“Jewish family” in Israel


There is no one characteristic “Jewish family” in Israel. Secular, traditional, religious and ultra-orthodox families are very different in their values and praxis. Notwithstanding, Israel is still a very familial society – with high marriage rates, low divorce rates, the very high childbirth rates compared to other developed countries. There are two gaps I wish to point out – first, allegedly, we are a society that value children more than anything else. However, children interests are often neglected or ignored.

The shutdown of kindergartens and schools for months during the pandemic, even after data accumulating on the detrimental outcomes for children, is but one example. Second, the value of gender equality is often part of public discourse (hence, the shift to joint physical custody I mentioned in answer 1). However, Israeli families are still deeply gendered, with women doing the majority of housework and children care (30 hours more per week compared to men), and men earning more than 30% in paid labor compared to women.

From the interview with Prof. Daphna Hacker
(Head of the Women and Gender Studies Program, Member of the Law Faculty of the Tel Aviv University)

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