How connected are haredim to the internet?

New study reveals half of haredi population is connected to the internet, more than a fifth half internet-capable smartphones.

David Rosenberg ,

Haredim on the web
Haredim on the web

Half of Israel’s haredi population use the internet regularly, a new study shows, while 21% possess internet-capable smartphones.

According to the survey, conducted by the Israel Internet Association (ISOC-IL), 49% of Israeli haredim surf the web regularly, despite the spread of rabbinic prohibitions strictly limiting internet usage. Among the general population, 88% use the internet.

In many communities, recreational internet usage is banned, with special exceptions granted only to individuals whose work absolutely requires an internet connection.

The ISOC-IL study also shows the proliferation of smartphones – cellular devices with internet connections – despite strong criticism of the devices by haredi leadership. According to the study, 21% of haredi Jews in Israel use smartphones.

Within the 49% of haredim who do use the internet, 40% use both a computer and smartphone to access the internet, while 56% use only a computer. Just over 4% use only a smartphone.

Previous studies show similar figures regarding internet use among haredim.

An Israel Democracy Institute study in August showed that 54% of haredi Jews admitted using computers regularly, while 41% said they surfed the web.