Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fair Rent

Yair Assaf-Shapira

Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

On November 24, the memorandum of the law for fair rent was published. The law states that the rent paid for an apartment will not increase by more than 2% per year, for three years. How different is the proposed situation from the prevailing one?

The average monthly rent paid for a 3.5 to 4 room apartment in Jerusalem stood at NIS 4,480 in the second quarter of 2014. This amount was much lower than the average paid in Tel Aviv (NIS 6,420), and much higher than the average paid in Haifa (NIS 3,010). The rent for these apartments in Jerusalem saw an average rise of 5.5% in the last year (since the second quarter of 2013 – during a period of four quarters), similar to Haifa (5.5%) and Tel Aviv (5.4%).

Compared to the proposed maximum stated in the law (2% annually), the rise seems to be steep. Compared to the cost of living, measured in the consumer price index, it is even more extreme, since the index rose only by 1% during the period. That means that the average rent rose by more than twice the proposed maximum, and more than five times the rise in the other components of the consumer price index.

Rent prices of smaller apartments in Jerusalem rose by lower percentages (1.3% rise and 4.3% rise in 1.5-2 room and 2.5-3 room apartments, respectively). Rent for larger apartments, sized 4.5-5 rooms, rose more dramatically, by 6.1%.

Will the proposed law change the balance between real estate rent and sell markets? Average purchasing prices for 4 room apartments in Jerusalem stood in the second quarter of 2014 at NIS 1,925,000. These prices rose during the previous year (from the second quarter of 2013) by 9.5% - a very steep rise. Will the prices' change rates be affected by the new law? Only time will tell.

Data sources: Ministry of Construction and Housing – Division of Economic Analysis: Data Tables – Israel Government Portal

Thursday, December 11, 2014

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Yair Assaf-Shapira

During the 2011-2012 academic year, a total of 37,670 students were enrolled in Jerusalem’s academic institutions, constituting 15% of the total number of students in Israel. Among Jerusalem’s students, 20,580 were enrolled at the Hebrew University, 11,410 were enrolled in academic colleges, and 5,680 were enrolled in colleges of education. 

The students’ fields of study varied widely. At the Hebrew University the most popular fields of study were the social sciences (27% of students), humanities (22%), and natural sciences and mathematics (20%). Recently published data from a long-term study by the Central Bureau of Statistics explores the following question, among others: What will students in the various fields do after graduation?

The study surveyed students who had completed their studies in the 2005-06 academic year, using two points in time: 2008 and 2011. An examination of areas of employment (economic sectors) among graduates reveals that two years after graduation, a high percentage of law school graduates (62%) are employed in the business service sector, as are natural sciences and mathematics graduates and engineering and architecture graduates. A high percentage of medical school graduates (72%) are, unsurprisingly, employed in the healthcare, welfare, and nursing services, whereas social sciences and humanities graduates are distributed across several economic sectors. Among humanities graduates the main sectors are education (28% of graduates) and business services (24%). For social sciences graduates the main sectors are business services (29%), and banking, insurance, and finance (18%).

As the years passed, changes in the employment sectors of graduates were observed, and the methodology of the study enables us to examine them. Among 2005-06 humanities and social sciences graduates, the percentage employed in the healthcare, welfare, and nursing sector increased (by 4.4 and 4.7 percentage points, respectively) between 2008 and 2011. Among natural sciences and mathematics graduates as well as engineering and architecture graduates, the percentage employed in the business service sector increased (by 4.2 and 4.8 PPs, respectively) – this already being the main employment sector among these graduates. 

Regarding continuing education, 38% of bachelor’s degree recipients went on to pursue a master’s degree, and evidently the field with the highest degree of continuing students is the natural sciences and agriculture (47% of bachelor’s degree recipients continued to study for a master’s degree). The most popular field for the pursuit of a master’s degree was business and management, with 14% of graduates (about 36% of students who went on to pursue a master’s degree) selecting this field.

Translation: Merav Datan

Sources of data: 
Continuing Studies and Employment Five Years after Receiving a Bachelor’s Degree, Central Bureau of Statistics, November 2014

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Faith in the Future

Yoad Shahar

Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

Jerusalem is considered one of Israel’s poorest cities. In 2011 the average gross monthly salary for employed individuals in Jerusalem was 8,014 NIS, compared with 10,409 NIS in Haifa, 11,445 NIS in Tel Aviv – Jaffa, and 9,461 NIS in Israel as a whole. Moreover, in the same year 44% of salaried employees in Jerusalem earned less than the minimum wage, compared with 38% of salaried employees in Haifa, 33% of salaried employees in Tel Aviv, and 38% in Israel.

In addition to these objective statistics, in the past summer the media published data from the annual social survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics. This survey provides another dimension that aids in understanding the standard of living and welfare in Israel – namely, the subjective dimension. The data painted a dismal picture of the manner in with Israel’s residents perceive their individual economic situation, and an even more dismal picture when respondents were asked about their expectations of the future in this regard. 

A total of 19% of survey respondents said they expect their individual economic situation to deteriorate in the future, 38% believed it would not improve, and 43% believed that their individual economic situation would improve in the future. One might expect that because Jerusalem is a poorer city in terms of objective indices, its residents would expect a bleaker future, as there would be fewer possibilities for financial savings and future planning. However, only 17% of Jerusalem’s residents believed that their individual economic situation would deteriorate in the future and 34% believed it would not change, whereas 49% believed their situation would improve – higher than the figure for Israel and the other major cities. In Tel Aviv and in Haifa only 40% and 42%, respectively, believed their situation would improve.

One of the factors that might explain this optimistic view of the future is the power of faith. The social survey also questioned respondents about the degree of their religiosity (ultra-orthodox, religious, traditional-religious, traditional and not very religious, and secular / not religious). A breakdown by outlook on one’s economic situation (among Jews) reveals that a greater degree of religiosity corresponds with a higher degree of optimism regarding one’s future economic situation. (A comparable trend was observed among non-Jews as well.)

