The number of talmidei yeshivos and avreichim in Israel has increased by 8% in 2015, now reportedly holding at 108,390. The increase follows a decline in the number from 2012 – 2014.
According to the Haaretz report, the current number, 108,390, is almost equal to the number preceding the 2012 – 2014 decline. Haaretz has taken the numbers from the Jerusalem Institute for Israel and the Israel Democracy Institute, which quote the 108,390 figure, adding of that number, 67% are avreichim and the remainder talmidei yeshivos.
In 2012, the state cut funding for talmidei yeshivos and avreichim that did not serve in the IDF by 50%. Even more significant is the fact that there were fewer talmidim arriving from abroad who were learning in chareidi yeshivos in Israel, representing 89% of the cut as the government cut almost all funding for these talmidim.
The current government reports it has increased funding for yeshivos from NIS 564 million in 2014 to NIS 984 million at the start of 2016. That number reached an all-time high in June, NIS 1.1 billion not including supplementary monthly payments for avreichim.
According to the haaretz analysis, the increase in avreichim joins other data this year indicating the strengthening of the frum community and its clinging to the trends of old – led by demographics:
· Chareidim number over 900,000 people, representing over 11% of the state’s population and 18% of the young population (0-19)
· The average chareidi woman gives birth to 6.9 children as compared to the average secular woman, giving birth to 2.1 children
Dr. Malach, who is behind the study indicates the numbers speak for themselves and the chareidi kehilla framework remains unbroken, citing some “come out to enter the IDF or academic studies but they still remain in the chareidi community by choice. The community by and large no longer distances such people”.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)