Monday, August 15, 2016

Households and Religiosity

Yair Assaf-Shapira
Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

Every year, on the occasion of "Jerusalem Day", the Jerusalem Institute publishes the annual Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem. The yearbook is the main data source on the city, and as such, it's used regularly by the writers of this column.
We tend to thoroughly examine population (persons) data, but today I want to look at household (HH) data. When trying to estimate demand for housing as well as for other services, HH data is sometimes more important than persons data.
There are 2.3 million HHs in Israel, and 210,100 of them live in Jerusalem. Jerusalem's share of HHs in Israel is lower than its share of population (8.8% compared with 10%), due to the relatively large HH size in the capital (3.9 persons compared with 3.3 in Israel). The balance between the Jewish and Arab HHs is also different than the populations balance, and the Jewish HHs form 71% of the total HHs, compared with 63% of the population.
Household size in Jerusalem may be large on average, but still, 38% of the HHs are of one or two persons only. These HHs include Jerusalem's many students and other young adults. Among the Jewish HHs this figure rises to 47%, or almost half of the HHs, slightly higher even than the figure for the Jewish HHs in Israel (46%). With such a high percentage of small HHs, it may be asked how come the average HH size in the city is larger than in Israel. The answer lies in the high percentage of HHs sized 7 persons and above in Jerusalem (15%, compared with 5.9% in Israel).
As of this yearbook, thanks to changes in the Labor Force Survey held by the Central Bureau of Statistics, data is available about the breakdown of the HHs by religious affiliation. Among the Jewish HHs, the secular and traditional HHs form 45%, the "very religious" and Ultra-orthodox form 33%, and the observant (religious) HHs, 22%. Among the Arab HHs, traditional and secular HHs form 64% (the majority of whom stated they were traditional), and observant (together with a very small percentage of "very religious") HHs, form 36%.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Jerusalem Files

Dafna Shemer
Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

In 2014 a total of 33,400 investigation files were opened in Jerusalem, 43% of which were crimes involving property, 36% involved public order, and 17% involved personal injury.
Of the investigation files that were opened, there 12 murder cases, 25 attempted murder cases, 179 rape cases, 447 cases of drug dealing, 1,622 home invasion cases, 2,078 vehicle theft cases, and 3,075 cases of malicious damage to property.
Most crimes against property take place within residences (2,734), on the streets of the city (2,282), and in stores (766).
This year the Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem has obtained from the Israel Police crime statistics by area, thus revealing where the “hotspots” of crime are located. The data present the location of the crime (where the investigation file is opened), rather than the criminal’s place of origin.
A total of 2,449 investigation files were opened in the city center (comprising 7% of files opened in Jerusalem), an area with many businesses and a good deal of human traffic during the day. The area with the second largest number of investigation files was Arnona, Mekor Haim, where 1,364 files were opened.
If you’re looking for a safe area within the city, very few files were opened west of Mekor Baruch: a total of 12. In the neighborhood of Um Tuba only 31 investigation files were opened.
The area with the largest number of investigation files regarding property crimes was Nahalat Shiva (440 files), followed by the Talpiot Industrial Zone (332 files), and the eastern central business district – Bab Al-Sahara (329 files).
The area where the largest number of files were opened that involved vice and sex crimes was the municipality compound (162 files).
A large number of files involving public order were opened in East Jerusalem. In the Muslim Quarter of the Old City a total of 773 investigation files were opened. This is the area within the Old City where Friday prayers take place. Beit Hanina had 487 investigation files opened, and in Bab Al-Sahara 320 investigation files were opened.
Stay safe!

Translation: Merav Datan

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Gender and Religiosity

Caroline Kahlenberg
Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

A new study released by the Pew Research Center found that across the world and across religions, women are generally more religious than men. The study, “The Gender Gap in Religion around the World,” found that in all of the 84 countries for which data were available, women are more likely or equally likely as men to engage in daily prayer. Israel however, is the sole outlier in this trend: it is the only country surveyed in which a higher percentage of men than women reported engagement in daily worship, either public or private.  
This gender difference also exists in other categories relating to religious practice in Israel. Another recent Pew survey on Israeli society showed that Israeli Jewish men reported higher engagement in religious activities than women. For example, while 37% of Israeli Jewish men attend synagogue weekly or more, only 18% of their female counterparts do the same. 
These gender gaps in religious activity may be partially attributed to certain norms in Judaism that prioritize men’s attendance in worship over women’s; for example, among Orthodox Jews, a minyan of ten men is required to conduct communal worship services, whereas women are not counted or halakhically required to take part in this practice. 

Notably, however, the gap does not only exist with regard to worship attendance: even among activities that are not tied to male-only commandments, Israeli Jewish men were often recorded as being religiously engaged at a slightly higher rate than Israeli Jewish women. For example, 64% of Israeli Jewish men fasted all day last Yom Kippur, while 57% of Israeli Jewish women did the same. These women are also more likely to travel on Shabbat (65%) compared to their male counterparts (59% of whom travel on Shabbat). On the question of the importance of religion in one’s life, Israel also stood as an outlier in the Pew survey. In Israel, 35% of Israeli Jewish men reported that religion was “very important” to them, as compared to only 25% of Israeli Jewish women. In all other countries surveyed (aside from Mozambique), women were recorded as more likely or equally likely as men to consider religion as personally very important. Notably, among American Jews, these differences were not as apparent. 
The gender gap regarding the religiosity of Israeli Jews is also evident in their religious identification, according to the results of the Central Bureau of Statistics’ (CBS) annual social survey, though the gap in this area is quite narrow. Jewish men in Israel defined themselves (or were defined by particular criteria such as school system and residential neighborhood) as ultra-orthodox (9.8%) or religious (10.9%) at a slightly higher rate than Jewish women (among whom 8.4% identified as ultra-orthodox and 10.3% identified as religious). At the same time, Jewish women were more likely to identify as traditional (39.3%) than Jewish men (33.8%).
While the gender gap in religiosity and religious identification is clear with regard to Israeli Jews as a whole, when we take a look at the breakdown of religious practice according religious sector, the data reveal a more complicated picture. For example, the rates of prayer among Jews not defined as orthodox or religious reveal a trend in which the gender gap narrows and even reverses as the sector becomes more secular. According to the social survey, among Israeli Jews defined as "traditional-religious," 89.1% of men reported that they prayed always or frequently, as compared to 64.9% of women. Among those defined as "traditional but not so religious," this gap hardly existed: 38.9% of men and 37.6% of women attended prayer. And among those defined as secular, the trend reversed: Women reported praying always or frequently (12.7%) at a higher rate than men (8.2%). Moreover, importantly, this overall religious gender gap does not hold true for members of other religions in Israel. According to the CBS data, women of other faiths (the majority of whom are Muslim) identify as more religious than their male counterparts: 65.4% of non-Jewish women identified as very religious or religious, while only 45.1% of men did the same.