Even though the economic situation of the ultra-orthodox in Jerusalem ranks among the lowest in the city in terms of objective indices, 59% of the ultra-orthodox stated that they expect their economic situation to improve in the future, compared with 46% of religious respondent, 43% of secular respondents, 35% of traditional and not very religious respondents, and only 31% of traditional-religious respondents. The effect of subjective expectations on the objective situation has not yet been demonstrated. If such an effect does exist, then believers have a brighter economic future.

Data source: The social survey, by the Central Bureau of Statistics

Translation: Merav Datan

Monday, October 27, 2014

Trash Talk

Omer Yaniv

Preliminary data from the report Society in Israel, published by the Central Bureau of Statistics, indicate that only 43% of Jerusalem residents are satisfied with the state of sanitation in their area of residence, compared with 55% of Tel Aviv residents and 62% of Haifa residents. In recent years the Municipality of Jerusalem has undertaken more intensive action on the issue of recycling. In 2013 approximately 66,000 tons of waste were recycled in the capital, an increase of 61% compared with 2012. Simultaneously there was an increase of nearly 100% in the amount of organic waste recycled in the city during those years. 
The increased recycling of waste in Jerusalem stems, among other factors, from the addition of some 3,000 recycling containers (bins) throughout the city for the purpose of recycling metal, plastic, batteries, paper, and so on. Furthermore, in 2014 a large-scale recycling center was established in the Atarot industrial zone in order to collect waste from Jerusalem and its environs, and in August 2014 a facility for sorting and separating waste began operating within the zone. As of 2013, the percentage of recycled waste in Jerusalem – out of the total amount of waste collected – is 15.5%. With respect to the recycling of waste from recycling bins, the percentage of this type of waste that was recycled in 2012 is comparable to the national average, at approximately 7.5% (compared with 4% in 2009). 

The daily production of waste per resident in Jerusalem is among the lowest in Israel, measuring 1.40 kg per capita per day in 2012. This is approximately two-thirds of the figure for Tel Aviv residents and about 19% lower than the national average, which is 1.72 kg per capita per day. In Jerusalem and its environs nearly half a million tons of waste were collected in 2012, about half the amount collected in Tel Aviv and 10.1% of the total amount of waste collected in Israel. We hope that the opening of the new recycling center will result in a significant increase in the amount of waste recycled in Jerusalem. In recent years a project was launched that aims to encourage the use of compost bins in both private gardens and community gardens. As of 2013, some 1,700 families in three community councils were using compost bins, and this year more community councils are expected to take part in this project. For additional information on this project, please contact

(Please notice there was a mistake in the writer's name in the Jerusalem Post's print edition)
Translation: Merav Datan

Monday, September 22, 2014

Man’s Best Friend

Alon Kupererd

October 4 marks the annual World Animal Day. This international day of action was established at a convention of ecologists in Italy in 1931, on the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, Christianity’s patron saint of animals, who was known for his love of the environment and living creatures. On the occasion of this day, which aims to spotlight the living creatures with whom we share our life on earth, let us examine the data regarding dogs in Jerusalem as compared to other cities in Israel and the world. 
A total of 12,300 dogs are registered with the Municipality of Jerusalem, while in Tel Aviv the total is 25,000, and in Haifa it is 12,000. In all three cities there is a majority of female dogs, although in Tel Aviv and Haifa their percentage is greater (60%, compared to 53% in Haifa and 52% in Jerusalem).
Of the male and female dogs registered with the Municipality of Jerusalem, 55% have been spayed or neutered. This is much lower than the figure for Tel Aviv, where 80% of male and female dogs are spayed or neutered. Haifa’s figure is between these two, with 65% of male and female dogs spayed or neutered. It is conceivable that this disparity results from Jerusalem’s more traditional and religious character, given that Judaism is likely to view spaying and neutering as cruelty to animals. 
Jerusalem has five fenced dog runs, where dogs may be unleashed – that is, 2,470 dogs for every dog run. Tel Aviv, in contrast, has provided 70 dog runs for dogs to roam freely, with a correspondingly lower density – 360 dogs per dog run. Haifa has only two dog runs – that is, 6,000 dogs per dog run. In this context Jerusalem ranks between the two other major cities, though it lags significantly behind Tel Aviv. 
Even though the number of dogs living in Jerusalem is nearly identical to the figure for Haifa, the number of dogs in relation to Jerusalem’s population is relatively lower, at 15 dogs per 1,000 individuals, compared with Haifa, which has 44 dogs per 1,000 individuals. Tel Aviv has a higher ratio than both these cities, with 60 dogs per 1,000 individuals. It should be noted that raising dogs is much less prevalent within ultra-orthodox and Arab cultures, which constitute a significant portion of Jerusalem’s residents. 
San Francisco, whose geographic area and population are comparable to Jerusalem’s, has 120,000 registered dogs, that is, 143 dogs per 1,000 individuals. It has 27 fenced dog runs. New York City has 600,000 dogs. As a matter of comparison, Israel as a whole has a total of 400,000 dogs. The ratio of dogs to population in New York is 71 dogs per 1,000 individuals, with 170 dog runs.

Sources of data:

National Dog Registry
Veterinary Service of the Municipality of Tel Aviv
Veterinary Service of the Municipality of Jerusalem
Veterinary Service of the Municipality of Haifa

Translation: Merav Datan

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Home Owner

Yair Assaf-Shapira

Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

29 percent of people aged 20 and above in Jerusalem, reside in an apartment they are renting. The rest reside in an apartment they own (60%), or use other arrangements (11%), including an apartment owned by a family member or a friend. This is revealed by the Central Bureau of Statistics' social survey, for the years 2012-2013 (years were averaged to minimize inaccuracy).

