Ultra-Orthodox Concern about the Future of Israeli Society

Project directors: Rabbi Naftali Rothenberg, Rabbi Yosef Miller; Active: 2012-2014

With the support of the UJA-Federation, New York


The Ultra-Orthodox population in Israel has grown substantially and is continuing to grow, and its political and social influence extends to every aspect of life. This raises the following questions: What is the ultra-Orthodox plan? What are the solutions that ultra-Orthodox society can propose for all aspects of life in the state and in society? As a society that seeks to maintain its uniqueness, what is the limit of its responsibility?


The project’s aim was to create an internal ultra-Orthodox discourse that recognizes the growing influence of ultra-Orthodox society over every aspect of life of all the state’s inhabitants – economy, society, diplomacy and defense – a discourse that will grow out of ultra-Orthodox society’s taking responsibility for Israeli society as a whole. As part of the project, position papers were written that proposed solutions by the ultra-Orthodox sector to coping with various problems in all aspects of life of the state and society.


A select group of fifteen spiritual leaders, rabbis, heads of yeshivas, and practitioners in the fields of economics, business ventures, law, journalism and public leadership from the ultra-Orthodox sector met monthly with experts in the various areas under discussion. The group discussed problems and processes that Israeli society is grappling with, as well as the influence that ultra-Orthodox society has over them, with the aim of translating ultra-Orthodox society’s involvement and influence into a defined practical plan that will propose solutions.