Friday, December 22, 2017

A Secondhand Car from Jerusalem?

Lior Regev

According to data from the Israel Vehicle Importers Association, the year 2016 saw a record high in the delivery of vehicles in Israel. The purchase of new vehicles contributes to the replenishing of the stock of vehicles that travel on Israel's roads: new vehicles equipped with sophisticated safety systems, which emit lower levels of pollution, and are quieter and more economical. However, as long as the purchase of new vehicles is not balanced out by old vehicles being taken off the roads, this isn't necessarily good news. The general rise in the number of vehicles leads to increased congestion on the roads, which in turn leads to an increase in the transportation burden and emissions of pollutants, and further irritates the already frayed nerves of the Israeli driver.

In light of these implications, it is interesting to see where car inventory is renewed and where it lags behind with aging vehicles. With respect to the big cities, the answer seems clear – according to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2016, about 40% of the cars whose owners live in Jerusalem were a decade old or older. That is in comparison with 25% of the vehicles in the entire country, 21% in Haifa, 15% in Tel Aviv, and 14% in Rishon Lezion.

The aging of the vehicle inventory in Jerusalem also stands out in terms of the average ages of the vehicles: In Jerusalem the figure stands at 8.6 years. The average in the country is 6.5, with the figure standing at 5.9 in Haifa, 4.8 in Tel Aviv, and 4.6 in Rishon Lezion.

When we examine the annual purchasing trends, dramatic gaps are revealed between Jerusalem and the other large cities. It seems that the newest vehicles of all are driven on the roads of Rishon Lezion: Nearly half (47%) of all the vehicles in the city reached the road between 2014 and 2016, as compared to 43% of the vehicles in Tel Aviv, and a third (33%)of the vehicles in Haifa. The parallel figure in Jerusalem stands at 16%. A review of the previous year reveals that 18% of the vehicles in Rishon Lezion reached the road in 2016, as opposed to 16% in Tel Aviv, 12% in Haifa, and 6% in Jerusalem.

We tried to find various explanations for this phenomenon. Maybe it's the leasing companies that are registered in the center of the country and work tirelessly to renew their inventory; or it might be the result of the generous credit loans and the low interest rates that the banks offered the buyers (the ones that Avi Bar-Eli and Oren Dori wrote about in January 2017 in an article in TheMarker). It may be that unlike the benefits granted in personal contracts from private companies in the central part of the country that encourage the purchase of a new car, the tax benefits in the public sector in Jerusalem and the weak buying power of the residents, encourage people to hold onto their old cars.

Or maybe it's just the Jerusalem nostalgia, the difficulty to disconnect from the past and to embrace change – as embodied in the renowned pun and prohibition against any change to customary Orthodox practice, that "new is forbidden by the Torah," written by the Chatam Sofer in the 1800s – or the innate modesty, and the god-fearing nature of Jerusalemites, that cause its residents to cling to a 1989 Subaru. Perhaps.

Translation: Gilah Kahn

Friday, December 8, 2017

Where's the High-Tech?

Yair Assaf-Shapira

In 1995, there were 9,800 people employed in the high-tech sector in Jerusalem, according to the publication "The Development of the High-Tech Sector in Israel, 1995-2014" published recently by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). In the same year, in the entire country there were 115,900 people working in the sector, so that Jerusalem high-tech employees comprised 8.4% of the total. Is that many or few? The number of workers in all sectors in Jerusalem, as compared to all workers in Israel, was higher (10%), so it may be said that Jerusalem is more prominent in other fields of employment.

Nineteen years later, in 2014, the number of those working in the high-tech sector in the city rose significantly, and reached 15,200 employees. Does Jerusalem stand out more in the high tech sector? The percentage of those who work in high-tech who are employed in Jerusalem decreased (from 8.4% to 5.3%), but the percentage of those employed in Jerusalem as compared to in the entire country (in all sectors) also decreased (from 10% to 8.8%). All in all, the prominence of high-tech, defined as the ratio between the two percentages, decreased (from 0.8-0.6).

Which cities are most prominent in the high-tech sector? The percentage employed in high-tech in Tel Aviv as compared to the entire country is 11.6%, while those employed in all sectors in Tel Aviv, from all those employed in Israel, is similar, at 11.4%. The ratio is 1.02, meaning that Tel Aviv stands out in the high-tech sector in just about the same way as it stands out in other sectors. The cities in which the high-tech sector is especially prominent are Rehovot (with a 2.3 ratio) and Petach Tikva (1.9). This means that, when considering employees, the weight of these cities in the high-tech sector is approximately twice their average weight  (it should be noted that smaller cities weren't part of the survey, and therefore Herzliya and Ra'anana were not taken into account).

In Rehovot and Petah Tikva, the high-tech sector was also prominent in 1995, but are there any cities that managed to highlight the sector over the past nineteen years? It appears that there are. Netanya managed to increase the prominence of the high-tech sector from 0.7 to 1.4, and Haifa increased it from 0.9 to 1.3. The reverse trend also exists, in the case of Ramat Gan for example, where in 1995 the prominence of the high-tech sector was high (1.3) and in 2014 it went down to 0.7.

In the employment sector, and in high-tech in particular, changes are constantly occurring. Even since 2014, which is the cutoff for the data in the recent CBS publication, things have continued to change. In Jerusalem, the large Israeli technology company Mobileye was acquired by Intel a few months ago, and the new complex that was subsequently approved is expected to employ thousands of people. In addition, it was announced that Rafael, a weapons development company, will establish a development center in Jerusalem which is expected to employ several hundred workers. It is possible that these new centers will change the current trend. A detailed examination reveals that following a continuous decline between 1995 and 2009, from 2010 the decline was halted, and a rise in the prominence of the high-tech sector in the city began.

