|M.Sc Student||Shahar Yoad|
|Subject||Tipping Point in Neighborhood Identity: The Role of Social|
Institutions in Haredization of Kiryat Yovel
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Dr. Meirav Aharon|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
Jerusalem witnessed Homogenic Haredi areas developing over the years in the older neighborhoods, aimed at coping with the “concern over the influence of Western culture.” Over the past decades, the high natural increase of the Haredi population coupled with the housing density in the older neighborhoods resulted in a considerable move of Haredi population to secular neighborhoods. This “Haredization” is a spatial-social process of exiting the walls of the Haredi areas, and has the power to change the destination area’s character. "Haredization" is not a neutral term, it is perceived as occupation, as a suppression, like a black cloud, quite literally.
This research deals with a specific point referred to as the Tipping Point, where the transformation reaches a ridgeline, namely, the change of expectations of the population with regards to the character and identity of the neighborhood. The institutions of the neighborhood that shape social, demographic and cultural changes in the neighborhood stand at the core of this research. We try to understand the role of these institutions in the conflict between the different groups, on the neighborhood identity and their influence on the social construction of the neighborhood area, namely the territory.
This research seeks to understand the context of the move of the Haredi population to Kiryat Yovel neighborhood in Jerusalem, through qualitative and constructivist research including deep, detailed and diverse descriptions collected through participating observations and interviews. In particular, this research focuses on the role of the neighborhood institutions - the processes of setup, shaping and co-influence of the individuals on the institution and the institution on the individual, in determining the identities of the different groups that are at the center of the conflict over the “Haredization” of the neighborhood.
The theoretical framework of this research take apart the concept of Haredization into four major elements which I believe, component the understanding of the changing process in Jerusalem: (a). The territoriality of holiness, (b). The role of institutions in creating a social climate, (c). The tipping point theory and (d). Conflicts between social groups.
Contrary to the common premise whereby a Haredi/non-Haredi confrontation generates a demographic match point that results in a change the neighborhood nature, in this dissertation I claim that the friction between the Haredi and non-Haredi groups boils down to a conflict over social institutions and the public codes that they imply. These conflicts are constantly present whilst the collective identities are at an ongoing negotiation. There is no resolution in the urban area in these processes, but rather the categories of “secular” and “Haredi” are subject to constant change.