Are the Ultra-Orthodox the Key to Israel's Future?

How a misunderstood minority can help spur the Jewish state’s economy and repair its tattered social fabric.

December 1, 2014 | Aharon Ariel Lavi
About the author: Aharon Ariel Lavi is co-founder of the Shuva community on the Gaza border, where he lives, and of the National Council of Mission-Driven Communities. A regular contributor to Aderaba magazine, he has also published a book on Jewish economic thought and was a 2013-14 Tikvah fellow in New York.
While much is known about the tough situation facing Israel externally, less familiar, even to Israel’s supporters, is the social and economic situation at home. Of course, Israeli exploits in the fields of science and technology are deservedly the stuff of legend; the Jewish state is indeed the “start-up nation” par excellence. Dig a little deeper, however, and one might also hear about special difficulties posed by two underperforming sectors of the society: Israeli Arabs, and haredi or ultra-Orthodox Jews.

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