Translation: Gilah Kahn

Friday, November 24, 2017

Putting Food on the Table

Omer Yaniv

Data accumulated from the Household Expenditure Survey carried out by the Central Bureau of Statistics show that the average household expenditure in Jerusalem is lower than the national average. In 2015, the average household expenditure in an Israeli household was NIS 15,410 a month, while in Jerusalem the average household expenditure was NIS 13,420 – lower than the average household expenditure in Tel Aviv (NIS 17,710) and higher than the average household expenditure in Haifa (NIS 12,253).

An examination of household expenditure on food (excluding fruits and vegetables) reveals that the average household expenditure on food in Jerusalem (NIS 1,850) is also lower than the national average, which stands at NIS 2,030. In this instance as well the expenditure in Jerusalem is lower than that in Tel Aviv (NIS 2,240), but higher than the household expenditure in Haifa (NIS 1,670). 
The main reason for the high household expenditure on food in Tel Aviv relative to Jerusalem derives from the high expenditure of Tel Aviv residents on meals outside their homes. The survey results show that in 2015 a household in Tel Aviv spent an average of NIS 1,020 a month on meals outside the house, as opposed to only NIS 260 a month spent by a Jerusalem household, and NIS 460 a month by a household in Haifa (while the national average is NIS 440 a month).
When examining the expenditure clauses for the purchase of food products it becomes apparent that Jerusalem households generally spent more than households in Tel Aviv and in Haifa. Jerusalem households usually spent 88% more than households in Tel Aviv, and 72% more than households in Haifa on meat and poultry; about 36% more than in Tel Aviv and 27% more than in Haifa on bread, grains, and baked goods; and about 28% more than households in Tel Aviv and 47% more than Haifa households on fruit and vegetables. However, on alcoholic beverages, Jerusalem households spent 71% less than households in Tel Aviv, and 45% less than households in Haifa.

Household expenses on food products, by main clauses:

Translation:Gilah Kahn

Friday, November 10, 2017

Facing East

Dafna Shemer

When we think of East Jerusalem, we tend to perceive it as a single geographic unit, when in fact East Jerusalem, like West Jerusalem, is constructed of neighborhood after neighborhood, each of which is completely different from the other. The Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem are home to approximately 330,000 residents – the population of a major city in Israel.

Jerusalem is most familiar to us from its west side, with its diverse neighborhoods. In order to become a little better acquainted with East Jerusalem, we turned to the socio-economic index published by the Central Bureau of Statistics, so as to create a parallel between the neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and Jerusalem's Jewish neighborhoods.

The socio-economic index, based on the 2008 census, included data for the different neighborhoods. To characterize the neighborhoods in East Jerusalem we rated the Jewish and Palestinian statistical areas (sub-neighborhood units) in the city separately. Two rankings were created, one for West Jerusalem and one for East Jerusalem, and within each the neighborhoods were rated from a high socio-economic level to a low socio-economic level. Next we searched for the matching levels between west and east. Thus, for example, the Jewish neighborhood of Nayot has the highest rating among the neighborhoods in the west of the city and the neighborhood of Bab A-Zahara/the Palestinian American Colony (adjacent to the Old City nearby Damascus Gate and the Rockefeller Museum) is its parallel neighborhood. It should be remembered that this measure is relative, and in the context of the national socio-economic index, Nayot is in cluster 19 (with 20 being the highest) while Bab A-Zahara is in cluster 5. The Armenian Quarter in the Old City and the Katamon neighborhood in West Jerusalem also have the same rating in their separate rankings. It is noteworthy that Katamon contained a majority of Christian residents before the War of Independence.

The parallel data comparison leads to geographic similarities: several of the Palestinian neighborhoods in the northern part of the city had a rating similar to Jewish neighborhoods in the northern part of the city. Shu'afat and Pisgat Ze'ev, Dahiyat a-Salam (east of the Shu'afat refugee camp) and Neve Ya'acov, Beit Hanina and the Ramot neighborhood. In the south as well we found "sister" neighborhoods: Arnona and Beit Safafa and Um Tubba and Kiryat Menahem.

In terms of the values of the socio-economic index, the East Jerusalem neighborhoods are similar to the distinctive haredi neighborhoods in Jerusalem, such as Mea Shearim, Geula, and Sanhedria.

As previously stated, the socio-economic difference between the Jewish and the Palestinian neighborhoods is greater than the similarity between them, and they cannot be effectively compared to each other. At the same time, this type of representation helps one to associate less familiar places with those that are familiar to us. 

Jerusalem's drop in its socio-economic ranking from cluster 4 to cluster 3 provides information about the general situation of the city, but as home to 883,000 people, it is possible and indeed worthwhile to look a little deeper, for although everyone is from Jerusalem, as in most cities, the main thing is the neighborhood where you live.

Translation: Gilah Kahn

Friday, October 27, 2017

Young Neve Yaacov

Shaya Rosenblum

In every discussion about the demographic future of Jerusalem and its various neighborhoods, the residential patterns of young people (20- to 34-year-olds) within the city must be taken into consideration. At these ages, following their army service, most people are setting out independently, studying at academic institutions, seeking employment, or marrying and starting families. Personal choices about where to live that are made at this time of life have significant influence on the character of the city and its neighborhoods.

Among the haredi population, young couples are mostly unable to purchase or rent an apartment in the neighborhoods where they were born, and they tend to move outside the city. The minority that is able to purchase an apartment in Jerusalem can only do so in the secular neighborhoods on the periphery, which leads to the phenomenon of "haredization" in these neighborhoods.

The following is a 2011-2015 analysis of the Jerusalem neighborhoods where young people (aged 20-34) constitute more than 40% of the adult (over 20-year-old) population.

Excluding the areas where the Hebrew University dormitories are located, and where, not surprisingly, there is a high concentration of young people, constituting 50 to 94% of the population, the figures regarding the areas where there are high concentrations of young people should teach us about the preferred areas in which to reside on the part of secular and observant young people on the one hand, and about the areas chosen by young haredi families on the other.

The most prominent finding is that the haredi neighborhoods have the highest percentages of young people (aged 20-34), with their percentages reaching as high as 60% of the adults in the Bayit VeGan neighborhood. In many Arab neighborhoods as well, young people comprise up to 51% of the adult population, one example being New Anata (Ras Shehada). Both these population groups are characterized by high fertility rates (3.23 among the Arabs, and 6.9 among the haredi population) and therefore their populations are younger relative to the general population in Israel.

