Essay: Yeshiva’s Arguments
He has pointed out that because of the interventionist policies of the state, Haredi households are actually being largely subsidized by the government to not only maintain their lifestyle, but also to increase their community’s demographic and political strength within the overall societal framework.
Taking the example of families with fathers attending Yeshiva, he points out that out of the total monthly income available to such families, 39% comes from transfers by state institutions and another 32% in the form of child support allowances with only 18% being contributed by the family – mostly, the wife – in form of actual earned income.
He then goes on to juxtapose these figures against data obtained between 1980s and mid-1990s to illustrate that while the ultra-orthodox labor force participation dropped by one-third between these 15-odd years, their fertility rates rose from 6.5 children per woman in 1980s to 7.6 children per woman in mid-1990s. He further cancels out the possibility of any general trend in the overall population expansion by pointing out that while in 1980, the gap between the fertility rates being experienced by the Arab and ultra-orthodox Jewish communities was only 0.5 child per woman, it had grown significantly to 3 children per woman by 1995-96.
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