Monday, May 18, 2015

Defying their rabbis, more and more Haredim 
go online

Haaretz  It was just a few years ago that the rabbis fought the Internet with all their power and the few Haredim who dared to use it did so in secret. The rabbis still look askance at online activity, but gradually the Web has come close to winning legitimacy. Today, more and more websites are being set up and the number of users has skyrocketed. Even the big advertisers like Bezeq are rushing into the Haredi digital market. 

The phenomenon has many social and cultural implications for the integration of the ultra-Orthodox into Israeli society and the workplace, not to mention many new business opportunities. Google has jumped on the bandwagon and organized the first conference of its kind for Haredi advertisers last week called “A Friday night of cholent and digital.” 

Held in cooperation with the Haredi advertising agency Max Digital, Google presented ad tools for the Haredi community.[...]

“There is still no official approval to use the Internet. But we have also seen in the last two years that there is a lot more usage via cellular, and the applications being built for it testify to that,” she says. “ But we must note that the language in ads still remains Haredi – and there is no breaking down of the limits there.” 

In fact, some advertisers have no choice but to use digital advertising because the Haredi newspapers censor or outright ban certain ads, such as those for higher education. It is not just that the Internet allows advertisers to reach their target audience – sometimes it is the only way to reach them, especially the young people, she says.

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