Number of ultra-Orthodox in Israeli High-tech Soared in Past Years, Study Shows

Despite 52-percent rise in 2014-2018, ultra-Orthodox Jews still account for just 3 percent of industry's payroll

Tali Heruti-Sover.
Tali Heruti-Sover
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Ultra-Orthodox women at work in a high-tech company in Israel.
Ultra-Orthodox women at work in a high-tech company in Israel.Credit: Eyal Toueg
Tali Heruti-Sover.
Tali Heruti-Sover

The number of ultra-Orthodox Jews working in Israel’s high-tech sector grew 52% in the years 2014 to 2018, but they still account for just 3% of the industry’s labor force, a joint survey by Kama-Tech and the Israel Advanced Technology Industries released on Tuesday showed.

At the end of 2018, about 9,700 Haredim worked in the industry. The biggest increase was for women, whose numbers jumped 90% to account for 6,900 of the total. The percentage of ultra-Orthodox women working in the industry was about 5%, not much lower than the 6.5% for other Israeli women.

Ultra-Orthodox workers at a high-tech company in Israel.
Ultra-Orthodox workers at a high-tech company in Israel.Credit: Emil Salman

About 65% of all Haredim working in tech were under age 28, said the report. The number of Haredim studying tech-related subjects in institutions of higher education grew 35% in the four years to 1,417 in 2018.

Despite the rising numbers, Haredim in high-tech earned on average just 10,830 shekels ($3,150 at current exchange rates) a month, much less than the 22,500 average for the industry. However, the gap narrowed somewhat for tech workers with a bachelor’s degree.

About 200 startups have been founded by Haredim since 2015, or about 5% of the total. In 2013, there were none, the report said.

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