The Australian Jewish News reports:
MORE than 20 per cent of Jewish households in Australia are living below or close to the poverty line and financial struggles are worsening in the country’s ultra-Orthodox community.What the AJN doesn't report, perhaps because the Monash University report may not discuss it, is that haredi poverty in even in Australia is worsened significantly by the very poor secular educations many haredi men receive.
This is the headline finding to come out of the Poverty and Emergency Relief report, the latest instalment in the Monash University Gen08 series, launched at Jewish Care Victoria’s annual general meeting earlier this month.
The report was authored by Monash University’s Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation Professor Andrew Markus and Dr Miriam Munz, and produced in partnership with Jewish Care Victoria.
…the report notes that while the Jewish population is significantly over-represented in top income brackets, 18.4 per cent of the Victorian Jewish population ranks in the low weekly income bracket, slightly more than the 15.7 per cent of the Jewish population in NSW also facing the low wage.
That means that close to 6500 Jews in Victoria aged 20 or above are low income earners in the range of $200-$399 a week, with an estimated 5000 people in NSW also in this category.
The worst affected are those who suffer from a disability; those over the age of 70; the long-term unemployed; single parent families; and those who are ultra-Orthodox.
The issue is particularly dire for ultra-Orthodox Jews because of the financial burden associated with leading a strictly Jewish life.…
“There are a number of indicators that the situation is getting worse,” Professor Markus told The AJN.…
Emergency assistance is currently provided without high-level coordination between organisations and without full knowledge of the extent of the need.
Additionally, religious and political differences within Jewish communities have culminated in “divisions and personal animosities”, according to the report, between the bodies of the service provision sector.
Even so, observant Jewish life is basically unsustainable everywhere, and like the attrition that took place in the early centuries of the Common Era in reaction to the high price of Jewish education and Jewish observance, the Jewish community will certainly shrink in size because of it.