The percentage of renters in Jerusalem equals the one in Haifa (29%), and is low compared to Tel Aviv (42%). Interesting to note is the percentage being equal to that in Haifa, since Jerusalem is home to a very large population characterized by a traditional way of life, and we could have expected a lower percentage of renters.

Most of these renters do not own an apartment, but a considerable share does. 16 percent of Jerusalemites residing in a rented apartment (15% in Tel Aviv and only 10% in Haifa) own a different apartment, possibly renting it to others. As a result, the total percentage of home owners in Jerusalem is higher than the 60 percent residing in their own place, and stands at 66 percent in Jerusalem, 61 percent in Tel Aviv, and 71 percent in Haifa.

Of course the people residing in their own apartment sometimes own another one as well. This describes 12 percent of the people that live in their own apartment in Jerusalem, 15 percent in Haifa, and 22 percent in Tel Aviv.

Naturally, the rate of home ownership rises with age. Among young people aged 20-34 in Jerusalem, this rate stands at 55% - slightly higher than in Haifa (at 52%) and considerably higher than in Tel Aviv (at 39%). This percentage rises continuously with age in the three large cities, but in Jerusalem it rises slower, and comes to 79 percent at the age group of 65 and above – equal to the percentage in Haifa (at 79%), but lower than in Tel Aviv (at 86%). The change of the trend between the cities in the older ages may be connected to the difficulty of buying an apartment in Jerusalem, even for the people who are older today, meaning that the difficulty has been prevailing for years. But considering the high apartment prices in Tel Aviv, we can assume that it probably also stems in part from the phenomenon of young people leaving Tel Aviv, having failed to purchase an apartment there.

Data source: Social Survey, the Central Bureau of Statistics

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Metropolitan Jerusalem

Yair Assaf-Shapira

A metropolis is defined as an urban area that includes a main (metropolitan) city, which constitutes the core of the metropolis, and other surrounding localities that have relations with it. There is, generally, interaction between the satellite communities of the metropolis and the metropolitan city for the purposes of employment, education, culture, shopping, and the like. The intensity of relations with the metropolitan city determines whether a locality is defined as part of the metropolis or not. Recently the Central Bureau of Statistics released new definitions for the metropolises in Israel, with Jerusalem included for the first time. Also included were the metropolises of Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Be’er Sheva. The definitions were based on the rate of employed residents of each locality who work in the main employment centers of the metropolis. About 75% of Israel’s population resides within these metropolitan areas.

Metropolitan Jerusalem has been defined as stretching from Jerusalem to Beit Shemesh in the west, and including Israeli localities in the West Bank, up to Mitzpe Yericho in the east, to Ofra in the north to Gush Etzion in the south. In all, the metropolis comprises 86 localities, and has a population of 1,164,000 residents. Metropolitan Jerusalem is the second largest, after Metropolitan Tel Aviv, which numbers 3,642,000. The metropolises of Haifa and Be’er Sheva have populations of 891,100 and 354,900 residents, respectively. 

We can learn about the character of the metropolis by looking at the population of the core city as a proportion of the entire metropolitan populace (the weight of the core city within the metropolitan area), both in spatial terms – how concentrated or scattered it is– and in economic terms – the weight of the metropolitan satellite communities and hence their potential contribution to the prosperity of the core city.

This factor varies greatly among Israel’s metropolitan areas. The population of Tel Aviv-Jaffa constitutes only 11% of the entire metropolis’s population, whereas in Jerusalem the population of the city constitutes 71% of the total for the entire metropolis. For Haifa and Be’er Sheva, the weight of the core city in each metropolis is 31% and 56%, respectively. Accordingly, the relative weight of the metropolitan city within the metropolis is lowest for Tel Aviv – an indication of the large number of residents with ties to the city, a fact that correlates with the economic prosperity of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Jerusalem’s relative weight is the highest, correlating with the low weight of the metropolitan satellite communities and indicating that Jerusalem provides services and employment primarily to its own residents. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Palestinian Residents of Jerusalem

Lior Lehrs

The events that took place in East Jerusalem during recent weeks have re-exposed the complex and explosive reality of relations between Jews and Arabs in the city and the tension between East and West Jerusalem. Against this background, let us look at the data relating to Palestinian residents in Jerusalem and the current situation in East Jerusalem.

According to data of the Central Bureau of Statistics, as of late 2012 the Palestinian population of Jerusalem numbered 300,200 residents, constituting 37% of the total population of Jerusalem (815,300). The relative size of this population group in the city increased from 26% in 1967, 28% in 1980, and 32% in 2000. The population comprises a vast Muslim majority (96%) and Christian minority (about 4%). East Jerusalem – that is the territory added to the city after June 1967 – has 297,900 Palestinian residents, who constitute 99% of the total Palestinian population of the city as a whole and 60% of the residents of East Jerusalem. In addition, East Jerusalem has 199,650 Jewish residents, constituting 40% of its population. The largest Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem are Beit Hanina (34,800 residents), the Muslim Quarter (29,100 residents), Ras al-Amud (24,100), A-Tur (23,600), Shu‘afat (22,800), Jabal Mukaber (21,900), and Silwan (19,100).

Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem have the legal status of residents of Israel, which includes rights to social security and national health insurance as well as freedom of movement throughout Israel. Yet they are not citizens and therefore have no right to participate in elections to the Knesset or to receive an Israeli passport. They do, however, have an affiliation with the Palestinian Authority: they have the right participate in elections to the Palestinian parliament, and their schools use the Palestinian educational curriculum.

The Palestinian population of Jerusalem is characterized by a young age structure, with a median age of 20.2 (compared with 25.9 among Jews in the city). The total fertility rate among Palestinian women is 3.6 children. In recent years this rate has been declining, having stood at 4.1 in 2006. Interestingly, the total fertility rate among Jewish women in Jerusalem is higher (4.3), as a result of the high overall fertility rate among ultra-orthodox women.