A deeper analysis teaches us about patterns of "haredization" in certain Jerusalem neighborhoods and about the neighborhoods preferred by secular and religious young people.

In upper (western) Neve Ya'acov there is a continuous increase in the number of young people – from 3,840 in 2011 to 4,450 in 2015 – a 15% increase, among the residents aged 20 to 34. This is an increase from 45.5% in 2011, to 51% in 2015. The story behind the figures is that in recent years a trend of "haredization" has been observed, moving from the lower (eastern) part of the neighborhood (that has been haredi since its inception) to the upper part. When considering the young families (defined as having children aged 0 to 9, and parents aged 25 to 39), the "haredization" in Neve Ya'acov  grants the area the highest percentage of young families among Jerusalem neighborhoods, where they comprise 62% of the residents in the upper part of the neighborhood.

When studying the concentrations of people aged 20 to 34, it emerges that the areas they prefer are the various parts of Nahlaot and the center of the city, in the triangle formed by the streets Jaffa, King George, and Agron, where they comprise between 41 and 53% of the residents. These areas experienced an increase of 14% in the total number of young people who reside in them, between 2011 and 2015, when the numbers grew from 3,550 to 4,050.

In Rehavia, young people constitute 43% of the adult population. The neighborhood is popular among students, and also among young haredi families from North America. The highest growth rate was recorded in the northern part of Rehavia adjacent to the Sha'arei Hesed neighborhood. For young families, Nahlaot leads among the non-haredi neighborhoods, where young families number about 51% of the adult residents. However, the percentage of children in the neighborhood is low relative to other neighborhoods such as Talpiot, Gilo, Pisgat Ze'ev, Ir Ganim and Nayot. The recorded high percentage is actually comprised of a very high concentration of 25 to 29-year-olds who don't have children.

The data clearly reveals that Nahlaot and the city center are the preferred temporary neighborhoods for young people who have not chosen to start a family, as compared to the concentrations of young haredi people who are starting families in the neighborhoods they choose to settle in.

Translation: Gilah Kahn

Friday, October 13, 2017

Back to School

Lior Regev

After the long summer vacation, followed by the period of the High Holidays, more than 2,272,000 pupils finally return to school and to their regular routines.

The education system in Israel reflects Israeli society as a whole, comprising all the streams and different groups that exist within it. According to the document, "The Education System in Israel – Central Issues Discussed in the Committee for Education, Culture and Sport" of the Knesset Research and Information Center, 2013, written by Ety Weissblay, the education laws in Israel recognize three types of institutions: official education, comprising institutions owned by the state in the state education stream, the state-religious education stream, and in recent years also the state-Ultra-Orthodox education stream; recognized education that is not official, comprising institutions that are not owned by the state, mostly schools belonging to Ultra-Orthodox school systems or other Ultra-Orthodox institutions; or institutions that have an exempt status, mostly Talmud Torah schools for boys.

The Ministry of Education recently published a list of all the educational institutions under its supervision (the list is updated to 2015). An examination of the years when the Hebrew education institutions were founded, and the number of students who attended them, reveals some interesting points.

The oldest schools are the Alliance School in Haifa, which according to the records was founded in 1860, and the schools belonging to Beit Yisrael (both general studies and religious studies schools) in Tel Aviv, established in 1870. The list shows that the total number of schools founded before the establishment of the state was 84, and they were attended by 64,360 pupils. At the other end of the spectrum, each year a few dozen new schools are opened. For example, in 2014, 112 schools were established, and the previous year the number was 118.

In recent decades, a trend can be identified in the increasing number of Ultra-Orthodox educational institutions being opened. The need to open these institutions is the result of the high natural increase in the population among the Ultra-Orthodox sector, where more children are born every year. The percentage of Ultra-Orthodox schools founded since 1990, from the total number of schools in the Ultra-Orthodox stream, stands at 91% in Israel (not including Jerusalem), and 86% in Jerusalem. During these years there was a significant increase in the schools in the independent school systems as well as state recognition of these schools, and these changes have left their mark on the education system.

In the state education schools the percentage of new schools is lower, and the findings for these schools are based more on veteran institutions, with 45% of all the state education schools in Israel founded before 1970, and 38% of these schools being located in Jerusalem. Compared with the rest of the country, more schools in the state education stream in Jerusalem were founded between 1970 and 1990:  27% state education schools and 25% state religious education schools in Jerusalem, as compared to 20% and 21% respectively, in the rest of the country. This data correlates with the establishment of new neighborhoods and the expansion of Jerusalem following the Six Day War.

Translation: Gilah Kahn

Monday, October 2, 2017

Safe Travels

Lior Regev

Israel’s roads are the most congested among all OECD countries. Residents of and visitors to Israel’s major cities are well aware of this congestion: every morning long lines of cars grace each junction and interchange in and around the city. Experts in the field have increasingly promoted public transportation as the best solution to the city’s traffic problems, and in recent years the government has invested heavily in this area. The question is whether the residents of Israel’s cities feel the impact of these investments.

The findings of the Central Bureau of Statistics’ Social Survey (average for 2014-15) indicate that 66% of Israel’s residents aged 20 and above commute to work primarily by private vehicle, motorcycle, or carpool. For about 20%, the main mode of transportation is a train or bus, and 10% ride a bicycle or walk to work (the remainder work from home or commute by unknown means).
There are interesting differences between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in this regard. While the proportion of those who commute by vehicle or carpool is comparable in both cities (50% and 51%, respectively), the use of public transportation is much more prevalent in Jerusalem: 33% of Jerusalem’s residents rode the train or a bus to work, compared with only 26% in Tel Aviv. Biking and walking are more prevalent in Tel Aviv, where 17% of the residents commute to work by bicycle or foot.

