In Spite Of Treasury Claims, Statistics Show Most Chareidi Families Have At Least One Working Income


Following efforts put forth by the Treasury to get Chareidim into the workforce, polling company Direct Pulse investigated trends within the Chareidi community over the past two years, and on Motzei Shabbos publicly published their findings with regard to the scope of employment and unemployment in the community.

According to the report, 78,960 men of working age in the Chareidi community are not working. They comprise 1.85 percent of the 4.2 million people who comprise the Israeli workforce.

Many of these Charedi men are married and 89 percent of them have spouses who work, most of these women, a significantly larger percentage than the rest of Israeli society,  have full-time jobs. Thus these are families who rely on one working income.

The Direct Pulse report stated that the Chariedi community is made up of 1,285,000 people which comprises 13.5 percent of the entire population of Israel.

Among them, 2,500 people participated in the poll and were asked a variety of questions about the community and its way of life.

The vast majority of Chareidim (70.1 percent) are younger than 25-years-old. This is lower than the employment age in Israel which is listed as 25 by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.

Chareidi men of working age number some 172,000 people, among which 54.3 percent of them are working a full, or part-time, job, and 79,000 of them are learning full-time.

There are four main groups that comprise the Chareidi community – Chassidim, Lithuanians, Sephardim, and others.

Among these groups, the group with the largest number of full-time learning men are Lithuanians, and this is the grouping which has the largest number of women who work in positions that are either full-time or a significant amount of part-time work, which is much higher than the rest of Israeli society.

The report said that, “The Lithuanian community chose to switch gender roles in the family and are implementing their ideology of ‘Living with what there is.'”

The report continued “It is important to note that most Chareidim dedicate the third decade of their lives (age 20-29) to learning, however, once they grow beyond those years, the percentage of those learning drops significantly. The Chareidi men aged 25-35 who incorporate simultaneous academic studies and employment is continuously growing.”

Direct Plus stated that “In typical fashion, staffers from the treasury are trying to recommend solutions to the Chareidi community that could have been helpful to solve problems that existed a decade ago, however, these solutions will become irrelevant, regardless of the Treasury, in the next few years simply due to the current trends in Chareidi society.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. The problem is that those who do work generally have very low paying jobs. Moreover, one has to factor out Chareidi olim, who mainly hold good jobs, as the attitude in chutz laAretz is different.

  2. the results of this poll are not in the least bit surprising. I am hareidi, living in israel for the last 30 years with four married kids. I have a large extended family here and many many friends. I do not know of more than a small handful of non working families. The vast vast majority of families have at least one full time working parent. Leiberman wants to penalise these families in every way and to try and force them to have two working parents. What country forces that? I have four hard working daughters in hi-tech positions, but according to leiberman we are a “burden” on the country.

  3. statistics presented here is a little murky. Maybe it is the fault of the article and not of the original report:

    46% of men are not in the work force. It would be helpful if these numbers were separated by age to support the claim made in the article that learning is between 20 and 30.
    54% have a full or part-time job – how many full, and what is part.
    89% of spouses of (“most of” those from 46% that are married) are working, “most of whom” full time.

    If instead of all these “most”,”many”, they would be able to present plots of employment changing per year, the picture would be clearer. Final sentence claims that there is already growth in academic studies leadning to employment. This is great news and would be helpful to support with numbers – growth of students and jobs for certain age by year. This would help break old stereotypes that haredim are not dealing with the prtoblem.

  4. This is called manipulating data, sometimes you write percentages, sometimes you write numbers, you do not mention what is the percentage of people who rely on taxpayers, you do not write what amount of taxpayers money is alloted to charedim vs the rest of the population. 54.3 percent of men working full or part time is a horrid number, and is not explaining what part time is.
    “Luthuanian community chose to switch gender roles” How did they switch gender roles? Are the men now getting pregnant, giving birth, nursing babies at night, making suppers, or cleaning the house?? No, they just threw everything on these brainwashed women – nashim daatan kalos. It is taken of men to support the family. And it is what they pledge to do under the chuppah. There should be no gender confusion in Torah scosiety. Switching roles of men and women is what Paroh did on Mitzraim, now you claim that is what charedi leaders did to their flock. Your report here is testimony to an incredible spiritual and physical problem.

  5. Very useful report. Can YWN publish a link to the document since it doesn’t show up in a google search.
    If correctly described, should really result in a shift in current program focus on incentives for employment and criteria for transfer payment.

  6. It’s true that gender roles are switched in groups where men learn full time as evidenced by what you see in the street, young avreichim running to pick up their little ones from gan, pushing strollers, engaged in other activities that are more often relegated to women. We should consider the effect that has on families, children, society as a whole.
    Economic factors to consider are that unlike the United States where we’re a miniscule portion of the population, in Israel Chareidim make up over ten percent of the population. When you consider how many potential wage earners they’re taking out of the equation, even without accounting for kollel stipends and other benefits they receive, you can see that their effect on the tax base has far reaching consequences.

  7. Despite the weaknesses of the report (or the article about the report), the remarkable step is trying to show that Charedim are moving towards work instead of defending non-working. So, with this improved attitude, hopefully, more clear numbers could be shown to the public and further goals and plans can be formulated to make things better for everyone.

  8. @mindful and others, not, they did not “switch gender roles”.
    ““The Lithuanian community chose to switch gender roles in the family and are implementing their ideology of ‘Living with what there is.’””

    It’s sad that it’s even necessary to state this, but if the men would be studying for a doctorate and the wife would be working to support that, then none of the megalim panim baTorah and others would complain. But for him to learn for a few years, then they call that gender reversal.

    Going beyond that, the major problem is the Zionist shmad army. If the Zionists would simply leave the Chareidim alone and give them an automatic blanket exemption from their shmad army, which was the deal on which the Zionists agreed, then you would have many more Chareidi men working. Instead, the evil Zionists impoverish the Chareidi men and then also blame them for that which is the Zionists’ own fault.