Leapfrogging of Jewish Ultraorthodox population out of its major urban concentrations in Israel

Authors: Amiram Gonen*, Hebrew UnUniversity of Jerusalem
Topics: Cultural Geography, Urban Geography, Social Geography
Keywords: Jewish Ultraorthodox, leapfrogging, rising housing costs, new Ultraorhodox towns, Israel
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 4:00 PM / 5:40 PM
Room: Balcony L, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


After many decades of living in two major concentrations in the cities of Jerusalem and Bene Berak, the Jewish Ultraorthodox population gradually started leapfrogging to other towns mainly because of the rising housing costs. The first phase of leapfrogging was to towns in the near periphery of the country, in which mostly Hasidic groups, led by their rabbis, established segregated communities in outlying neighborhoods, where they could practice their own way of life. The second phase was the massive movement of Ultraorthodox households to four new Ultraorthodox towns, established with the help of the central government, interested in decentralizing Jewish population into the country’s periphery and at the same time eases housing shortage among the Ultraorthodox. The third stage was the building of extensive Ultraorthodox neighborhoods in the town of Beth Shemesh, changing dramatically the cultural character of this Jewish town. The fourth phase was the leapfrogging of individual Ultraorthodox households to additional peripheral towns, where the Jewish population has been out-migrating to the core of the country. Opposition to Ultraorthodox in-migration began to mount for fear of cultural change. When the central government tried to open a new fifth stage by producing a national plan for the establishment of new Ultraorthodox neighborhoods in many towns across the country, mayors of these towns strongly objected to having a new Ultraorthodox neighborhood in their midst for fear of local opposition. The government has to consider again the establishment of a new Ultraorthodox town far away in the periphery.

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