The differences stem, evidently, from Tel Aviv’s more manageable topography and convenient concentration of workplaces. Jerusalem, by contrast, is hilly and spread out, and the distance between its residential and business zones might explain its residents’ preference for public transportation. The low rate of car ownership among the Haredi population is also, presumably, a contributing factor.

The use of public transportation in Jerusalem is in fact the highest among Israel's large cities. Among the other major cities, the rate varies from 22% (in Be’er Sheva) to 29% (in Netanya). Jerusalem is the only city where the rate exceeds 30%.
The frequency of use of public transportation is also higher in Jerusalem. In 2015, about 19% of Israel’s residents reported that they ride a bus on a daily basis; that is, buses were their main means of transport. This rate is higher in the major cities than in the suburban and rural areas: in Haifa it stood at 26%, in Rishon LeZion at 25%, in Tel Aviv at 23%, and in Jerusalem the rate was 32%.

Translation: Merav Datan

Friday, September 29, 2017

Between Man and Fellow Man

Yair Assaf-Shapira

Can people be trusted? This question was one of those posed as part of the social survey conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics, whose data for the year 2016 were recently published. The results indicate that the majority (59% of those ages twenty and over in Israel) thinks that one should beware of trusting others, and that most people can't be trusted, while only 41% of the residents of Israel think that in general, most people can be trusted. We tried to determine who feels that most people can be trusted, and who has reservations.

Sometimes there is an assumption that the wealthier people are, the less they trust others, but it may be that the reality is just the opposite – the survey reveals a connection, but it found that it was actually people of a higher socio-economic status who tended to have trust in others. Among those with higher incomes (NIS 4,001 and above, per capita, for each member of the household), about half of the respondents (51%) stated that people can be trusted, as opposed to 40% among medium income earners (NIS 2,001 to NIS 4,000 per capita), and only a quarter (25%) of low income earners. When examining non-economic variables as well, the findings were similar. Thus a much higher level of people who have an academic degree, as compared to those who don't have higher education, tend to trust others (61% as opposed to 36%).

Does religious identity influence the response? Among Jews, it is clear that higher levels of religious people (54%) and secular people (52%) feel that others can be trusted, as opposed to Haredim (40%) and traditional Jews (36% to 41%).

And what about Tel Aviv?  Is it "dog eat dog" in that city? Not necessarily – most (54% among the Jews) residents of Tel Aviv actually do tend to trust others, as opposed to 46% of (Jewish) Jerusalemites. In fact, among the big cities, Tel Aviv is the city where the highest percentage of people who tend to trust others was recorded.

It seems that satisfaction with life is also related to the tendency to trust others. Among Jews, a majority (54%) of people who stated that they are very satisfied with their lives said that most people can be trusted. The more satisfaction with life decreases, so does the tendency to trust others decrease, with only 15% of people who are not satisfied with their lives at all, thinking that you can trust most people.

And finally – it is interesting to see that age also influences the results. Thirty to forty-nine year-olds trust others at higher levels (42%-46%) than other age groups do (37%-41%).

To our readers – thank you for your ongoing trust in us, we apologize if we have offended you in any way, and wish you well over the fast.

Translation: Gilah Kahn

Friday, September 15, 2017

On and off the beaten track

Yair Assaf-Shapira

The summer holidays are over, the kids have returned to school, and the high holy days are upon us. Anyone who did not vacation this summer might want to do so now.

According to the 2016 Social Survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics, about two-thirds (67%) of persons aged 20+ in Israel, or 3.6 million people, went on vacation either abroad or within Israel during the past 12 months. Twenty-four percent reported that only holidayed in Israel, 12% traveled abroad, and 31% reported that they took vacations both in Israel and abroad.

Jerusalem residents vacation less than the average Israeli. Among Jerusalem residents, 40% went on vacation in Israel, compared with 55% among all residents of Israel. Among Jerusalemites, 30% went abroad, compared with 43% of Israeli residents. Presumably these figures stem from the low socio-economic status (on average) of the city's residents, but they might also reflect a cultural aspect of the city's population, a large portion of whom cannot afford or do not wish to vacation.

The difference between the percentage of Jewish vacationers in Jerusalem and the proportion among Jews in Israel (39% versus 46% for vacationing abroad, and 54%, compared with 60% within Israel) is smaller than the difference for the Arab population of Jerusalem relative to that of Israel (9% compared with 25% abroad and 10% compared with 27% in Israel).

Contrary to expectations, among the three main Jewish population groups of Jerusalem, the percentage of vacationers is evidently identical to or higher than the figure for Israel in general. In the secular and loosely observant population, 59% went on vacation abroad, compared with 55% among the same group in Israel in general. As for vacationing in Israel, the percentages were identical, at 64%.

Among Israel’s religious population, 41% of Jerusalemites vacationed abroad, compared with 32% for Israel in general. A comparable difference between Jerusalem and Israel was recorded for religious people vacationing within Israel (64% vs. 58%).
Among the Haredi population of Jerusalem, 17% vacationed abroad, and the same percentage was recorded for Haredim in Israel. As for Haredim vacationing in Israel, the trend was opposite to the other Jewish population groups, with 38% of Haredi Jerusalemites vacationing, compared with a higher percentage (50%) for Haredim in Israel in general.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Employment and Earnings of Women in Jerusalem

Shaya Rosenblum

In 2014 the average hourly wage among men in Jerusalem (NIS 45) was lower than the figure for women (NIS 48). In Israel generally, in contrast, the average hourly wage among men (NIS 58) was 19% higher than the average wage among women (NIS 49). In Tel Aviv the discrepancy was even greater, at 24% (NIS 72 vs. NIS 58). Should we conclude, therefore, that women’s status relative to men in Jerusalem is better than their relative status throughout Israel?

The answer, regrettably, is no. Several factors contribute to these wage rates, but simultaneously they also reveal the sorry state of affairs among a significant portion of Jerusalem’s women.

