Poll: Chassidim Receive Highest Incomes With Chabad Earning Most, Followed By Sephardim And Litvaks


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Young Chareidim in the Chassidish community who entered the workforce earn 15.4% more than their counterparts in the Litvish community, a study by the Taub Institute surprisingly reports. According to the study, young chassidic Yidden earn the most, with young Sephardic Jews in second place with an average income 9.5% below the Chassidim, with those of Lithuanian origin earning 15.4% less.

Another statistic points to differences in income between young chareidim who were born to an Israeli father and those born to a European father, with the benefit for Israelis 11% below the standard. In contrast, chareidi youngsters whose fathers were born in America earn an average of 7.8% more than young people who were born to an Israeli father. The survey’s authors explain that “it appears that among chareidim of American origin, the burden of livelihood on the husband is greater than the remainder of the chareidi sector, while the burden on the woman is smaller.”

Another surprising fact released in the poll is that among young chassidim, those affiliated with Chabad earn the most, with a projected income of 14.9% more on the average as compared to other chassidim.

The study authors also examined the average number of work hours in each of the sectors and reached a surprising figure, which may indicate possible wage discrimination.

“The difference between the sects apparently reflect a difference in the scope of the position as well as in the hourly wage, and young chassidim work more extensively than the Lithuanians, but less than the Chabadniks and similar to the Sephardim. Therefore, it appears chassidim earn a higher hourly wage than Sephardim.

A senior chareidi economist who spoke to ‘Kav Itona’ut’, analyzes the data: “First there is a small collapse here to the theory of Lithuanian elitism, but it does not constitute a ‘talent meter’ for every sector, There are two basic explanations that may explain the discrepancies and perhaps also reconcile some of the additional data in the study.

One is that in the Lithuanian sector, the higher quality boys, whose earning potential is higher because they can integrate into profitable income areas such as high-tech and the like, often remain in the kollel. In contrast, in the chassidic sector, the percentage of those who go to work is not dramatically different between those with talent and less talented, They contribute to a higher average income.

Another explanation he suggests is related to the assumption that a social network contributes to a person’s salary: “When a person is placed in a management position or a quality employment center, he tends to attract and bring in friends from his or her natural environment, because quantitatively there are more followers who are employed, In higher quality and more profitable employment centers will contribute to the level of wages, as compared to young people from the Lithuanian sector who go to the labor market and find themselves relatively isolated in terms of possibilities and supply”.

These two explanations also partially answer the gap between chassidic youths who have integrated into the job market for young people and those of Sephardi origin. “Many of the more talented Sephardic young people, including graduates of Sephardic yeshivas, tend to approach the Lithuanian community and remain at the kollel, perhaps less than in the Lithuanian sector itself, and therefore the salary level is not as low as among the Lithuanians but still lower than the chassidim”.

“How do we address the gap between Chabadnikim and other? Chabad Chassidim are open-minded and flexible to professions that have not yet penetrated the chareidi sector, and there is an over-awareness of the completion and study of liberal arts and academic subjects, which naturally contributes to the level of wages higher than in other chassidic sects, where this is unacceptable.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. The Ltivaks come out openly against going to work. They look down on some one who works rather they feel that they have to sit the rest of their lives in the beis medresh.

    Chassidim have always worked and learned a bissle. Chabad’s Rebbe had nothing against people who worked. Shlichus is also working.

    My rebbe, R. Simcha Wasserman was concerned for me that I go out to work and not fall prey to the foolish Litvish lie that we were born to sit and learn 24/7. He showed me a Rambam about a person working and learning.

  2. Without knowing how the data was obtained, it is impossible to determine its veracity. So I would not build any plans or draw any conclusions from this.

  3. Maybe if the Litvish bochurim would spend less time demonstrating against everything and their rabbonim would try to find ways to harness the power of the internet within limits to empoer their tizbur rather than wasting time holding asifahs to “ban the internet” , they might have more success entering the workforce and earning a good parnassah.

