Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Haredi population joining the Student Protest


Real estate prices have been skyrocketing and, in case you are looking for an apartment to rent in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or other places, your search will be endless. In particular, when you are looking for an affordable place to live. A reasonable place and not a dump.

Almost a week ago, university students started their protest and built a tent village in the middle of Tel Aviv’s posh Rothschild Boulevard. Setting up tents as a protest has a long tradition in Israeli society and this has been taking places many times. Sometimes without much success but, at least, people did something. 

The students at Rothschild Boulevard get thousands of visitors every day and the goal is to make the government decide to agree building thousands of new affordable apartments immediately. Not only luxury apartments for the rich, as it has been taking place in the past years. 

Now haredi society is joining the protest and some members will set up tents in the haredi town of El’ad today. Further tent villages are being set up all over Israel. Today also in Afula. Some students set up their tents in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park (across the Ministry of Finance). Yesterday a second tent village was set up near the capital’s Old City, at Kikar Zahal. The police tried to send the students away and thus avoid a tent village near the Old City. When I read this I thought of security reasons, as the place is near East Jerusalem. But you know what the cop’s reason was. It is so ridiculous: The tent protest would bother tourists !

 The tent protest near Jerusalem's Old City.

Can you believe that ? What do I care about tourists ? Our country has huge problems and we live here ? What do I care if a tourists sees nice sights in Israel ? We already have too many tourists in Tel Aviv drinking, making a mess, screaming in the streets at night. Even Tel Aviv inhabitants complain about the masses of tourists and many of the visitors behaving like animals. So, what do I care what a tourist thinks ? 

The tent protest in Rothschild Boulevard / Tel Aviv

 Photos: Miriam Woelke  


  1. This problem is not only in EY but also throughout many Orthodox communities throughout the Diaspora especially those whom want to live in a community with an Eruv.

    For many people today owning their own home is out of reach especially within the Orthodox community and the mounting costs of living a frum lifestyle.

  2. Simple. You like the billions of dollars we tourists pump into your economy.

  3. B"H

    @ Anonymous 1

    This is exactly the reason why young frum couples continue moving out of Jerusalem and prefer Beit Shemesh, El'ad, Beitar, Arad, Ashdod or even the north with Tiberias and sometimes Zfat.

    @ Anonymous 2

    Honestly, I couldn't care less about tourism and wish that Israel would be more Jewish. By the way, the government is making lots of PR to get more tourists and money. In this respect, you are right. But, as I said, I am neither after Dollars nor after tourists.

  4. There are many factors people take into consideration when purchasing a home. Obviously one would prefer to live amongst those whom shared similar values as they do.

    I think this issue is discussed often especially when Charedim begin to move into a secular area. Would they prefer Arabs move in instead?

    As a Charedi woman, I prefer to live amongst my own. My lifestyle is quite different to those around me.

    It's just like Olim who tend to move into areas heavily populated by English speakers. But that is another issue altogether.

  5. B"H

    Your comment reminds of a different reality taking place in Tel Aviv. I have seen Haredim living in secular houses. Litvishe who may not want to live in a haredi area.

    I have seen it quite a few times in Tel Aviv. Among others, in HaNevi'im Street in Tel Aviv. A haredi family with daughters dressed in woolen stockings living in an apartment in a very secular building.

  6. What alternative is there for a community that is rapidly growing whilst seeking to find accommodation within their means. And I don't mean converted flats in underground car parks.