Jerusalem has 166,600 women of working age (25-65), 38% of whom are Arab. Among Arab women, about 22% have an academic education, compared with some 50% of Jewish women. Having a higher education increases one’s earning power, and accordingly, Arab women earn less than Jewish women. The labor force participation rate among Arab women stands at 21%, compared with a rate of 79% among Jewish women. Evidently, given the current levels of education, if the participation rate of Arab women were to increase, the average hourly wage of Jerusalem’s women would decrease.

Thus, we could envision a situation in which the media reports on a decline in the earnings of Jerusalem’s women (although no individual woman actually suffered a loss of income) because of increased participation on the part of women who lack a higher education and earn less than the current average hourly wage.

Similarly, increased employment and labor force participation rates among workers at the low end of the salary spectrum can also have a negative impact on the average hourly wage. In reality, individual wages might not have changed, and the living standards of those entering the workforce might actually have improved, but the average wage – the figure typically reported in the media – might have declined.

It is very important, therefore, not to rely on just one indicator in assessing the current state of affairs. Every statistic must be examined in its particular context.

Translation: Merav Datan


Yair Assaf-Shapira

At the end of 2016, some 2.5 million households lived in Israel. A household is defined as a group of people (or one person) who live in an apartment, and have a common expense budget for food. For example, a family can form a household, but flatmates who share the food budget will also be defined as such.

What is the number of persons in your household? The average HH size in Israel is 3.3 persons, but among the various population groups there is a difference in the sizes of HHs. For example, among the Jewish population, the average number of persons in a HH is 3.1, and among the Arab population it is 4.5. In Jerusalem, the average household size is 3.9, and among the Jewish population in the city it stands at 3.4.

The average, however, does not indicate the distribution. Households usually begin their lives small, as one or two people units, grow, and then split up and shrink, as a new cycle begins. A large part of a person’s life span is spent in a small household, and therefore a large proportion – almost half (43%) of the households are small, and include one or two people. Among the Jewish population in Israel, smaller households are more common (47%), and in Tel Aviv and Haifa they constitute the large majority (70% and 63% respectively) of the households. Among the Jewish population in Jerusalem, the share of small households is similar to that in Israel at 47%.

Among the Arab population in Israel, small households are much less common, and their share stands at 19%. In Jerusalem, the proportion of small households among the Arab population is only 15%.

Small HHs have different needs and consume different services, a notable example is apartment size. The share of small apartments (up to 3 rooms) in new construction in Israel is relatively small (9.5%), and according to the data, maybe it should be enlarged.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Business Arnona

Lior Regev

Arnona (municipal tax) is the main source of regular income for Israel’s local authorities, including the Jerusalem Municipality. Residential Arnona, however, does not typically cover the cost of the municipal services provided to residents. The rate for non-residential properties differs from the rate for residential homes. For this reason, local authorities compete for Arnona from businesses: businesses pay more and use relatively few municipal services.

Which part of the city generates the most Arnona for the Municipality of Jerusalem?

The amount generated depends on the types and sizes of properties in each part of the city. For example, places of religious worship pay the low rate of NIS 63 per square meter, while offices and commercial businesses larger than 150 square meters pay the high rate of NIS 334 per square meter. Because the amount due is determined by square meters, the larger the property, the higher the Arnona. In some cases, the rate is further affected by the size of the property: if it is beyond a certain threshold, the cost per meter rises. And in some cases, the location can also affect the rate.

By cross-referencing the number of properties and the Arnona revenues they generated in 2016, we can identify several phenomena. The revenues from the Mahane Yehuda market and Malha mall areas are comparable, at NIS 25 and 28 million, respectively, before discounts. Yet the number of non-residential properties in the Mahane Yehuda area stands at 1,600, compared with only 300 in the Malha mall area – a five-fold difference (!). The reason apparently lies in the large number of small businesses in the market area, in contrast to the mix of businesses in the mall, which has many regional or national commercial franchises.

Moreover, the rumors about the death of the City Center evidently overstated the situation. About 1,670 businesses operate in the triangle formed by the Ben-Yehuda Street, Jaffa Road, and King George Street, generating some NIS 44 million for the city, before discounts.

The largest Arnona-generating areas are the industrial and commercial zones of Talpiot and Giv’at Sha’ul. In recent years the mix of properties in both zones has been continuously diversifying. Today they house auto-repair shops, stores and places of commerce, business offices, some remaining traditional industries, and the beginnings of knowledge-intensive industries. Interestingly, the number of non-residential properties in Talpiot is larger than the number in Giv’at Sha’ul by nearly 1,000 (2,518 compared with 1,548), yet the difference in income generated amounts to only NIS 7 million (105 compared with 98 million, before discounts).

Translation: Merav Datan

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Kibbutz in the heart (of the city)

Dafna Shemer

The borders of the city of Jerusalem underwent a significant change 50 years ago, in June 1967. Much has been written about that change, which led to additional population, territory, and numerous questions of legality and sovereignty being encompassed within the city limits.

However, a number of additional minor changes have been made to Jerusalem's boundaries over the years, the most recent of which was approved in September, 2016, by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, when a change was made in the border between Kibbutz Ramat Rachel and Jerusalem. The minister has the authority to alter the boundaries between local authorities, in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee for Jurisdictional Boundaries.

This change included the transfer of about 69 acres (280 dunam) of Ramat Rachel's orchards to Jerusalem, and was effected despite the combined opposition of Kibbutz Ramat Rachel, the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council (within which Ramat Rachel is located), and the Ministry of Agriculture (because of the agricultural crops in this area). Those who didn't number among the opponents to the change were the green organizations: The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, and the Sustainable Jerusalem coalition. Although the source of the reasons for which the green organizations chose not to oppose the change is related to the Safdie Plan, the role of the Safdie Plan in this story is not only played out in the position taken by those organizations.

The Safdie Plan was created in response to Jerusalem's demographic needs. As part of the efforts to promote the plan and in order to meet the quota of missing land reserves, in 1993 the then Interior Minister (who was Aryeh Deri at that time as well), at the recommendation of the Committee for Jurisdictional Boundaries, decided to add territory to the city from the west: The Lavan Ridge, the Arazim Valley, and Mt. Herat. Included in this agreement were also the 79 acres (320 dunams) from Kibbutz Ramat Rachel. This area is to the east of the Talpiot neighborhood and to the west of East Talpiot.