  4. Could it be that, in the Litvish world (especially among the English-speakers), if you chose to be a Baal Habas, you stay in America where the jobs are, and if you chose to be a Kollel guy, you go to Israel where the Kollels and welfare state are?

    This study was done strictly in Israel, it looks like. It’s hard to learn much from a study that only looks at part of the world’s Jewish population since location clearly matters. The clear social trend in the Litvish velt is to have the community split between those who learn and those who work; so, it’s very likely the “learning” side of that community was overrrepresented in this study.
    By the way, I am neither endorsing or condemning that social trend in this comment. Just making an observation.

  5. Luckshun: Boruch Hashemite R Simcha (like his father R Elchonon z”l) bought into this ‘foolish litvish lie’ or you wouldn’t have a choshuve Rebbe to guide you

  6. To LukeshKugel

    While you are generally correct, there are some in the Litvishe tzibur in EY who actually do live a balanced life and are able to both work to support their families as well as learn. Sadly, you are correct in your observation that oo many have fallen for what you call the “foolish Litvish lie that we were born to sit and learn 24/7” and rely on handouts from the government and family to survive.

  7. Like Gadolhadorah, I agree that the asifahs to ban the internet are a waste of time but in fairness, the Chassidish Rebbes are as much behind them as the Litvish Rabbonim. This is not just another crazy litvish mishagus, everyone is meshuga here!

  8. Overall, the good news across all segments of the tzibur, which this article doesn’t really show is that the next generation of Chareidi boys and girls are more actively becoming involved in the economy of EY and more are seeking out alternative ways of obtaining some level of education and/or vocational training within the limits of their haskafah so they will be able to function and earn a parnassah. There is no “right” answer for everyone but the trend line is clearly moving in the right direction. This issue is largely separate from the debate over the draft, etc. but simply a matter of reality. The fastest growing segment of the population cannot as a matter of simple arithmetic, rely on the secular population to grow the economy and provide the tax revenues to support their mosdos and welfare requirements if they forego gainful employment.

  9. Rav Scheinberg z”l, former rosh yeshiva of Torah Ore in Yerushalayim, publicly stated that it’s assur to go out and work; same for getting a college degree. I followed his p’sak, and have paid a very dear price for doing so for the past forty years.

  10. Arizona,

    When did R. Scheinberg zt”l publicly state that it’s forbidden for anyone to go out and work? I never heard that and I know a number of Torah Ore alumni who work. I’m also curious, forty years later, are you still learning?

  11. Arizona-

    I learned in Torah Ore as well and when I wanted to leave and go to college Rabbi Scheinberg Z”l didn’t try to convince me out of it.

    As a matter of fact- he even signed my transcripts so I could transfer credits earned while in yeshiva.

  12. Phil and Dr. Pepper: Rav Scheinberg said this sometime between 1975-1979. I was standing there. It during his weekly Mishneh Brurah shiur. And Phil, yes, after forty years I am still learning. Thanks for your sincere concern.

  13. “I followed his p’sak, and have paid a very dear price for doing so for the past forty years.”
    “Thanks for your sincere concern.”


    Pardon me for asking, am I imagining things or do you sound bitter? If you are, what precisely are you hoping for from me and the rest of the CR? I can certainly give you a yasher koach for listening to what you heard from your Rebbe but what else do you want?

  14. to arizona and Phil,

    In 1980, I was learning and living in Mattersdorf. I got a very very attractive job offer but I had to work many hours. I asked R. Scheinberg z”l his opinion. He told me to take it.

    I asked him but what about my leaning? He said you will be able to use the money for your family and you can learn on the side. I sort of protested to him and he said, “I urge you to take the job”.

    I did. I worked very hard for a good time, but after wards had much gelt and was able to support my family etc and learn with a clear head part time.

  15. My knowledge of R. Scheinberg, zt”l is limited but given my acquaintance with some of his students and the personal stories cited, I find it hard to accept that he publicly ruled during a Mishna Brurah shiur that it is universally forbidden for anyone to work. I also have friends who received Bachelor’s degrees from Torah Ore they then used to earn secular Master’s degrees.