Israeli Chareidi Sector Faces Shortage of Over 30,000 Apartments


apartments“The dire shortage of professional workers in the construction industry will lead to a dramatic drop in buildings starts in the chareidi sector in the near future,” warned Eldad Nitzan, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce’s Union of Professional Construction Personnel Companies. Despite the acute apartment shortage, he says, human resources companies are unable to meet the demand for professional workers due to lower quotas for professional foreign workers in the construction industry.

According to Housing Ministry estimates, of the 100,000 apartments lacking in the market – due to the gap formed over the past decade between the rate of housing starts and the completion of new housing units annually – some 30,000 were apartments that should have been built for the chareidi sector, but never got off the ground.

In recent years, of the 40,000 new households created in an average year, an estimated 15-20 percent are chareidi households, which means about 7,000 new housing units should be built annually for new chareidi households – without regard to the housing shortage that has accumulated over the past decade.

Nitzan says in order to cover the cumulative surplus demand, 10,000 housing units would have to go up every year just to meet the needs of the chareidi sector. “In practice,” he notes, “construction in the chareidi sector is less than half that amount.”

{M. Green-Shema Yisrael/}


  1. A neat solution:

    Train chareidi men in the construction trades. The jobs require apprenticeships, not college. Mastery of English isn’t required. In most cases the workplaces don’t have women around. The pay is good. Shabbos off shouldn’t be a problem.

    In Europe Jewish men worked in all sorts of trades. Here in the States we have Chareidi/Chassidish plumbers, electricians, carpenters, car mechanics, etc. In many cases the jobs pay better than lower level white collar work. It might even be possible to arrange to work part-time and learn part time.

    An honest living is an honest living, if there are no halachic restrictions. And I don’t recollect that there’s anything in the Shulchan Aruch forbidding manual labor except for a Talmid Chacham, and how many really meet the true requirements for that?

  2. #3 – There are efforts going on to make army duty/national service feasible for chareidim. Assuming, of course, that chareidi leaders want to work with the State. By now the government realizes that the chareidi poverty problem isn’t going to go away, just keep growing and growing until it must be solved or threaten the existence of the Medinah.

    But the leaders have to want to play ball, not just tell their followers they must stone-wall attempts to integrate them economically.

    Girls in Zahal – that’s another story. There are reasons it’s forbidden.

  3. Hi, Im a civil engineering and construction management student from England, studying at thhe University of Leeds. Im looking to work in my profession and make Aliyah soon. The problem is I dont have many contacts to help me get started in Israel. Any suggestions of companies, consultants or contractors in my field who can are look to take on recent graduated like myself…… Any ideas are welcome, please email me-


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