Over the years, Kibbutz Ramat Rachel benefited from this decision, since the land is still owned by the kibbutz (under lease), so a situation was created in which the area was transferred to the municipality of Jerusalem, but ownership remained with the kibbutz. As a result the kibbutz made handsome profits from the sale and rental of the housing units built in this area.
As time passed, the green organizations altered their strategy in their efforts to protect open spaces, and focused on protecting areas that are not located on an urban continuum but have value as natural sites.

While in 1993 it was agreed that there would be no further changes in the borders around Ramat Rachel, today, from an urban perspective, sectioning off additional parts of the kibbutz seems like a more logical option than other alternatives, and therefore the green organizations did not express opposition.

Ramat Rachel is an enclave within the Jerusalem city limits that were created in 1967. It is a kibbutz in an urban environment. As we have shown in this short review, this position has both positive and negative ramifications.

Translation: Gilah Kahn

Friday, August 4, 2017

Work-Life Balance

Yair Assaf-Shapira

On occasion, or perhaps slightly more often than that, I find myself having work-related phone conversations or sitting down at the computer to complete some task during my spare time at home. I don’t think it interferes too much with my family life, but maybe I should check with my wife and children. Evidently, more than one-third (36%) of working Jews in Israel aged 20 and above (all data relate to this group) reported that they sometimes, occasionally, or often have difficulties participating in family life because of work commitments, according to the recently published 2016 Social Survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

It's time to raise the curtain

Alon Kupererd

The Khan Theatre is the city theater of Jerusalem. In 2015 it hosted 66,608 theater guests, who paid to attend any of 16 productions. It is a relatively small city theater compared with Israel’s other city theaters: The Haifa Theatre produced 22 shows, attended by 126,611 paying visitors. The Be’er Sheva Theater produced 14 shows for a total of 154,512 paying visitors, and Tel Aviv’s Cameri Theatre produced 41 shows for audiences that totaled 844,151 paying visitors. 

With the exception of the Cameri Theatre, which held 1,478 performances of its shows, the numbers of performances across the theaters are comparable: the Khan had 302 performances, Haifa had 339, and Be’er Sheva had 396. Thus it appears that the discrepancy in the number of theater guests results from the size of the main auditorium of the respective theaters and the number of shows produced outside the main auditorium.

In terms of geographical distribution of performances, we find that most performances produced by the Khan and Cameri theaters (73% and 72%, respectively) take place at the home theater. In contrast, city theaters located farther away from Israel’s center, which have smaller home-based audiences, have fewer performances in their own city. The Haifa Theatre held 54% of its performances in Haifa and its surroundings, while the Be’er Sheva Theater held only 46% of its performances in Be’er Sheva and its surroundings. 

Of the theaters noted, the Khan has the smallest auditoriums: its main auditorium seats 232, and its small auditorium seats 69 (totaling 301 seats). The Haifa Theatre has three auditoriums, with 160, 158, and 767 seats respectively (totaling 1085 seats). The Be’er Sheva Theater, whose main auditorium is the city’s center for performing arts, has two auditoriums, with 430 and 885 seats respectively (totaling 1,315). The Cameri has four auditoriums with 910, 414, 267, and 156 seats respectively (totaling 1,747). Thus, even when the Khan has a full house, its audience is about one-third the size of an audience at the Haifa Theatre. The combination of a small auditorium and small number of performances outside the main auditorium explains the low number of attendees.

The small size of the audiences is not, however, an indication of public opinion: Jerusalemites are very fond of their theater. For example, 42% of the paying theater guests at the Khan were subscribers with season tickets, compared with 24% of the audience members at the Be’er Sheva and Cameri theaters and 19% at the Haifa Theatre. Likewise, the relatively low percentage of theater guests who attend performances using tickets sold to institutions indicates that Jerusalemites come to the Khan out of choice (48% of the Khan’s paid-for theater guests had tickets that had been sold to institutions, compared with 64% for the Cameri, 66% for Haifa, and 72% for Be’er Sheva).

Sources: Pilat, websites of the theaters

Translation: Merav Datan

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Silver Screen

Omer Yaniv

In 2008, The Jerusalem Film & Television Fund set up operations in the city, tasked with promoting the production of audio-visual works with Jerusalem as their focus, and also expanding employment possibilities for Jerusalemites in the film industry.

The Fund's staff assists local and international filmmakers to produce works for film and television in the city, in the same way that funding bodies and film foundations do in other cities and countries around the world, where they have learned that the production of films and TV series, with their support, contributes to the image of a place, augments the development of a creative society, and positions the locale as a tourist destination. Furthermore, the production of films and TV series in Jerusalem also provides employment for a second circle, comprised of drivers, catering services, hotels, and more.

Between the years 2010 and 2016 the Fund supported the production of eight television series and 48 films, among them international productions (such as A Tale of Love and Darkness, directed by Natalie Portman, and Norman, starring Richard Gere) and animated films, produced at an animation studio that was opened in the city several years ago.

The Fund assists filmmakers by covering some of the production costs, providing guidance and assistance in dealing with bureaucracy, identifying possible locations for filming, and providing connections to industry people who work in the city.

According to statistics based on Israeli filmgoers, the following are among the most successful films from those produced with the support of the Jerusalem Film & Television Fund during the years 2010 to 2016: Footnote, directed by Joseph Cedar, in 2011, viewed by approximately 290,000 people in Israel, with an income of 10.3 million shekels from screenings at cinemas (Footnote was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film); Bethlehem, directed by Yuval Adler in 2013, viewed by 165,000 people in Israel, with an income of 6.3 million shekels; Hunting Elephants, directed by Reshef Levy in 2013, viewed by 164,000 people in Israel, with an income of 4.9 million shekels; and The Kind Words, directed by Shemi Zarhin in 2015, viewed by 150,000 people in Israel, with an income of 4.4 million shekels.

