Monday, June 14, 2010

It's Wedding Season Again

According to Jewish tradition, the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot (the count of the omer) are a time of mourning during which it is customary not to cut or shave one's hair or perform weddings. Among Mizrahi Jews, it is customary to get married after the 33rd day of the omer, but among the more stringent Ashkenazi communities it is customary to marry only after Shavuot, with the exception of only a few days – the day before the 33rd day of the Omer and the beginnings of the new months during the omer. Consequently, Shavuot marks the beginning of wedding season which lasts until the fall.

In 2007, the median age at first marriage for men in Israel (i.e., 50% of bridegrooms are older and 50% younger than the median age) was 27.8. The median age at marriage varies by religious affiliation and was 26.0 among Muslims, 26.4 among Druze, 27.6 among Jews and 29.1 among Christians.
Generally speaking, brides tend to be younger than bridegrooms. The median age at first marriage for women in Israel was 24.8 – 20.7 among Muslims, 21.4 among Druze, 24.1 among Christians and 25.3 among Jews.

A longitudinal comparison shows a steady rise of the median age at marriage. In 1980, the median age at first marriage for Jewish men was 24.8; by 2007 it was 27.6. Similarly, the median age at first marriage for Jewish women was 22.0 in 1980 but 25.3 in 2007. The rise of the median age at marriage can be attributed, among other factors, to the growing desire to achieve higher education and professional development before getting married and having kids.

In 2008, 55% of people aged 15 or older both in Israel and in Jerusalem were married. Of localities with populations of 10,000 or more, Tel Aviv (43%), Eilat (45%), and Be'er Ya'akov (47%) had the lowest percentage of married individuals. Of the ten localities with the highest percentage of married individuals, 4 were Ultra-Orthodox localities and 3 more were national-religious. The highest percentage of married individuals – 81%-85% -- was found in Talmon (a small, national-religious community) as well as Elad, Modi'in Illit and Beitar Illit, 3 heavily Ultra-Orthodox localities.

The percentage of married individuals in a locality, it should be noted, is influenced by social or cultural factors as well as other factors, such as the age of the population (as in, for example, a high proportion of individuals between the ages of 15-24).

Mazal Tov!

Sources: Population and Housing Census 2008, Statistical Abstract of Israel 2008, Central Bureau of Statistics

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Work in the city

Yair Assaf-Shapira
The vast majority of persons employed in Jerusalem are also residents of Jerusalem. Of the 249,000 people who were employed in Jerusalem in 2008, 75% were also residents of Jerusalem and only 25% were commuting to work from outside of Jerusalem – the lowest percentage among Israel's four metropolitan cities (Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beer Sheva and Jerusalem).
In general, men are considered to have longer commutes to work than women, who are considered to work closer to home. On the basis of this assumption, the reasonable expectation would be that a larger proportion of the women employed in Jerusalem would also be residents of Jerusalem, an expectation which is in fact correct for Tel Aviv, Haifa and Beer Sheva. However, in Jerusalem, the situation is in fact the reverse: of the 114,000 women who were employed in Jerusalem in 2008, 27% resided outside of the city compared with only 24% of the 135,000 men who worked in Jerusalem. That is to say that Jerusalem's economy drew more women than men from outside the city.
Among women as among men, Tel Aviv exercised the greatest pull: 66% of men and 60% of women working in Tel Aviv were residents of other localities.
But what about the mirror question – how many residents commute to work outside of their city of residence? In 2008, 17,400 of Jerusalem's residents were employed outside of Jerusalem, of them 12,400 men and 5,000 women. The number of Tel Aviv and Haifa residents who worked outside of their city of residence was much greater – 63,100 in Tel Aviv and 29,300 in Haifa.
Jerusalem differs from Tel Aviv and Haifa in its urban structure, as the two central cities are surrounded by rings of cities and localities that support and are supported by their central job markets and form a metropolitan model that depends on a daily commute to work. While there is a metropolitan Jerusalem area, it does not include any other close, large cities and is no longer linked to Palestinian cities to which it used to be connected, which probably explains why Jerusalem's job market relies mostly on Jerusalem's residents.
Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, 2008 Labor Force Survey

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Ethiopian Community of Israel and Jerusalem

Michal Korach

In 1984, the first mass immigration wave of Ethiopian Jews to Israel, known as Operation Moses, began, followed ten years later by a second wave – Operation Solomon.
By the end of 2008, the Ethiopian-Israeli community numbered 119,300 members and made up about 2% of Israel's Jewish population. Of the community's members, 68% had been born in Ethiopia and 32% were Israeli-born with an Ethiopian-born father.

The majority of Ethiopian-Israelis reside in central Israel (39%) and in the South (24%). The localities with the largest Ethiopian communities are Netanya (10,500), Ashdod (6,400), Rehovot (6,300), and Beer Sheva (6,300).
Localities in which the Ethiopian population makes up a relatively large proportion of the local population are: Kiryat Malakhi (17%), Be'er Ya'akov (12%), Kiryat Ekron (8%), Afula (8%), and Gadera (8%).

In 2008, the Ethiopian community of Jerusalem numbered 5,000 residents who accounted for 1% of Jerusalem's Jewish population and were mainly concentrated in the neighborhoods of Ir Ganim Gimel, Shikunei Talpiot, and Katamon Tet. Other localities around Jerusalem with large concentrations of the Ethiopian-Israeli community were: Beit Shemesh (3,100), Mevasseret Zion (1,400) and Ma'ale Adumim (650).

Every Jerusalem Day a national ceremony is held by Ethiopian Jews in commemoration of 4,000 Ethiopian community members who died in the Sudanese desert on their way to Israel. A monument to the deceased is located in Jerusalem and a memorial ceremony is held on Jerusalem Day as a symbol of the strong attachment that Ethiopian Jews feel toward Jerusalem. Until 2007, the memorial ceremony to commemorate the fallen was held at a temporary monument built in 1989 in Kibbutz Ramat Rahel (which is adjacent to Jerusalem). In 2007 a permanent monument was inaugurated on Mount Herzl and the ceremony has been held there since. The Mount Herzl monument features elements symbolizing Ethiopia and the journey to Israel, including desert expanses and wooden huts.

Source: The Ethiopian Population of Israel, Central Bureau of Statistics.