Haredi Youth at Risk: Overview and Conclusions

Addressing at-risk youth is a challenge everywhere, but addressing at-risk youth in the Haredi sector brings with it additional special challenges. We were asked by the Jerusalem Municipality to assist it in understanding the situation of at-risk youth from Haredi sector in the city, and of the various aid options that the municipality operates.

Studies regarding youth at-risk poses several methodological challenges. Naturally, this is not a topic that people like to talk about, and therefore there is a natural tendency to hide information, change it, etc.

Accordingly and in addition to a round of interviews with care providers in the municipality, and with a representative sample of Haredi parents from all denominations, we also went out into the streets and developed unique research tools that will help us overcome problems of under-reporting and other biases.

We were able to reach a good assessment of the numbers, the deep currents and the factors of risk and opportunity. For example, we discovered that the variable that most strongly predicts dropping out of school is the boy’s or girl’s religious level. Much of the information we discovered, especially the great importance of the parental bond as a factor preventing dropout, could help not only the dedicated care providers at the Jerusalem Municipality, but also parents, Rabbis and teachers.

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Dr. Shlomit Shahino-Kesler
Senior Researcher
Dov Goldberg

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