Translation: Gilah Kahn

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Housing Projects – Israeli Style

Dafna Shemer

One of the repercussions of the 2011 housing protests was that recent Israeli governments, and the current minister of finance in particular, have taken measures to lower the housing costs. For now it seems we’re still in trouble, though, given that the total number of monthly salary installments required to purchase an apartment in Israel (according to Ministry of Construction and Housing data for the first half of 2015) amounts to 146, whereas in 2009 the total was 116.

The project Mechir Lamishtaken (“Buyer’s Price”) was launched in an effort to address the growing housing crisis in Israel. Through this project developers compete for discounted land to construct affordable housing for first-time homebuyers who meet certain qualifications, and the apartments are then offered for sale by lottery. As of 2016, a total of 7,600 apartments were offered in tenders. In Jerusalem the total was 501, and tenders will soon be announced for 407 apartments. The (501) apartments offered so far amount to 18% of the annual average for construction starts in Jerusalem over the past five years. The apartments offered so far in the context of Mechir Lamishtaken were mainly in the neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo (86%), and the remainder in Pisgat Ze’ev. The average apartment size is 116 square meters (Sq m.), which exceeds the 2016 average for Jerusalem, at 81 Sq m.

The media has pointed out that apartments in the Mechir Lamishtaken program are generally larger than typical, and so too in Jerusalem: 40% of the apartments offered through the program have 5 rooms, and 35% have 4-4.5 rooms. According to data on construction starts in Jerusalem published by the Central Bureau of Statistics, only 20% of apartments under construction in Jerusalem in 2016 had 5 rooms.

The prices of apartments that have been won by lottery are published on the website of the Ministry of Housing and Construction, and as promised, their prices are lower than average for the relevant neighborhoods. An apartment in this project in Ramat Shlomo costs NIS 12,900 per Sq m. whereas the typical cost, according to the Madlan website, is NIS 19,700 per Sq m. – a difference of 54% per square meter.

In Pisgat Ze’ev the cost for apartments in this project is NIS 9,500 per Sq m., compared with the average cost of NIS 16,200 per Sq m. – a difference of 69% per square meter.

Mechir Lamishtaken reserves a number of places for “locals”: 38% of the lottery winners in Jerusalem are Jerusalem residents, 22% are from the Tel Aviv District, and another 20% are from the Central District. A relatively small proportion of winners are from the environs of Jerusalem: 4% from the Jerusalem District (excluding the city) and 8% from the Judea and Samaria District.

The next tenders are expected to be announced in Gilo and Malha, thus maintaining the trend of using available peripheral lands in implementation of the project. The attractive price and “brand newness” of the apartments are plusses, but the locations are less attractive in terms of public transportation and, as a result, access to places of employment.

Translation: Merav Datan

Monday, July 10, 2017

Who I talk about when I talk about running

Yair Assaf-Shapira

On Friday, March 17, I awoke to a cool, quiet morning that felt like a holiday. There was almost no sound of cars, because many roads were closed for the Jerusalem Marathon. It’s a complicated morning for shopping and errands and a hassle for many of the city’s residents, but for my family it was a happy occasion to set out to the starting line.
According to a Municipality statement, more than 30,000 men, women, boys, and girls participated. The Marathon website recorded about 17,000 runners in the competitive 5, 10, 21, and 42 kilometer races. The overall age range was vast, with about 140 runners aged 70 and above, most of whom registered for the 10K race, and nearly 1,000 runners below age 15, of whom about 900 registered for the 5K race. The runners included children, elderly, and every age in between, but the largest age group – numbering 3,500 – was 15-19 years. These were easily identifiable among the runners: high school students, soldiers, and many young Jewish visitors from abroad. Each of the other age groups had fewer than 2,000 runners.

Men accounted for 63% of all runners in all the races. The highest participation rates for women were in the 5K (where they accounted for 49% of the runners) and 10K (42%) races.

The most popular of the races was the 10K, in which 8,000 men and women participated. This distance was especially popular among the 15-19 year olds, who totaled 2,200. Apparently the 10K is characteristically a young people’s race. So how about the longer races?

It turns out that the longer distances, which require a great deal of mental stamina, actually attract older runners. The largest age groups for both the 21K and full marathon were the 40-44 and 45-49 year olds. In each of these age groups, 800 runners participated in the 21K and 270 ran all 42 kilometers.

This year too, it was a wonderful experience to run with my family (4 people in 4 different age groups) and thousands of other runners throughout the streets of Jerusalem.

Translation: Merav Datan

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The apartment is always bigger on the other side

Lior Regev
Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research

A few months ago the 2017 Arnona (municipal tax) invoice landed in our mailboxes. Next to the total payment due, the invoice notes the size of our apartment, at least as it appears on the municipal registry.

Arnona taxes are one of the main revenue sources for local authorities in Israel, enabling a range of services for residents. Besides size of property, what determines Arnona rates is the property’s use, namely, residential, commercial, services, and the like. Jerusalem has four Arnona districts, each with a different rate per square meter.

As a general trend, apartment sizes in Israel have been steadily increasing over the years. Crumbling public housing, where three children shared a bedroom, might have sufficed in the past, but today every toddler demands a private room. Moreover, living rooms have become a permanent and ever-expanding fixture. And why make do with one bathroom, when we can have two? It is interesting to look at the repercussions of this trend for planning in Jerusalem.

Residential buildings constructed in the 1950s and 1960s offered relatively small apartments. The times demanded housing for hundreds of thousands of new immigrants, and the budget was scant. As of 2015, 56% of the apartments in Kiryat Yovel, 34% in Kiryat Menachem and Ir Ganim, and 43% in the Gonen (Katamon) neighborhoods (A-I) were smaller than 60 square meters (m2).

