'Mishpacha' newspaper poll finds positive attitudes to haredim among secular Israelis

Poll finds Israeli public has positive attitude towards individual haredim, less favorable to communal haredi positions.

April 16, 2014 18:59
1 minute read.
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men.

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men.. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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A poll commissioned by the haredi weekly Mishpacha newspaper and whose results were published in its special Passover edition found that the secular Israeli public has a largely positive attitude toward haredi individuals, although opinions toward the haredi community are less favorable.

The results of the poll surprised the Mishpacha editors because of current tensions surrounding the issue of haredi military conscription and other matters of religion and state, and the paper published a supplement examining the findings and the format of haredi interaction and dialogue with the non-haredi public.

The poll was conducted for the paper by a new haredi organization called the Center for Jewish Research and Media, with the participation of 502 non-religious respondents over the age of 18, with a 4.4% margin of error.

According to the survey, 93 percent of the public supports dialogue with the haredi community in order to preserve societal unity, with 52% saying that living together in the same neighborhoods would lead to improved relations and a reduction in inter-communal tensions.

Additionally, 67% feel the army should provide haredi soldiers with everything they need to preserve their lifestyle during their service.

Over four-fifths (82%) of the respondents said they would employ a haredi person.

Seventy-two percent of those polled said there were no haredim in their work place.

Just over half (52%) of the respondents said there were no haredim living in their neighborhood, although 77% of those who said there were haredim in their neighborhood said they were satisfied with the situation.

The Mishpacha poll also showed that the secular population has positive attitudes toward Judaism and Jewish tradition.

Of those polled, 91% said the Jewish identity of the state was important to them; 89% said that Israeli children should know about Jewish religious practice; 92% said they had a mezuza by their front door; and 60% said they would object to their children marrying a non-Jew.

Significantly, however, 72% of the respondents said the haredi lifestyle did not contribute to the Jewish character of the state. In addition, 70% of those polled rejected the idea that haredim suffer from discrimination and that Finance Minister Yair Lapid is harassing the community, although 64% of respondents opposed Lapid’s refusal to allow haredi parties into the governing coalition.

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