Israel, like the US, is a country divided; and the COVID crisis has only emphasized the deep issues we face in politics, healthcare, education, employment. A renewed commitment to fundamental progressive values is absolutely essential moving forward.
No community represents the potential of such commitment more than the Yotzim – an emerging movement of young adults who have left ultra-Orthodoxy to join larger Israeli society.
The world that they exited chooses not to participate in the financial and ideological life of the country, and is perhaps the largest socio-economic issue facing Israel in the near future. In contrast, Yotzim choose to enter that life fully. They do so knowing too well the price.
Excommunicated by family and friends, they face social isolation and struggle with gaps in education, employment, and housing security. Yet it is their determination to succeed rather than these obstacles that defines them.
Yotzim aged 18-30 are one of the fastest growing demographics in Israel – their numbers will literally double in the next 10 years. Once they struggled on the margins to survive. Today, with the help of Hillel – The Right to Choose, they enter the mainstream and thrive.