Culture

Retail

Admen of God— Israel

Preface

Imagine trying to sell products to people who don’t watch TV and cannot use the internet. That’s the challenge for students studying at the Haredi Advertising Academy, which trains them in how to make advertisements aimed at their Orthodox brothers.

Haredi. advertising, Hasidic, Orthodox Jews, academy

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Despite their numbers, the Haredi community is currently Israel’s poorest – with 60 per cent of all families living below the poverty line. The chief cause is unemployment: 60 per cent of all Haredi men in Israel do not work. Instead, they study Torah full-time, which costs the Israeli economy an estimated $1bn (€775m) in lost income and taxes. But unlike their parents, who enjoyed lavish government subsidies – young Haredi adults are now entering the workplace. They have no choice: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut Haredi welfare support by more than 50 per cent during his tenure as economic minister in 2003. Almost a decade later, upwards of 40 per cent of Haredi men and women are now employed in the formal sector – many in hi-tech and software industries. Still, Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer says ongoing Haredi unemployment is economically “not sustainable”.

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