Very high ultra-Orthodox Jewish retention rates (88%) together with extraordinarily high fertility rates (7.1 children per family) ensure that Israel is headed in one direction, and fast. The Haredi and traditional Jewish majority in Israel will have major implications for the future of Israel’s politics, policies and prophetic future.
A major new study by Shoresh, an institution for socioeconomic research in Israel, paints a surprising picture of Israeli demographics. The fast-growing secularization of Israeli society belies a hidden swell of movement toward Judaism often missed by casual observers.
It is true, as most people observe, that on the surface more Israelis are choosing to leave traditional Jewish practices for a secular, often anti-religious, lifestyle. It is also true that more Jews in Israel are abandoning traditional Judaism than those who choose to become more religious. It can easily appear that Israeli society is becoming more secular like “any other Gentile nation.”
But a movement toward Judaism that is steadily having a profound effect on the Jewish state has been uncovered by the research…