Did we need the Pew Research Center to tell us American haredim are different than other Jews? It’s no surprise that American haredi Orthodox Jews marry young, have big families, care more about religion and skew further right politically than the rest of the American Jewish community.
Pew’s “Portrait of American Orthodox Jews,” released Wednesday, did illuminate another gap — not between Orthodox and secular, but between haredi Jews from global Jewry’s two poles: Israel and America.
In a few obvious ways, American and Israeli haredi Jews are much alike. Both communities believe in God and keep traditional Jewish law, or halacha. They both have high birthrates and younger populations. They both largely send their kids to religious schools.
Beyond that, though, they begin to diverge. America’s haredim are richer, more educated and more politically conservative than their Israeli counterparts.