Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 1133–1145 | Cite as

What Can Be Learned from Health-Related Tensions and Disparities in Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Families?

  • Chagit Peles
  • Mary Rudolf
  • Michael Weingarten
  • Miriam Ethel Bentwich
Original Paper


Promoting healthy lifestyle from early childhood is a key objective in public health, yet health behaviors are often culturally driven, especially in closed-religious communities. This study aims to reveal key cultural-religious aspects of attitudes and behaviors regarding lifestyle in one such closed community—the ultra-orthodox Jewish community. In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 participants: religious leaders, educational figures, psycho-medical professionals from two major ultra-orthodox communities in Israel. A thematic analysis was used to reveal key themes in the interviews. We found tensions between conflicting themes in the parenting, nutrition and physical activity domains, while the sleep domain illustrated cultural solution for a tension. By illuminating the perceptional components of lifestyle, the study contributes to better foundations of health promotion in closed-religious communities.


Lifestyle Religious communities Ultra-orthodox Jews Perceptions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chagit Peles
    • 1
  • Mary Rudolf
    • 1
  • Michael Weingarten
    • 1
  • Miriam Ethel Bentwich
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of MedicineBar-Ilan UnversitySafedIsrael

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