The poverty rates within the Palestinian population of Jerusalem are very high: 77% of families are below the poverty line, compared with 21% of Jewish families in the city. The rate of participation in the workforce among the Palestinians of Jerusalem stands at 67% for men and 14% for women (compared with 52% and 59% among Jews, respectively). The main economic sectors in which Palestinians are employed are wholesale and retail trade and repairs (21%), construction (13%), accommodation and food services (11%), and education (11%).

Translated by Merav Datan

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Municipal Tax and Municipal Profit in the City Center

Dafna Shemer

The 2014 Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem includes data regarding arnona (municipal taxes) in Jerusalem, providing an opportunity to examine which parts of the city generate the bulk of income for the municipality from non-residential arnona. In 2011, residential and non-residential arnona constituted 81% of all independent income for the Municipality of Jerusalem, and 57% of its entire income. Non-residential arnona constitutes nearly half of all municipal income from arnona.

The data reveal that over a tenth of municipal income from non-residential arnona derives from non-residential properties in the city center. About 20% of municipal income from arnona comes from the main centers of business (the Old City, the city center in general, and Romema), and a similar percentage comes from Jerusalem’s trade, business, and industrial areas (Talpiot, Giv’at Sha’ul, and Har Hotzvim).

The “profitability” of an area in terms of the non-residential arnona it generates may be assessed by looking at the municipal income derived from this area in relation to the area’s built-up territory. The attached map demonstrates how non-residential arnona fees are distributed across the built-up territory of every sub-quarter of Jerusalem. It is important to note that arnona for offices, services, and trade is higher than arnona for residential purposes. For example, in what is defined as Area A, the arnona rate for a residential apartment up to 120 square meters is NIS 86 per square meter, whereas the rate for a space up to 150 square meters that is used for trade purposes is NIS 327 per square meter. 

An analysis of arnona fees in relation to the built-up territory of neighborhoods reveals that (non-residential) tax payments per dunam (about one-quarter of an acre) in the city center is about NIS 137,000 per dunam per year. For the sake of comparison, non-residential arnona in the city center is 1.7 times greater than that of the Old City’s Christian Quarter (about NIS 80,000 per dunam per year), and 3 times greater than that of the Talpiot industrial zone (about NIS 47,000 per dunam). The attached map indicates the relative distribution of space designated for non-residential purposes, including the trade, services, and industry concentrated in the city center, in contrast to Jerusalem’s peripheral neighborhoods, which have few territories that generate municipal income from non-residential purposes. Exceptions in this context are the Talpiot industrial zone, the area in which the Malha Mall is situated, the Technological Garden, and the area of Ein Kerem, which includes Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem. 

An examination of data from previous years indicates that the status of the city center has remained relatively stable, as reflected in the 7% decline in the amount of non-residential arnona income over the past 30 years, despite changing geographic patterns of consumption such as the opening of the Malha Mall in the early 1990s and despite the security situation, which has had a great impact on the city center.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem – Galleries for Contemporary Art

Ruth Abraham

Every two years the Pilat Center for Culture Research and Information publishes data about activities, funding, and numbers of visits to the museums and galleries supported by the Ministry of Culture. In 2010 the Ministry supported 41 art galleries throughout the country. About one-third of these are located in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. In Tel Aviv 8 galleries receive support (20%), compared to 6 (15%) galleries in Jerusalem. 

The Pilat data reveal that as of 2010 Tel Aviv had the larger number of galleries receiving support (8 as compared to 6) and more visitors (about 115,000 as compared to 100,000). Yet Jerusalem had more space devoted to exhibits (960 square meters as compared to 866 square meters) and a larger number of exhibitions (69 as compared to 65), as well as higher quality exhibitions and a more developed perspective on art (rating 3.6 as compared to 3.1 out of 4) – based on the innovation of the exhibit and the curatorial perceptions as determined by the Committee on Quality within the Department of Plastic Arts in the Ministry of Culture. The most significant difference is in the number of events that took place in the various galleries, which stems from increased activity in the printmaking sector in the context of the Jerusalem Print Workshop (187 events).

While a large number of museums receive support from the Ministry of Culture, there are also many private galleries that constitute an inseparable part of the world of contemporary art in Israel. These galleries form a variegated infrastructure for cultural activity in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Most of these galleries are situated in Tel Aviv.

On the occasion of Tel Aviv’s Year of Art (2012) the “Global City” initiative of the Tel Aviv Municipality compiled a list of 110 exhibition spaces in the city. To date, no such list has been produced in Jerusalem. In order to form a clear picture of the number of galleries engaged in contemporary art in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, one may examine exhibition season openings during 2013 in both cities. The Jerusalem event “Manofim” (“Cranes” – in the sense of construction) was spread out over 22 contemporary art galleries, a majority of the city’s galleries that focus on this type of art. The event “Ohavim Omanut” (“Love Art”), which took place simultaneously in Tel Aviv, had 38 participating galleries. Thirty other galleries, including some of the city’s main galleries, opted to boycott the event in the context of their struggle for the reduction of municipal taxes on galleries.

Although government investments in galleries in Tel Aviv and in Jerusalem appear to be comparable, Tel Aviv actually has a broader and more varied infrastructure for exhibitions and discourse in the area of contemporary art. This infrastructure is distributed across a space created by independent galleries, most of which are supported by external investors, art collectors, and creative art groups. The number of galleries and exhibition spaces in Jerusalem – where nine art schools of various types exist, more than in any other Israeli city – constitute about only one-fifth of the number of galleries in Tel Aviv.

