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Westernization and Israelization within Israel’s Extreme Orthodox Haredi Society

Menachem Keren-Kratz

Keywords: Extreme Orthodoxy; Haredi society; Israelization; radicalization; social change; ultra-Orthodoxy; Westernization


Belying its conservative and old-fashioned image, Haredi society is constantly changing. Scholars examining these changes debate their direction and scope as well as their future implications. In this article I address the most striking example of these social changes. I argue that not only is Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) society adopting Western social values in addition to certain Israeli characteristics, but that these processes are occurring even within the most extreme sub-group of Haredi society, which I refer to as Extreme Orthodoxy. I then proceed to offer several examples to demonstrate how, in recent decades, Extreme Orthodoxy has appropriated many Western and Israeli social and behavioral traits.

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