Israeli ultra-Orthodox and secular rarely interact
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Israeli ultra-Orthodox and secular rarely interact

Survey not only shows low levels of communication between the two groups but also little desire for it

A Haredi and a secular Jew praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. (Serge Attal/Flash90)
A Haredi and a secular Jew praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. (Serge Attal/Flash90)

A survey on Jewish unity in Israel found that Haredi Orthodox Jews and secular Jewish Israelis have little interaction with each other.

The survey, called the “Israeli Unity Index” and published Wednesday by Gesher, an organization that aims to build bridges between the religious and secular in Israel, found that 45 percent of Haredim had no interaction at all with secular Jews. One-fifth of secular Jews reported having little interaction with Haredim. It was the first such survey by the group.

On a scale of 1 to 5, with one being the lowest, secular Israelis gave a 2 rating, on average, as to whether they would like having a Haredi family member. Haredi respondents rated the idea of having a secular family member even lower, at 1.7. Respondents who rated themselves “traditional” or religious had higher rates of interaction with both Haredi and secular Jews.

Four-fifths of respondents said they respect Jews of all streams even if they disagree with them. But 80% also said that Jewish Israelis only unify when confronted with war or tragedy.

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