Debunking the Myth

A few weeks ago, a meeting took place in Washington between a group of Orthodox Jewish leaders, businessmen, and professionals and the Israeli Ambassador to the United States. The agenda was the topic of chareidi-bashing in Israel, with the new slogan, “shivyon b’netel,” accusing the chareidim of shirking their responsibility towards the state’s survival.

The participants made it very clear to the Ambassador that they were representing American Orthodox Jewish communities that are involved on local, state and federal levels in various business initiatives in Israel .

Mr. Shloime Werdiger, a successful businessman and chairman of the board of Agudath Israel in America, posed the following questions to the Israeli Ambassador:

“Do we, who are deeply involved with business and chessed ventures in Israel, discriminate against anyone in Israel? When a secular child with special needs applies to one of the institutions that we support, do we turn him away because he is not chareidi? When an I-Tech professional applies for a job in one of our offices, is he turned away because he is secular? When an architect sends in a bid for a huge real estate project in Yerushalayim where hundreds of million dollars are being invested by American Orthodox businessmen, does he not get a fair chance?”

“Do you understand, Mr. Ambassador, what a terrible image of the State of Israel is being  created among the business and political communities in America?”

No. They don’t understand.

They don’t understand that the rift they are causing in Israel is spreading to many Orthodox communities abroad.

They don’t understand the frustration engendered among Orthodox American Jews, not only due to the mistreatment of Orthodox Jews in Israel, but to being told that “American Jews are different.”

Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett, with their rampant, unbridled hatred and mind-boggling audacity, are accusing the Orthodox of being parasites, of not taking responsibility to support their own families, and misappropriating money from the Israeli budget which is meant for other segments of Israeli society, and not participating in the defense of the country.

This disastrous situation induced us at Hamodia to launch an investigative report, and to present the information to you, our readers.

We will not pretend to have uncovered the full picture of the contribution of American Orthodoxy to Israeli society, but our information decisively debunks the myth that chareidim in Israel are parasites.

American Jewish Orthodoxy has a message for Mr. Lapid.

In Russia, during the times of the Czars,  they used a slogan, “Hit the Jews and save Russia.”

In Israel, the latest slogan is, “Hit the chareidim and save the State.”

Mr. Lapid, it didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.


Ruth Lichtenstein


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