The Haredi media, religious identity, and the COVID 19 crisis

Yoel Cohen*, Bruria Adini, Ahuva Spitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit Israel in March 2020 and the government imposed a number of lockdowns, Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rabbis instructed their followers to continue attending synagogues and engage in Torah study. As a result, the relative number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities in the Haredi community was higher than that of the Israeli population as a whole. This article examines the role of the mass media during the crisis in Israel’s largest Haredi city of Bnei Beraq, via interviews with 405 of the city’s residents. It shows that despite rabbinic bans on exposure to the secular media and to the Internet, many Haredim were exposed to them and hence less dependent on the Haredi media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-935
Number of pages15
JournalIsrael Affairs
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Bnei Beraq
  • Covid-19
  • Haredi community
  • Israel
  • health
  • mass media

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