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December 04, 2012

Jewish Poverty Rises In Australia

Haredi women and children eyes coveredMore 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 haredi ­community.

Haredi women and children eyes covered

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.

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.
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.

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.


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There just has to be consequences for failing to observe the basic mitzvah of educating your children, refusing to work and having children beyond the basic Halachic requirement of one child of each gender (G-d willing). Most of this poverty is self-imposed, as for Charedim everywhere. In any case, Australia has a generous welfare system which the Charedim very well know how to work to maximum advantage.

I find this very hard to believe, because the goyim in my town think that all Jews are wealthy.

And just because a lot of the Charedim are poor on paper (or at least the paperwork they submit to the welfare authorities) there are plenty that are living in million dollar plus houses and still manage to collect welfare. The true number of charedi "poor" would be much lower than is claimed.

At the start of the Common Era there were no government sponsored welfare systems which bailed people out the way Austrialian, British, USA and Israeli systems do. In those days people died of starvation and lack of shelter.

Most of the religious poor in these studies are NOT dying of starvation and lack of shelter, even if they are suffering.

At the same time, the current system is not sustainable, even for people with decent secular educations, and a lot of Chareidim have resorted to illegal activity of lying, cheating and stealing to maintain their Chareidi lifestyle.

The lying, cheating and stealing is going to get much worse as more and more Chareidi men are not given proper secular educations in elementary and high school and they keep having large families.

I get frequent "visitors" (read: chareidim)to my home requesting "tzedakah" (read: handout). I used to give to them all now I give to none of them. The endless litany of sob stories would boggle your mind. I still give to charities that I check out first on Charity Navigator. One mooch knocked at our door and told me he didn't have money to marry off daughter number 7! I told him he needs to buy a box of Trojans and I slammed the door in his face. My wife & I stopped at 4 and thank G-D they turned out great. College educated, good jobs, etc. This idiotic not working lifestyle has got to go.If you can't feed 'em don't breed 'em.

Haredim purposely choose a lifestyle of poverty because the men do not work. Every self-respecting man has as his first priority the financial support of his family, and taking welfare from the government should be the last thing he would want to do. The haredi value system is not something they should be proud of.


I am in the position of having to rent a housing unit in a religious area of town here in Montreal. I have been trying to rent if for over 6 months without success.

I always get these young religious couples wanting to rent it but they simply do not have the means to pay the rent. Not only that, but they also have an incredible sense of entitlment as well.

I dont know what kind of idiots are raising these young people but it is indeed breathtaking.

They are going to learn but its going to be a hard lesson in life.

Synagogue made this claim,in this years Yom Kippor Apperal. Not in regard to Haredim alone, but in the general Jewish community.

While am doughtful, as both the UK and Australia are waelthfare states, I neverless pledged £50.

My Shul, by the way in Non Orthodox, MasortI).

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