A new Ynet and Gesher Center survey reveals most of the secular population would not want to buy an apartment located in a building populated by charedi majority. In another expression of alienation towards the sector, the poll found that two-thirds of the general public have never visited an charedi home.
Panels Research Center conducted the survey among 506 interviewees – a representative sample of the elder Jewish population living Jewish communities in Israel, not including the charedi sector.
This survey was taken in preparation for a Gesher Conference on Religious and Secular Jews called “Divided Country”, which was held last week in Yerushalayim. Also expected to participate in the debate are Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Atias (Shas) and former Knesset Member Yosef Paritzky (Shinui).
The first question asked in the survey was: “Would you purchase an apartment located in a building populated by a majority of ultra-Orthodox families?” Forty-five percent said “definitely not”, 32% replied “probably not”, 17% answered they would do it only if there are enough secular or religious nationalists living in the neighborhood, and 6% responded “definitely yes.”
The survey also found that a majority of the secular and traditional public would not be willing to purchase an apartment in such a building (87% and 63% respectively answered “definitely not” or “I think not”), but the religious public was divided (51% support the purchase and 49% are against it).
Sixty-seven percent responded negatively to the question: “Have you had the opportunity to visit a charedi house of a friend or acquaintance?”. Half of the survey participants admitted to not personally knowing an ultra-Orthodox person, and 33% answered positively.
After analyzing the results, it was discovered that secular (78%) and traditional (56%) Jews have not visited an ultra-Orthodox house during the past year, but religious Jews have (72%).
The last part of the survey asked the participants, “Assuming that you are a business owner of some sort, and an ultra-Orthodox man, a yeshiva student for the past decade, applies for a job. How would you behave if this man was found qualified for the position?”
The results: Fifty-seven percent would hire the applicant only after making sure he would not have trouble fitting in at a non-charedi work place as far as keeping kosher, modesty and similar issues are concerned. Thirty-five percent would hire him either way, and 8% would not hire him “out of fear it would harm the social texture” or for other reasons.
It was also revealed that 60% of seculars and 52% of traditional Jews stipulate the acceptance of the man to a comfortable acclimation, whereas the religious public (51%) will accept any ultra-Orthodox applicant found suitable for the job.
Director of the Jerusalem Gesher Center Ilan Gal-Dor said of the findings, “This survey raises an important point regarding Israeli society – people don’t want to live near ultra-Orthodox Jews and don’t want to hire them. We, in Gesher, ask how can we deal with this? When does the general public shake of the ultra-Othodox sector?”
“We feel obligated to actively work towards breaking the barriers between these populations. Today everyone realized how important this issue is, from a social stance and especially an economical stance.”