More than 130 leaders of the Shomrei Emunim faction of United Torah Judaism met for a faction congress in the Ukraine for six days. They discussed the issues that are at hand in Israel.
A highlight of the meeting was the presentation of demographic research conducted by Professor Yaakov Feitelson.
Findings of the research reported at the gathering indicate that fifteen years from now, the chareidi sector will need to build an additional 275 classrooms each year for chadorim and elementary schools alone. In addition, according to Professor Feitelson, the blessed increase of the chareidi population will necessitate the annual establishment of an average of another 120 classrooms for other age groups. The forecast will be of a scope requiring provision for some 14,000 students per year in chareidi education.
"Results of the study show that regarding housing, the chareidi population will have to build another 14,850 new apartments per year," noted Professor Feitelson in a specially prepared video presentation which was shown to the representatives who attended the Congress. It showed a graph indicating that even at the lowest forecast, it would be essential to build an additional 11,000 housing units per year for this sector. The highest estimate reached a booming 15,000 apartments.
"In other words, the chareidi public will have to create two new cities every year to accommodate the growth, each of which will parallel the size of Beitar Ilit and Elad." The representatives were left speechless by this information.
Chairman of the Congress, Rabbi Binyamin Lipkin, elaborated on the significance of these new factors from the electoral clout. "In terms of Knesset seats, in fifteen years and onward, the chareidi representation will grow each year by another mandate and a half. In other words, every four years will add another six mandates for the chareidi sector."