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2018 Annual Assessment

When the State of Israel was founded, one of the challenges was to ensure true Jewish pluralism that would allow people adhering to different social visions and ideologies to have a shared civic existence under a single political sovereignty – despite disagreement over issues of faith and life style. In 2018, it turns out that Israeli democracy has largely enabled the inclusion of the Haredi “other,” and that its ability to accept him or her “as s/he is” in its institutions is expanding day by day, mainly due to demographic realities that require the Haredi population’s fair participation in economic burden sharing.

There is a consensus among researchers that the Haredi world in Israel is undergoing a process of Israelization. It is reasonable to assume that the integration process that began in the workforce and in political affairs will continue to grow, and that, in the end, mutually agreed upon solutions will be found for issues that appear to be burning today. In the next 70 years, the Haredi community’s main challenge will be to formulate a narrative that enables it to distinguish itself from the National-Religious sector, even though both will be integrated into the public sector, study in institutions of higher learning, and serve in the IDF. The Government of Israel, on its part, should continue on a course of balanced and pragmatic policy, enabling those who want to integrate without surrendering their unique identity, and guide the adoption of the American Ultra-Orthodox societal pattern.

In the United States, as is well known, the Ultra-Orthodox public observes a way of life that is insular and dedicated to observance of the Mitzvoth and Torah study, while also participating fully in the workforce and the economy and, to a certain extent, in the general society.
The realization of this policy depends on the willingness of the Ultra-Orthodox to respect the general public and to refrain from interfering in non-Haredi lifestyles.