To Join or Not to Join, and How to Join: Higher Education as an Option in the Israeli Haredi World Today

Nitza Davidovich, Dan Soen


The State of Israel is gradually increasing its efforts to integrate the ultra-Orthodox population within Israeli society both in general (in the army, in employment) and in higher education in particular. The major question arising in all systems where attempts are being made to integrate this population is whether they should be encouraged to join separate settings or existent settings, together with the rest of the population. This question is at the heart of the current article. The article suggests that policy shapers in Israeli higher education object to establishing unique institutions for the ultra-Orthodox; their integration in existing settings as well should only serve as an intermediate solution. The solution devised by the CHE (Council for Higher Education) is the "platform" or "inn" institution – a Haredi or ultra-orthodox institution of higher education operating under the academic wings and direct control of an existing and recognized academic institution. At present it seems that despite forecasts regarding the significance of providing accessibility to higher education for the ultra-Orthodox in Israel, we will probably witness a similar process to that which occurred in Israeli higher education in the 1990s, one of universalization and popularization. At first there will be a significant rise in the proportion of ultra-Orthodox joining the system and then the numbers will level out.

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Issues in Social Science  ISSN 2329-521X


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