Promoting a Culturally Adapted Policy to Deal with the COVID-19 Crisis in the Haredi Population in Israel

Hanni Schroeder, Ronny Numa, Ephraim Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

COVID-19 has caused high morbidity and mortality in Israel but, as in other countries, not all groups were equally affected. Haredi Jews (often called ultra-Orthodox), a religious minority, were disproportionately harmed by the pandemic. This group has distinctive cultural, lifestyle, and demographic characteristics, which may be related to these higher COVID-19 rates and call for policies specifically adapted for this community. This paper describes in detail the steps the Israeli Ministry of Health (MoH) took to try to improve the quality of care and prevent morbidity in the Haredi population through working in cooperation with the leadership and members of the Haredi community and strengthening mutual trust in order to increase adherence to government regulations and recommendations. This case study is based on the unique perspective of the two people who worked in the Israeli MoH and led the initiative as well as a review of relevant government documents and statistics. It discusses to what extent the initiative seemed to have been successful and what lessons can be learned not only for Haredim but for other religious and/or minority groups and closed communities in Israel and elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2508-2517
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of racial and ethnic health disparities
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Coronavirus
  • Haredi
  • Health policy
  • Israel
  • Minority groups

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