Ultra-Orthodox in Israel Program

One of the biggest challenges facing Israel in the coming years is to integrate the rapidly growing ultra-Orthodox minority into Israeli society and the economy. Yet the government of Israel lacks a comprehensive national plan to deal with all aspects of the problem, including education, defense, economics and identity. 

The Ultra-Orthodox in Israel Program seeks to provide the government with research-based policy proposals for integrating Israel’s ultra-Orthodox into Israeli society while allowing them to preserve their unique identity. The program has developed a Master Plan for Haredi Employment, much of which has been adopted by the Israeli government, and plans to create similar blueprints for change in the realms of K-12 education, higher education and military service.

View our Master Plan for Ultra-Orthodox Employment>> 

View the most recent Statitical Report on Ultra-Orthodox in Israel>>

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    Dr. Gilad Malach

    Head; Research Fellow

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    giladm@idi.org.il

    Dr. Gilad Malach is the Director of IDI's Ultra-Orthodox in Israel program. He co-authored the Master Plan for Ultra-Orthodox Employment (along with Doron Cohen and Haim Zicherman) and was editor of the Statistical Report on Ultra-Orthodox Society in Israel (in copperation with Dr. Lee Cahaner and Dr. Maya Choshen).

    He was director of implementation of the Gabison-Meidan Covenant Project at the Avi Chai Foundation and content manager of the Committee on Sharing the Security Burden in the Eighteenth Knesset.

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    Prof. Benny Porat

    Senior Fellow

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    A senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the director of the Matz Institute for Jewish Law. After completing his doctorate at the Hebrew University, he was hosted as a post-doctoral fellow by the University of Toronto

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    Dr. Lee Cahaner

    Research Fellow

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    Dr. Lee Cahaner, a social geographer, is a senior lecturer and head of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Oranim Academic College of Education. Cahaner is also a research associate in the Israel Democracy Institute's Ultra-Orthodox in Israel Program.

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    Prof. Benjamin Brown

    Research Fellow

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    An expert on ultra-Orthodox Judaism and its religious formation. The author of the book The Chazon Ish, Brown did his post-doctoral work at Harvard University.

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    Dr. Rivka Neriya Ben-Shahar

    Senior Researcher

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    rivkan@idi.org.il

    Dr. Rivka Neriya Ben-Shahar is a senior lecturer at Sapir Academic College in Sderot, Israel, teaching courses in research methods, communication, religion, and gender. Her doctorate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was entitled "Ultra-Orthodox Women and Mass Media in Israel – Exposure Patterns and Reading Strategies."

    She was a Fulbright post-doctoral fellow and a Scholar in Residence at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University, and worked on a study of women's cultural-religious praxes.

    Dr. Neriya Ben-Shahar researches the mass media from the perspectives of religion and gender. Her most recent research project addresses the tension between religious values and new technologies among Old Order Amish women and Jewish ultra-Orthodox women.

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    Dr. Asaf Malchi

    Senior Researcher

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    asafm@idi.org.il

    Dr. Asaf Malchi is a senior researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute, in the Ultra-Orthodox in Israel program. His research focuses on current social and economic trends  in the community, in the areas of employment,  higher education, military and Civilian National Service, and more. These studies provide important input to decision makers in crafting policy on the ultra-Orthodox.

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    Dr. Ariel Finkelstein

    Researcher

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    ArielF@idi.org.il

    Dr. Ariel Finkelstein holds s bachelor's degree from the Integrated Program for Philosophy, Economics and Political Science at Hebrew University, and a Master's degree in Public Policy, with a specialization in local government administration and management from Haifa University, as part of the Ministry of Local Government's "Cadets for Local Government" program.

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    Gabriel Gordon

    Researcher

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    gabrielg@idi.org.il

    He holds a Master's degree in Economics and Environmental studies.

    His research focuses on demographics and trends within the Israeli labor force.

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    Adi Wiener

    Research Assistant

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    adiw@idi.org.il

    Adi is researching trends of leaving the Haredi community, as part of the Ultra-Orthodox in Israel Program in the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for Shared Society, and is set to participate in additional research projects.

    She is a PhD candidate at the School of Jewish Studies at Tel Aviv University, holds an M.A. in Talmud from Tel Aviv University, and a B.A. in Political Science and Jewish History from the Hebrew University.

    Adi took part in various research projects, including discourse monitoring in international media project at the Hebrew University, media coverage of 2011 protest project at Hadassah Academic College, and Cairo Geniza Jewish texts project at Tel Aviv University.

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    Eliyahu Berkovits

    Researcher

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    elibe@idi.org.il

    Eliyahu is a PhD student in Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a graduate of ‘Ateret Israel’ and ‘Mir’ yeshivas.

    He has a Masters in Jewish Thought from the Hebrew University and a BA in Humanities from the Open University of Israel.

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    Tehila Gado

    Researcher

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    Doctoral student in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Has an MA in Criminology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is a lecturer at the Ono Academic College.

    Her PhD thesis deals with religious violence between ultra-orthodox spouses. Her research in general deals with the study of the ultra-orthodox society in Israel: trends of change in this society, religious and cultural perceptions and ideology, Rabbinical leadership and interfaces between culture and religiosity.

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    Gilad Cohen Kovacs

    Researcher

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    giladc@idi.org.il