Sixty-one percent of the ultra-Orthodox living in Israel prefer to live in towns segregated from the secular population, a new comprehensive study focusing on the haredi sector conducted by Professor Avi Degani, president of the Geocartography Group, reveals.
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Asked whether they agreed that it's better for haredim to live in separate towns and cities, and be completely separated from the secular population, 43% of the respondents said they disagreed, 16% said they agreed to some extent, 32% said they agreed and 9% had no opinion.
Most of those respondents (48%) claimed that living in separate neighborhoods would be to the benefit of both the haredi and secular populations.
"Most haredim (61%) tend to see the option of living isolated from the rest of the Israeli public – in towns that are completely haredi - as an advantage," said Degani.
"That said, one third of haredim aren't inclined to live that way – and they are most likely the sector in society that combines Torah with regular jobs and more involved with Israeli economy, unlike haredim who live a more traditional lifestyle where 'Torah is their profession'."
Degani stated that it was actually the majority of the Zionist religious population – 53%, that expressed a stand opposing haredi segregation. Degani noted that one of the reasons for this was that most of the Zionist religious population sanctifies and maintains a religious lifestyle together with integration into the secular and haredi population.
Another explanation is their objection to supporting towns and cities that will most likely need to receive government funding and support.
"Out of the total population, including haredim, 48% support haredi segregation from the rest of the population," Degani said. On the other hand, a large minority – 43% is against haredi segregation and is opposed to allocating national resources to the creation of separate infrastructure for a minority that isn't highly productive and would require government support in any town established."
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