Social policy study finds differences in confidence between those with different social backgrounds; haredim more confident than most.
By YONI COHEN
Social confidence among Israelis increased by 17 percent in 2010, according to a study by a center focusing on social policy in Israel.The Taub Center's Index of Social Confidence showed that Israelis' confidence was at its highest rate since the center began its index in 2001 with a nine point increase from the previous year.RELATED:Israel makes major gains in raising life expectancyThe dire plight of Israel’s most poorThe study showed that in 2003 social confidence began to rise, however the world economic crisis of 2008 and 2009 led to a decrease in confidence among Israelis.The study also showed that 46% of Israeli Arabs reported having difficulty meeting basic needs versus 22% of Jews.This leads to clear differences in social confidence, the study shows, when the population is divided and clear gaps exist between different income groups. The greatest differences in trend changes between groups were in 2010.However, among those with substantially higher than average incomes, the rise in confidence was much more moderate. The findings suggest that any middle class erosion that may be occurring is not being expressed in the social confidence of the various income groups.AdvertisementSocial confidence among haredim is higher than among people with academic degrees and is similar to those with average incomes, the report found.The index score for haredim rose to 68 points, which represents a higher score than in previous years. The report noted that this particularly interesting "in light of the fact that haredim are in general considered to be among the weaker socioeconomic population groups."This does not mean that haredim are totally satisfied with their standard of living. Many actually reported that they have difficulty affording basic living needs, and even claimed that their situation has worsened over the past few years.In contrast to many other groups in Israel, the haredim were shown to be more optimistic about the future and expressed hope that their situation will in fact improve.Immigrants from the former Soviet Union were said to have a relatively low social confidence score, comparable to Israeli Arabs. In contrast to haredim, the FSU immigrants expressed feelings that their standard of living is not sufficiently high and they are not optimistic that things with improve in the future.
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