Source: 2010 Annual Report on Museum Activities, Pilat Center for Culture Research and Information

Monday, July 7, 2014

High School Matriculation: The Key Is to Understand the Whole

Yoad Shahar 

Each year the Ministry of Education publishes statistics about the rates of eligibility, by locale, for high school matriculation certificates among 12th grade students. According to this data the rate of eligibility in Jerusalem declined from 51% in 2007-2008 to 46% in 2009-2010 to 43% in 2011-2012. Yet some observers claim that these figures do not accurately represent current trends, which are influenced by policies regarding matriculation.

The Municipality of Jerusalem publishes annual statistics based on those of the Ministry of Education, after arranging them by population sectors. These data reveal that the percentage of students eligible for matriculation certificates from among 12th grade high school students enrolled in the state and state-religious education systems has in fact been rising in recent years: from 63% in 2009-2010 to 68% in 2010-2011 to 72% in 2011-2012.

Simultaneously there is a trend underway in which schools are transitioning from the independent (ultra-orthodox) and Arab education systems to the educational curriculum that prepares students for the Israeli matriculation certificate. In other words, more students are taking the matriculation exams within these sectors, and therefore presumably more students are eligible for the certificate. Here lies the key to understanding the gap between the data published by the Ministry of Education and the data published by the Municipality of Jerusalem.

As noted, eligibility for the matriculation certificate is calculated on the basis of the total number of students enrolled in 12th grade. However, the 12th graders who are counted are only those enrolled in schools that offer students the option of taking the matriculation exams. Thus two different problems arise regarding calculation of the whole. First, if we were to calculate the number of students eligible for a matriculation certificate in 2011-2012 out of the total number of 12th grade students (including those enrolled in schools whose students do not have the option of taking matriculation exams), the whole figure out of which the proportion of eligible students is calculated would be greater, and therefore the eligibility rate would be less than 43%. Second, under the current system of calculating the whole, as more ultra-orthodox and Arab schools transition to the Israeli matriculation curriculum, all of their students are counted in the calculation of the total number of students – the whole – even though during the early years only a few of their students actually take the matriculation exams. In other words, as more schools transition to the matriculation curriculum, they bring down the overall eligibility rate within the city. 

So what is the correct way to calculate eligibility for a matriculation certificate? The question depends on the objective of the calculation. One objective could be the assessment of eligibility as an indicator of students’ future earning power. Towards this objective it would be appropriate to include all the city’s 12th grade students in calculating the whole, and consequently the eligibility percentage for 2011-2012 is less than 43%.

Another objective could be to develop an indicator of the quality of the city’s educational institutions. A high eligibility rate indicates a successful educational system, which often serves as a criterion for parents who are considering moving to the city. Towards this objective it is appropriate to calculate the eligibility percentage on the basis of the number of students enrolled in schools that have adopted the matriculation certificate as a measure of the quality of their education. However, this approach does not address the catch created by the transition of ultra-orthodox and Arab schools to the matriculation curriculum: at least in the short term, these schools bring down the city’s eligibility rates. Accordingly, the Municipality of Jerusalem is right to calculate the matriculation certificate eligibility rates by education sectors, thus producing a more complex representation of existing trends in the city with regard to this issue.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Yael Israeli

Depression is the most prevalent mental illness in the Western world. It is estimated that approximately 17% of the population in Western countries suffers from depression. Many of us find ourselves in a depressed mood from time to time because of various events such as the breakup of a relationship, being fired from work, the death of a close acquaintance, and so on, but these are temporary moods and their context is clear – in contrast to clinical depression, which usually has inherent, possibly unknown, causes.
The 2013 Social Survey conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics explored the mental and emotional state of respondents and the extent of support they feel they receive from their community.

The survey asked respondents whether they have felt depressed in the past year. In Jerusalem, 12% of those surveyed said they always or often feel depressed, and 33% said they sometimes feel depressed. These percentages are significantly higher than the figures for Tel Aviv and Israel: in Tel Aviv 7% of respondents said they often feel depressed, and an additional 27% said they sometimes feel depressed; in Israel as a whole these figures are 9% and 25% respectively. In Jerusalem 55% of respondents said that they rarely or never feel depressed, compared to 65% in Tel Aviv and Israel as a whole. However, when asked whether they felt they needed psychological counseling during the past year, only 7% responded in the affirmative, compared to 12% in Tel Aviv and Haifa.

The prevalence of depression varies significantly between men and women. Studies reveal that depression is twice as prevalent among women as opposed to men, but it is unclear what causes this disparity and whether it results from problems in diagnosis. Apparently the disparities between men and women in Jerusalem are not so great: the figure was comparable for women and men in Jerusalem (11%-12%) who reported feeling depressed always or often. A slightly higher proportion of women reported feeling depressed sometimes (36% versus 30%), and a higher proportion of Jerusalem men reported that they are never depressed (36% versus 29%). Among the three major cities, Haifa has the largest disparities between men and women: 8% of Haifa men reported feeling depressed always or often, compared to almost twice the figure for women (15%). A total of 13% of Haifa men reported that they sometimes feel depressed, compared to 32% of women.

Support and assistance from the community can significantly help a depressed person cope with feelings of depression, and can also help someone who is likely to become depressed. A distinct majority of people turn to their partner for emotional support, but some also turn to parents and friends. In Jerusalem nearly half of those surveyed said that they would turn to their partner for support, 16% said they would turn to their parents, and 15% would turn to a friend. The rest said they would turn to their children or to another family member or professional. Here, too, there are differences between men and women: Jerusalem women tend to turn to their children more often when seeking emotional support, whereas Jerusalem men actually tend to turn to their parents.

In Tel Aviv as well, about half of those surveyed responded that they would turn to their partner for emotional support, while only 7% reported that they would turn to their parents (less than half the figure for Jerusalem), and 20% said they would turn to a friend. Tel Aviv women tend to turn to their children or another family member for support, whereas the men tend to turn to their partner.
For all those who are depressed, despondent, grieving, or forsaken, we hope that, in the words of poet Lea Goldberg, “the pathways of sorrow will come to an end.”

