Monday, August 6, 2012

In Good Faith

Aviel Yelinek

Jerusalem’s population is diverse, comprising groups with varying characteristics, including groups that differ from one another in the extent of their religious observance.

The social survey that the Central Bureau of Statistics conducts within the population aged 20 and above reveals that during the years 2008-2010 (on average), 31% of the Jews in Jerusalem defined themselves as traditional, 29% as haredi (ultra-orthodox), 21% as religious, and 19% as secular. The percentage of Jews aged 20 and above in Jerusalem who defined themselves as haredi was the highest among the large cities of Israel and was significantly higher than the percentage of haredim in Israel (8%). In comparison, the percentage of haredim in Tel Aviv was 2%, in Haifa 3%, and in Rishon LeZion only 1%. The percentage of religious Jews in Jerusalem (21%) was also higher than the average for Israel (10%). The percentage of traditional Jews (traditional-religious and traditional-not-so-religious) in Jerusalem stood at 31%, lower than the average for Israel (39%) and the lowest of the major cities in Israel. And what about the secular? The percentage of secular Jews in Jerusalem (19%) was much lower than the average for Israel (42%) and was the lowest of the major cities in Israel. The percentage of secular Jews in Tel Aviv, for example, was the highest among the major cities, measuring 59%, compared to 58% for Haifa, 47% for Rishon LeZion, and 32% for Ashdod.

Within the non-Jewish sector as well, the extent of religious observance in Jerusalem was higher than the average for Israel and for its major cities. The data reveal that 14% of non-Jewish Jerusalemites defined themselves as very religious, compared to 60% who defined themselves as religious, 21% as not so religious, and only 5% as not religious. In comparison, only 7% of the non-Jews in Israel defined themselves as very religious (half of the figure for Jerusalem), 46% defined themselves as religious, 26% as not so religious, and 21% as not religious (four times the figure for Jerusalem). In Haifa and Tel Aviv the extent of religious observance of non-Jews was especially low. The percentage of very religious non-Jews in these cities measured 1%-2% and the percentage of religious non-Jews measured 23% and 22% respectively.

 

Source: Analysis of data from the social survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics