for forthcoming uk programmes of jewish or israeli interest

Torah and Tech in Israel

tomorrow morning (thursday 8th), 11.00-11.30am, on bbc radio 4 (repeated 8.30pm on monday)
torah and tech in israel (in the crossing continents series) (also in the assignment series on bbc world service radio, )

“Can you learn to code if you’ve spent your life studying religious texts? Can you be part of the fast-paced, secular world of technology and startups if you’re from a conservative religious community? Israel has been called the “Startup Nation“, with a flourishing technology sector playing a big role in the country’s economy.
But one group who haven’t traditionally been involved are ultra-Orthodox Jews, known as Haredim. They often live apart from mainstream Israeli society and adhere to strict religious laws covering everything from diet to dress and technology. Many men don’t work or serve in the army, spending their lives studying the Torah, subsidised by the government. It’s a way of life that leaves many Haredim in poverty, and other Israelis resenting picking up the tab. But in recent years, the ultra-orthodox have been increasingly joining the high-tech world, working in big international tech companies and founding their own startups.
David Baker travels to Israel to meet the new breed of high tech Haredim, and find out how they reconcile taking part in the “Startup Nation” with traditional Torah life.”

(if you miss it, available at


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