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Contemporary Jerusalem

Yair Assaf-Shapira

Last week we celebrated "Jerusalem Day", also known as the day that the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies publishes The Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem - an annual comprehensive data collection, covering many aspects of the city. Over the past year, institute researchers presented part of the data published in the Yearbook in this blog, with a focus on specific topics. It seems that now is a good time to go "back to basics" and look at the population figures of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is by far the largest city in Israel. Its residents numbered 815,300 at the end of the year 2012 (Official data is always delayed, and we can assume that the population has since grown by approximately 20,000 people, but to avoid basing our knowledge on assumptions, we use the official data). The residents of the following largest cities, Tel Aviv and Haifa, numbered 414,600 and 272,200 respectively. It can be seen that Jerusalem is almost twice the size of Tel Aviv, and three times the size of Haifa. This is not uncommon, and for example the largest city in the US, being New York City, at approx. 8.4 Million residents, is also about twice the size of the second city, Los Angeles, at 3.9 Million.

The growth rate of Jerusalem's population from 2011 to 2012 was 1.5%. This figure is lower than the growth of the entire population in Israel, which stood at 1.9%. The growth rate of the Jewish (and other non Arab) population in the city was 0.9%, measuring lowest in the past decade and lower than the growth rate of the Arab population which, at 2.6% was the lowest rate since the 1990s. A trend of decline can be observed in the growth rate of the Arab population in Jerusalem, stemming from the decline in the average number of children born to a woman during her lifetime (total fertility rate - TFR) in this population. The TFR of the Jewish population in Jerusalem grew from 3.88 in 2006 to 4.25 in 2012, while the TFR of the Arab population in the city dropped during that period, from 4.00 to 3.55.

Data source: Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem; U.S. Census Bureau

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Written Word – Foreign Language

Lior Regev

Every year thousands of new titles are published in Israel. Even during an era in which the ever-present Internet, television, and radio compete to overwhelm our senses, the written word continues to flow. In the framework of the Book Law, the National Library – the body responsible for collecting and preserving Israel’s cultural assets – receives two copies of every publication issued in Israel. The library classifies and catalogues these books. Each year the library produces a report with statistical data about the new books in Israel. 

In 2012, the library recorded a total of 7,487 new books, including governmental, business, and private publications, reference books, fiction, religious texts, and children’s books. By comparison, in 2011 a total of 6,302 new books were recorded, in 2010 the total was 6,285, and in 2009 it was 6,326. 

Books in Israel are published by a variety of publishers located throughout the country. Jerusalem has consistently been at the top of the list in this regard, as the city with the greatest number of new books – significantly more than Tel Aviv and the other cities on the list. For example, in 1992, a total of 2,594 new books were published in Jerusalem, comprising 41% of the 6,271 publications issued in Israel that year. Tel Aviv, by comparison, produced only 2,051 (33%) publications. In 2002, Jerusalem produced 2,619 (35%) publications out of a total of 7,399 new titles published in Israel, and Tel Aviv produced 1,840 (25%). In 2012, a total of 2,077 (31%) new books were published in Jerusalem, compared with 1,479 (22%) in Tel Aviv and only 408 (6%) in Bnei Brak, the third city in terms of number of new publications.

Most of the books published in Israel and recorded at the National Library are in Hebrew. In 2012, the most recent year for which data have been compiled, about 81% of all publications were produced in Hebrew. So what are the other languages? The most popular foreign languages in which books are published in Israel are English, Arabic, and Russian. Out of a total of 808 books published in a foreign language in Israel, 371 (46%) were published in English, 205 (25%) in Arabic, and 165 (20%) in Russian.

When we examine the languages in which books were published across various cities, an interesting picture emerges. About 21% of the books published in Jerusalem were in a foreign language, compared with only 5% in Tel Aviv. This difference might stem from the variety in culture and background that characterizes Jerusalem compared with Tel Aviv. Out of 429 new books published in a foreign language in Jerusalem, 217 (51%) were published in English, 101 (24%) in Arabic, and 80 (19%) in Russian – comparable to the percentages for Israel. By comparison, in Tel Aviv 33 books (41%) were in English, 34 (42%) in Russian, and only 1 (1%) in Arabic.

I would like to express special thanks to Nachum Zitter and the National Library of Israel for their assistance in providing the statistical information for this column.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


Inbal Doron

The city of Jerusalem, one of the major focal points of employment in Israel, serves as an economic nerve center for more than 1,200,000 individuals. The issue of employment in the city is at the heart of the discourse about the future of Jerusalem in general and about its potential to attract a creative populace in particular. 

In 2012 a total of 294,000 individuals were employed in Jerusalem, constituting 9% of the total in Israel. Among the total number of employees in Jerusalem, about 75% were residents of the city, 11% were residents of Judea and Samaria, and 6% were residents of the Jerusalem District. Thus, a total of 92% of employees in Jerusalem were residents of the city and its environs. Approximately 2,400 of those employed in Jerusalem were residents of Tel Aviv, constituting about 1% of the total. 

The data indicate that most Jerusalem residents (87%) prefer to work within the city, while 13% work outside the city, with women tending to work closer to home than men. Only 8% of the employed women who are residents of Jerusalem work outside the city, compared with 17% of men. More employees residing in Tel Aviv and Haifa choose to work outside their city than do employed residents of Jerusalem. In 2012 the percentage of Tel Aviv residents working outside the city was 37% (for women the figure was 30%), and in Haifa the percentage of residents working outside the city was 29% (for women the figure was 21%).

