26% of Israeli haredi (ultra-Orthodox) men say they do not speak any English, and another 28% say their English is "poor" according to a recent study, conducted by Ariel Finkelstein of the IDI.
The younger generation of haredi men studied less English in elementary school than the previous ones, according to the study.
Only 18% of haredi men between the ages of 18 and 24 have studied English in elementary school, in contrast with 54% of haredi men over the age of 45.
Benjamin Netanyahu's promise
Opposition head Benjamin Netanyahu's efforts to eliminate possible waste of votes as United Torah Judaism threatened to split, had sparked up the debate around the haredi educational system and the inclusion of core studies.
Netanyahu has promised UTJ that if elected he would raise the budget of haredi institutions that do not teach “core studies”.
Former prime minister Naftali Bennett attacked Netanyahu's promise on Twitter, saying that "heavily funding schools that refuse to teach English and math will create a generation of young people without livelihood and working skills."
העברת תקציבי עתק לבתי ספר שמסרבים ללמד אנגלית ומתמטיקה תיצור דור שלם של צעירים נטולי כישורי עבודה ופרנסה. זהו מהלך שמסכן את עתיד מדינת ישראל. זה פשוט לא הוגן. לא לצעירים החרדים שעסקנים גזרו עליהם בורות, ושייצאו לעולם לא מוכנים, נטולי יכולת לפרנס את עצמם ואת משפחתם. >> pic.twitter.com/PeMsAPyNSF— Naftali Bennett בנט (@naftalibennett) September 12, 2022
Several of the outgoing coalition leaders published similar responses, including Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman and Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli.
Only last week it was published that merely 26% of Haredi men get a full high-school diploma, a sharp contrast to 76% of the total population. As large as this gap is, it might worsen if more schools would be exempt from core studies, particularly English.