A large-scale study published by the Guttman Institute on Monday found that most Israeli Haredim do not share the public feeling that Yom Ha’atzmaut—Independence Day—is an occasions for celebration, nor that Holocaust Day is cause for mourning.
The findings are published prior to Israel’s 70th Independence Day and against the background of the lively debate on the issue of the Haredi attitude regarding Holocaust Day and their response to the siren which is sounded across the country on the morning of this day.
Prof. Tamar Hermann and Or Inbari of the Guttman Center for Public Opinion Research and Policy have compiled data from a large-scale study of the Haredi population conducted by the Institute’s program on Haredim in Israel.
Only 8% of the Haredim who participated in the study “agreed very much” with the statement that Independence Day is a holiday, and another 9% said they “quite agree” with this statement.
16% said they “do not agree so much” and 47% responded that they disagree with this statement altogether.
The researchers found differences between different age groups regarding both official days. The study divided the subjects into four age groups: 18-24; 25-44; 45-55; and 56 and older, with significant differences in perceptions between the two younger groups (up to age 44) and the older Haredi public.
Only about 15-17% of Haredim ages 18-44 celebrate Independence Day in a festive manner. Among adults, the situation is somewhat different: 23-27% identify Independence Day as a holiday.
There are also differences between different Haredi ethnic groups, with 12% of Ashkenazi Haredim regarding Independence Day as a holiday, and more than 30% of Sephardi Haredim perceiving it as such.
The study also examined Haredi attitudes regarding the Holocaust Martyrs ‘and Heroes’ Remembrance Day which was held last week: 21% very much agree that it is a day of mourning; 15% quite agree; 24% do not agree so much; and 40% say they do not see Holocaust Remembrance Day as a day of mourning for them.
Among the older generation, age 56 and over, more than half of the Haredim see Holocaust Day as a day of mourning, while among the younger generation, between the ages of 18-24, only a third see Holocaust Remembrance Day as an occasion for mourning.
Surprisingly, the differences by ethnicity also exist with regard to the degree of identification with Holocaust Day: while only 26% of the Ashkenazim interviewed for the study noted that Holocaust Day is a day of mourning for them, almost half of the Sephardim see Holocaust Day as a day of mourning.
The research data are based on a public opinion survey of 1,010 participants who were a representative sample of the Haredi population.