Men and women also differ in terms of areas of employment. Among women, who constituted 47% of all employees in Jerusalem during 2012, the main areas of employment were the following: education (24%), health, welfare, and nursing (including homecare) services (20%), and public administration (12%). In contrast, among Jerusalem’s employed men the main occupations were in the areas of trade (15%), business services (15%), and education (11%). In 2012 a total of 16,000 individuals were employed in the high-tech industry in Jerusalem, constituting 6% of all employees in the city as well as 6% of all high-tech employees in Israel. Of these, 64% were men.

It is interesting to compare the Jewish and Arab sectors in terms of employment rates in Jerusalem across various areas of employment for men and women. Among women in both sectors, the data indicate that women primarily work in similar areas: education and health, welfare, and nursing (including homecare) services. In contrast, for Jewish men the main areas of employment are business services, public administration, and education, whereas in the Arab sector men are primarily employed in the areas of trade, construction, hospitality and food services, transportation, and communications.

The most significant difference between the sectors in terms of employment in Jerusalem is the rate of participation in the workforce. Within the dominant age groups of employees (25-54), Arab men have a higher rate of participation in the workforce than Jewish men (88% compared with 71%). Among women the situation is reversed, with a particularly low rate of workforce participation among Arab women – only 20% in 2012 – compared with 82% among Jewish women. The rate of workforce participation of the Jewish sector in Jerusalem is unusual in that the women’s rate of participation is higher than that of the men (82% compared with 71%), primarily because of low workforce participation among ultra-orthodox men.

Central Bureau of Statistics- Labour Force Survey

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

By Bus or Train

Lior Regev

Transportation systems are central and essential factors in shaping the urban quality of life. An efficient system with an infrastructure suited to the volume of traffic within the city makes it possible for us to reach our desired destination at any time of the day. 

One of the key elements of Jerusalem’s transportation infrastructure is its public transportation system. Because of its importance, this is a salient issue within the public discourse. Simply place two complete strangers next to each other at a random bus stop, and within minutes – regardless of their gender, age, ethnicity, and socio-economic status – they will be regaling one another with tales of the feats and wonders of Jerusalem’s public transportation system. 

Today two companies provide regular public transportation within Jerusalem: Egged Cooperative and Citipass, which operates the light rail system. Egged operates some 68 separate public transportation routes (that is, without transfer points), which serve approximately 1,545 stations throughout the city. On an average weekday, these busses travel a cumulative total of 13,165 kilometers, and during an average week they cover 75,878 kilometers. During peak hours, between 7:00 and 8:00 in the morning, about 942 busses are on route throughout the city. 

East Jerusalem has not been left out of the public transportation system. In 2004 a number of companies united to form the East Jerusalem Transport Association. In 2010 the Association operated some 30 bus routes within East Jerusalem, reaching about 4,106 trips daily. Over the years the number of passengers has increased: in 2004 the total number of passengers per 24-hour day was 69,000, in 2006 the total was 85,000, and in 2010 a total of 94,750 passengers rode the Association’s busses. 

The Young and the Studious

Lior Regev

The higher education system is, to a large extent, a mandatory transit point for young people seeking to enter the modern workforce. “Tribal elders” claim that today, as opposed to when they were young, even someone who cleans for a living requires at least a master’s degree. The prevailing assumption is that most college students in Israel begin their studies during their twenties, after completing military service and returning from their post-army world trek, yet before starting a family and entering the workforce. 

A review of the ages of bachelor’s degree students in Jerusalem largely confirms this assumption. During 2011-2012, out of a total of 27,000 bachelor’s degree students in Jerusalem, about half (49%) belonged to the 20-24 year-old age group, and another third (33%) belonged to the 25-29 year-old age group. Only 6% of students had not yet reached age 20, the same percentage (6%) as those belonging to the 30-34 year-old age group, and only 7% were 35 years old or older.

During 2011-2012 the Hebrew University had a total of 11,440 bachelor’s degree students, of whom 90% were in their twenties. Only 5% of the students were below age 20, and an additional 5% were 30 years old or older (of whom 3% were in the 30-34 year-old age group).

Twenty to twenty nine year olds stand out as the salient age group among students across all of Jerusalem’s educational institutions. Slight variations in age were recorded at various institutions: Machon Lev (The Jerusalem College of Technology), most of whose students are orthodox or ultra-orthodox, had the youngest students of all. During 2011-2012, among 3,010 bachelor’s degree students, one-fifth (20%) were less than 20 years old, and roughly half (52%) were 20-24 years old. In all, 72% of the students were below age 25. The reason for this age distribution might be that some students have a shortened military service, while the women students might begin their studies during the time of their national service (a substitute for military service) or immediately upon completion. In contrast, the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design had the smallest percentage of younger students on record. During 2011-2012, only four students (0.2%) were below age 20, and another 38% were in the 20-24 year-old age group. A total of 62% were 25 years old or older.

The Lander Institute recorded the highest percentage of older students (aged 30 or more) during 2011-2012. Out of a total of 980 students, 18% belonged to the 30+ age group. This institute offers evening classes, an option that appeals to older students who combine work with studies. In contrast, the Hebrew University recorded the lowest number of older students, with only 5% of its students aged 30 or above. With the exception of the Hebrew University, Machon Lev again stands out as the youngest institutions, with only 6% of its students aged 30 or above. 

Someone to Run With

Yael Israeli

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional” – thus wrote author Haruki Murakami in his book What I Talk about When I Talk about Running. If this is so, then it seems that more and more people are opting for suffering – the number of races in the country rises each year, and every year the number of participants increases significantly. 

Last month the 10-kilometer Jerusalem Night Run took place. This is the second nighttime race in the city, the first one having taken place in 2011. A total of 2,168 runners participated, about 70% men (1,545 runners) and 30% women (623 runners). For the sake of comparison, the Tel Aviv Night Run that took place a few weeks previously had about 20,000 participants. Despite the huge discrepancy, it is important to keep in mind that metropolitan Tel Aviv has a much larger population than Jerusalem and that many population sectors in Jerusalem do not participate in sports events such as these. In fact, the number of participants in Jerusalem’s race was impressive and actually higher than anticipated.

