Yaakov Guterman, Mayor of Modi’in Illit, spoke to Israeli media site Globes and discussed how he believes the cities of Afula, Kiryat Gat, and Arad will all be Charedi cities in the next decade.
“The Charedi populace is simply in a buying frenzy right now, and within a decade the situation will become one in which society as a whole will feel the strain. In ten years’ time, the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Kiryat Yovel, Neve Yaakov and Pisgat Zeev will all be Charedi, and so will the cities of Afula, Kiryat Gat and Arad. The old part of Beit Shemesh will turn Charedi as well as large swathes of Ashdod.”
Guterman suggested that if the country wants to prevent numerous communities suffering a change of identity then it should work harder to get the current Charedi cities to build more housing and infrastructure for the communities that so sorely need them.”
While the country doesn’t want to build more Charedi cities according to Guterman, the cities that already exist don’t want to build any more. “The solution that is left for Charedi families is to go to secular areas and secular cities and buy up any available apartments that there are. However, once they are there, they require shuls, schools, kindergartens, and that creates a public atmosphere of contempt with their secular neighbors. But what choice do they have? These are the areas that are currently being looked to for Charedi families to purchase apartments in, and therefore, if nothing changes, these areas will become Charedi in the next decade.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)