Survey: Most Chareidim Want Secular Higher Education


chareidimOver half of chareidim in Israel would be interested in receiving advanced secular education in preparation for a profession if they could be assured of a religious, gender-segregated classroom environment, according to a survey released today. The poll was commissioned by Chakima, an institute that helps chareidim prepare for university entrance exams, ahead of a Knesset Education Committee discussion of affirmative action legislation aimed at encouraging chareidim to enroll in institutes of higher learning. The Shiluv Group, the Israeli representative of the Millward Brown research company, asked a sample of 500 chareidim if they would be interested in earning an academic degree in preparation for professions such as medicine, nursing, economics and law.

While 53 percent said they would be interested, 63% of female respondents said they would, while only 41% of males were interested.

Chassidim were more open to secular learning, with 59% answering in the affirmative, while only 42% of the Litvishe respondents said yes.

No differences were found between older and younger chareidim or between married and singles.

According to Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry data, 49.1% of haredi women of working age participate in the labor market, higher than the 37.4% rate for chareidi men aged 20 to 64, but lower than secular women’s at 70%, and secular men’s at 79.9%.

In the years 2002-2007, the average size of the chareidi population was 637,000, 8.8% of the total population. There were 233,000 chareidim aged 20 to 64, including 118,000 men. Some 12.4% of chareidim had at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 37.2% of the secular and traditional population. In addition, 19.9% of chareidim served in the army, compared with 72.2% of the secular and traditional population.

The average monthly salary of chareidi women was NIS 3,690, 40% lower than that of chareidi men (NIS 6,123). The average salary of secular women was NIS 5,698, 36% lower than that of secular men (NIS 8,955). Haredi women earned 35% less than secular women, while chareidi men earned 30% less than secular men.

“A lot of the tension and polarity in our society is a direct result of the fact that the chareidi population does not integrate into the labor force,” said Shay Cohen, CEO of Chakima.

“There is no doubt that as soon as they start to join the workforce, with all the implications of such as move, barriers that separate between people will fall.”

{JPost/Yair Israel}


  1. “There is no doubt that as soon as they start to join the workforce, with all the implications of such as move, barriers that separate between people will fall.”

    — yeah, just like all the barriers between the american yeshiva world and the tumah-world of the goyim fell when touro opened – this academic can keep dreaming. There is an iron wall between charedim and the seculars on an ideological and sociological level – not, chas veshalom, hatred from charedim, but a clear separation from the filth of secular israeli culture. The fact that these people are tinokus shenishbu makes no difference vis a vis the spiritual contamination that a yid suffers from such culture – it is not a personal thing, just protecting the neshoma from klipos.