About half of the runners in Jerusalem’s race were residents of the city: 1,026 runners, constituting 47% of participants. A total of 1,160 runners came from the Jerusalem District as a whole. Where did the other participants come from? The district which provided the greatest number of runners (after Jerusalem) was the Central District (411 runners), followed by the Judea and Samaria Area (260 runners), the Tel Aviv District (210 runners), Southern District (60 runners), Northern District (35 runners), and last but not least, Haifa District (32 runners). In terms of the number of participants, Tel Aviv was the second-largest city in size (after Jerusalem) – 124 runners – closely followed by Modi’in with 105 runners. Only 16 runners came from Haifa, the country’s third-largest city.

According to the 2010 Social Survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics, it seems that Tel Avivians engage in sports more than Jerusalemites do: the percentage of Tel Aviv and Haifa residents who reported that they engage in physical exercise was higher than the figure for Jerusalem (60% versus 50%). When asked about the number of times per week that they exercise, only 30% of Jerusalemites reported exercising three times per week, compared to about 35% in Tel Aviv and Haifa. 

Why do people choose to engage in physical exercise, despite the pain and suffering? In Jerusalem, the percentages of those who stated that physical exercise makes them feel good and of those who reported that it contributes to their health and prevents disease were the same (about 40%). In Tel Aviv, in contrast, a majority (50%) said that exercise makes them feel good and a smaller percentage (35%) stated that it contributes to their health. In Haifa the situation is reversed – most reported that they engage in physical activity because of its health benefits. In Jerusalem and Tel Aviv the same percentage of sports participants chose to engage in physical exercise because it helps with weight loss and maintenance (about 14%).

So why do people still opt out of physical exercise, despite its importance and great benefits? In Jerusalem about 50% cited lack of time as the main reason, compared with 35% in Tel Aviv and Haifa. The second main reason for not engaging in sports was health or physical problems: about 17% in Jerusalem, 23% in Tel Aviv, and 26% in Haifa reported that they do not engage in physical exercise for this reason. tiredness were the third reason (about 10% in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa). 

With the increased awareness surrounding the importance of physical activity and the rising number of sports events in the country, all that remains for you to do is grab some running shoes, a bicycle, or swimsuit and, like everyone else, get addicted to the adrenaline running through your veins.

Sources: Central Bureau of Statistics and website of the 2013 Jerusalem Night Run

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It’s All About the Location

Yael Israeli

Local elections and the representatives chosen in these elections have a tremendous influence on all of our lives, at times even more than the national elections to the Knesset. Voting patterns and elected parties often reflect various processes that are developing across the city and within its different neighborhoods. The most recent elections in Jerusalem were especially lively and tense, and certainly among the most talked about in Israel.

A total of 576,100 individuals in Jerusalem have the right to vote, out of a total of 815,300 residents. The overall rate of voter turnout in the city was 39%, lower than the national average (51%). This was slightly lower than the previous local elections, in 2008, when voter turnout reached 42%. But if we don’t take into account the Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, where voter turnout is especially low – only about 1%, then voter turnout for the city reached 56% this year. 

It is especially interesting to examine the voting patterns across various neighborhoods, which often indicate patterns of change within those areas. In the neighborhoods of Rehavia, Talbieh, East Talpiot, Gilo, Old Katamon, and the City Center, Jerusalem’s pluralistic parties (Hit’orerut, Yerushalmim, Yerushalaim Tatsliach, Meretz-Ha’Avoda, and Ometz Lev) received relatively strong voter support – between 60% and 70%. In Rehavia and the City Center, voter support for ultra-orthodox parties (Agudat Israel, Shas, and Bnei Torah) was relatively high – 15% and 26%, respectively. The neighborhoods with the highest rates of voter support for the pluralistic parties were Ein Kerem, Nayot, Malha, Beit HaKerem, the German Colony, and Baka’a – each had between 80% and 90% support for these parties. The ultra-orthodox parties received over 85% voter support in the neighborhoods of Ramat Shlomo, Sanhedria, Mekor Baruch, Romema, and Har Nof.

Let us now examine two neighborhoods that have been undergoing change in recent years. In Kiryat Yovel, ultra-orthodox parties received 24% of the vote, pluralistic parties received 58%, and HaBayit HaYehudi and Yerushalaim Meuchedet received 8%. The overall result was a 10% increase for ultra-orthodox parties as compared with the 2008 elections. In Kiryat Moshe, 29% of voters supported ultra-orthodox parties, 24% voted for pluralistic parties, 16% for HaBayit HaYehudi, and 25% for Yerushalaim Meuchedet – relatively comparable to the distribution in the 2008 elections. 

What neighborhood is each party most indebted to? In Old Katamon there was sweeping support for the Yerushalmim party – 2,491 votes – which received more votes than any other party within this neighborhood, accounting for 15% of all the votes it received. Yerushalaim Tatsliach and Hit’orerut received the largest number of votes in Gilo (3,600 and 2,500 votes, respectively), Agudat Yisrael and Shas in Ramot (8,600 and 5,700 votes respectively), Yerushalaim Meuchedet in Givat Shaul (1,100 votes), and Meretz-Ha’Avoda received the most votes in Beit HaKerem (1,500 votes). 

Finally, let’s not forget voter distribution for the mayoral election. Nir Barkat received his largest number of votes in Pisgat Ze’ev – a total of 11,000 votes – but this is not surprising given that it is one of the largest neighborhoods in Jerusalem. Likewise, Moshe Lion received his largest number of votes in Ramot (13,000), which is also one of the largest neighborhoods in the city. Barkat received his highest percentage of voter support in Nayot, at 95%, while Moshe Lion received his highest percentage in Ramat Shlomo, where 91% voted for him.