?

    jimmy37
    jimmy37
    13 years ago

    Maybe it’s time to stop contributing to these charities that simply enforce this self-imposed poverty.

    David
    David
    13 years ago

    A much higher percentage of charedim must work. It is unfair to the rest of society, but just as importantly to the charedim themselves. I have seen it first hand how my charedi cousins struggle (50 degress in their house in safat in the winter).

    Dr. E
    Dr. E
    13 years ago

    With stats like this, no wonder that Kupat Hair and the likes are big business. The Chareidim have dug themselves into their own hole.

    (1) They won’t participate in the Army, which is the entre point for skills acquisition, an education, and working legally. They blame this on the Army not being a kosher place, but that is really just an excuse for not wanting to participate in any State-sponsored endeavor (as the Nachal Chareidi has not exactly taken off)

    (2) They have dug their heels into the Torah-only approach and set out such a path for anyone in their camp to be “matzliach” in life to follow. This precludes education, skill acquisition and it is a zero-sum game. The percentage of people doing this is not only unrealistic for a functional society, but is unprecedented in Jewish History. The numbers of those learning full-time in previous generations was more like 10% than 90%. For those who cry that we still “have to rebuild after Churban Europe”, I say “get over it; it’s 2010”.

    Until the Chareidi velt admits that they have a problem, its leadership has been nonexistent, the popular Tzedaka appeals to subsidize this will continue.

    Hashem yirachem.

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    13 years ago

    Hey guys – all of you above bashing Charedim:

    I’m Orthodox, Chareidi and Chassidish – I worked for 37 years and was fired – possible discrimination. I can’t find a decent professional job because I’m Othodox, Chareidi and Chasidish. So we do want to work but can’t find enough employers willing to hire.

    Hashem Yeracheim al Am Yisroel.

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    13 years ago

    We are “chareidi” Americans in Israel. My husband works in a serious career, in a world-reknown firm here and we send our kids to “chareidi” schools. Our hope is that our kids will work/ marry working guys. You can’t necessarily change those around you but you can try and direct your kids’ future. I think parents should make their effort to teach their child (especially SONS) a trade, even one that doesn’t require a degree, which in Israel isn’t always the biggest money maker anyway. Manual labor jobs (electrician, plumber etc) can sometimes make a lot of money here as a business. Just equip them with the ability to make money, that is your obligation. The girls should be educated but not pressured to be the money makers, but that is a whole different discussion.

    sam
    sam
    13 years ago

    “Percent of Non Working Charedi Men Tripled”
    Interesting, if you took the title of this article and cut the word Charedi out, you probably would have filled in the blank differently. That being said, it is a true Bizayon. I can’t even count how many hebrew speaking individuals come to my home or shul saying that they need help to provide. No mention of a lost job, sickness etc. Just that they dont have money to provide for their every growing families. If you ask them about their business you get a blank stare. This is NOT what any of our previous generations of Gedolim had in mind.
    Very unfortunate.

    Baal Melocho
    Baal Melocho
    13 years ago

    This is a very sad state of affairs. What is even sadder is that a large proportion of that 65% don’t desreve to learn. A small percentage indeed are worthy of toirosom umnosom but most of them aren’t. They show up late to kollel, drink coffee all day do all the shopping and want us to give them the title of “Bnei Torah”. The schools put pressure on them never to leave the “kolel club”. It is ridiculous.

    slick
    slick
    13 years ago

    I wonder if this includes people working off the books

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    13 years ago

    No. 23. Why dont you read The posting of No . 26 . and come up with something .If you can’t say so .

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    13 years ago

    No. 23.”learning Torah full time is a public service ” .You mean Yomum v’layla .

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    13 years ago

    The bias generated by this Leftist article is obvious.

    Chareidim can’t get jobs now because they would be forced to go to the Army which would compromise much of their moral principles. There is very little accommodation of the Orthodox lifestyle in the Army.

    The result of this is that they are forced out of the job market and must seek other means of support. The chilonim should provide other means for Government service which don’t conflict with the practice of Judaism.

    Kollel for Life
    Kollel for Life
    13 years ago

    Since when is learning considered not working? I work very hard at my learning – have you not heard of amelim b’torah? I am employed by Hakodosh Boruch Hu!!

    Eretz Yisroel and indeed the entire world, exists only in zchus of my torah and those who study l’shem shamayim. If you work, have parnassa, health and good fortune – it comes because of my learning.Therefore, it is a zchus for “zevulun” to support yissochor.

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    13 years ago

    To Dr. E. (49), from 42,
    We’re not the only ones like as, as the parent body at our school has many working parents too. According to the stats above, 35% are working…. we’re just helping expand those numbers, and we chose to live in an area that has a greater concentration of working class (read Ramat Beit Shemesh as opposed to Jerusalem).

    Eliyahoo William Dwek
    Eliyahoo William Dwek
    13 years ago

    Any man who chooses to be a ‘rabbi’ (‘true teacher’ of Torah) or a ‘dayan’ (‘judge’), or a ‘mekubal’ (‘kabbalist’) should be doing so Voluntarily. Out of his pure love for Hashem and the Torah. And his Ahavat Yisrael.

    If he refuses to do community work voluntarily, and wants and accepts payment for everything he does, such a man should not be heading a community. He should get a job and earn a living. He can collect milk bottles or clean the windows. That is what is called ‘earning a living’.

    Torah is learned, studied and taught: out of Love. Voluntarily. But the ‘rabbis’ have turned the Torah into their ‘Profession’, from which they earn money.

    We are commanded in the Shema to:
    ‘LOVE Hashem, your G-d, WITH ALL YOUR HEART, and with all your soul and with all your might.’

    ‘VE’AHAVTA et Hashem Elokecha BECHOL LEVAVECHA uvechol nafshecha uvechol meodecha.’ (Devarim, Vaethanan, 6:4-5)

    Is the ordinary man or woman PAID to pray to Hashem, or to say some words of Torah? No. Has veshalom! But the rabbis are. These men can give ‘lovely’ shiurim that they have rehearsed. But they would not give a shiur without being paid for it.

    The true hachamim and rabbis of old, all actually worked at proper jobs and professions.
    Wake up! Even a little child could have worked this out. These salaried men can never truly stand for the Torah, because in a case of conflict between a correct course of action according to the Torah, and the rabbi or rav’s pocket – his pocket and position will always prevail.
    Pirkei Avot: (2:2)
    “Raban Gamliel beno shel Rabi Yehuda HaNassi omer: yafeh talmud Torah im derech eretz, sheyegiat shenaihem mashkachat avon. Vechol Torah she’ein imah melacha sofa betailah ve’goreret avon. Vechol haoskim im hatzibbur yiheyu imahem leShem Shamayim……”
    “Rabban Gamliel, the son of Rabi Yehuda HaNassi, said: It is good to combine Torah study with a worldly occupation, for working at them both drives sin from the mind. All Torah without an occupation will in the end fail and lead to sin. And let all who work for the community do so for the sake of Heaven………”