Panel on Volunteerism and Community Aid Organizations A panel discussion on volunteerism and community aid organizations in the haredi community, was moderated by the Institute’s board member and Acting Mayor of Jerusalem Yitzhak Pindrus. Pindrus introduced the panel by presenting data from the study that highlight the gap between the high poverty rate in the haredi community and the perception of poverty, which is low and comparable in scope to that of the general population.
Panelists were CEO of the Paamonim organization David Kochmeister,and representatives of the communal tzedaka organizations of the haredi cities of Modi’in Illit and Beitar. Questions were raised concerning how haredi households cope with the low level of income, how they minimize household expenses, and the factors contributing to the high level of satisfaction with their economic situation.
David Kochmeister, CEO of Paamonim: According to our index, haredim are no poorer than the general population. Even when it comes to large families, they’re not always poorer; sometimes they know how to conduct their finances properly.
Representative of the communal tzedaka organization of Beitar Illit: In recent years the haredi community has become more aware of proper financial conduct and the avoidance of going into debt. We have community outreach initiatives with Paamonim and other organizations, to encourage proper financial behavior.
Representative of the communal tzedaka organization of Modi’in Illit: A kollel student is much better off than someone unemployed sitting at home, even though they’re both poor. Furthermore the needs of the kollel student aren’t the same as those of someone who’s working. A kollel student knows how to live with modest means, and to make do even with less.