A decade later, in the 1970s and 1980s, there began to be constructed the large satellite neighborhoods, designed in advance with larger apartments. In 2015, 54% of apartments in the French Hill, 55% in Gilo, and 57% in Neve Yaakov were 61-100 m2 in size. In Ramat Eshkol, another neighborhood constructed during this period, about 60% of the apartments were in this size range. Interestingly, apartment sizes vary among the neighborhoods built during those years because the planners wanted to attract diverse groups. Apartments in the range of 61-80 m2 account for 41% in Neve Yaakov, 40% in Ramat Eshkol, and only 20% in the French Hill.

Jumping forward to the 1990s and 2000s, the trend towards larger apartments continues unimpeded. In two neighborhoods built during those years, Ramat Shlomo and Har Homa, most apartments exceed 80 m2 (82% and 74%, respectively). For the sake of comparison, only 3% of apartments in Ramat Shlomo and 2% in Har Homa are smaller than 60 m2.

So how big will apartments be in years to come?

Translation: Merav Datan

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Under Construction

Yair Assaf-Shapira
Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research

During 2015-2016 (January 2015 through June 2016, a total of 18 months) construction was started on 70,600 housing units in Israel (provisional data, new buildings only).

The scope of construction in a particular region or locality reflects a number of factors: policy considerations, such as an interest in directing home-buyers or renters to a certain area; means of development, such as approved building plans; and a demand for housing in that region or locality. It is difficult to separate these factors, but the bottom line is that extensive residential construction will likely contribute to demographic change: more residents will be able to remain in or move to the locality.

The cities that saw the most construction were Jerusalem (3,700 construction starts), Tel Aviv (3,300), Netanya (2,300), and Petah Tikva (2,200). These four cities, however, have large populations, and it is not certain that the additional construction will have a strong impact on the population size. So where is construction likely to have a significant impact in relation to population size?

During 2015 (January 2015 through June 2016), for every 1,000 residents of Israel, construction was started on 8.4 housing units. The major cities, which need large numbers of housing units in order to accommodate population growth, were unable to reach this figure. In Jerusalem 4.3 units were started for every 1,000 residents, and in cities with a population between 200,000 and 500,000 (Tel Aviv-Yafo, Haifa, Rishon LeZion, and Petah Tikva) 6.6 units were started. The figures were higher for cities with a population between 100,000 and 200,000 (such as Netanya, Be’er Sheva, and Holon), at 9.2, and for cities with a population between 50,000 and 100,000 (such as Kfar Saba, Herzliya, Hadera, and Modi’in), where construction was started on 8.7 units for every 1,000 residents.

Smaller localities saw even more new construction of housing units in relation to their population size. For example, in localities with a population between 10,000 and 20,000 (such as Tirat Karmel, Ariel, Hura, Tel Sheva, and Kafar Manda), 12.1 units were started, and in rural localities (moshavim, kibbutzim, and the like), 11.4 units were started for every 1,000 persons.

The population growth correlated with construction trends: in cities with a population above 200,000 it was below average, and in the smaller localities it was higher. The sharpest increase in population during 2015 was recorded in rural localities, at 2.9%. Jerusalem, by comparison, had a population growth of 1.9%. It should be noted that population growth depends on a number of factors, not only on construction.

Translation: Merav Datan

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Employment-Population Ratios

Yair Assaf-Shapira
Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research,

In 2015 (the last year for which data are available), a total of 321,000 men and women were employed in Jerusalem. Although Jerusalem is Israel’s most populous city, the number of people employed in the city is smaller than the figure for Tel Aviv – Yafo, which has a total of 406,700 employed persons. Haifa has a total of 176,600, and for Israel as a whole the total is 3,653,800.
A city’s workforce is a source of economic power: workplaces pay relatively high municipal taxes, and persons employed in the city spend money and consume services such as culture, commerce, or even parking, thus in effect creating more employment opportunities. Construction of office buildings and other workplaces also generate revenues for the city through levies and fees. 
Might we conclude, therefore, that the economic power provided by persons employed in Jerusalem is less than that provided by those employed in Tel Aviv – Yafo and greater than in Haifa? Not necessarily, because the population of Jerusalem is twice that of Tel Aviv and three times that of Haifa. In other words, the economic power generated by workplaces in Jerusalem serves a much larger number of residents. To assess the economic power derived from places of employment in relation to population, we calculated the ratios between a city’s employed persons (who are not necessarily all residents) and the city’s population. 
The employment-population ratio in Jerusalem stood at 374 employed persons for every 1,000 residents of the city. This is significantly lower than the figures for Tel Aviv (947) and Haifa (635), which serve as centers of employment for large, densely populated metropolitan areas. A comparison with other major cities reveals that Jerusalem’s ratio is higher than that of Rishon LeZion (362) and Ashdod (333), but lower than that of Petah Tikva (522), Be’er Sheva (445), and Netanya (405).
Jerusalem’s low ratio results from relatively low rates of participation in the workforce among certain population groups, a relatively small number of workplaces in the city, and the difficulty of attracting people to work in the city. At the same time, it appears that since 2010 Jerusalem’s employment-population ratio has increased. In 1995, 2000, and 2005 it stood at 332, 329, and 331, respectively, then rose to 343 in 2010 and, as noted, to 374 in 2015. As we know, Jerusalem’s population is not declining in size, and the ratio is increasing because new workplaces are opening at a faster rate than the population is increasing. 

Translation: Merav Datan

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

It Belongs in a Museum!

Omer Yaniv
Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research

Jerusalem is a city of museums. In the past, archaeological findings discovered in Jerusalem would be displayed in small exhibit halls primarily in the Old City’s churches and monasteries. This practice changed in 1938, when the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum was built outside of the Old City walls. Later, after the State of Israel was founded, cultural institutions opened throughout the city, including the Israel Museum in 1965, the Museum for Islamic Art in 1974, and the Bible Lands Museum as well as the Science Museum in 1992. Throughout these years museums were also opened in existing buildings, including the Tower of David Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Old Yishuv Court Museum. In the near future Jerusalem is expected to see additional museum openings in the new “Museum Complex” surrounding the Israel Museum, where the National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel and the National Library are slated to open in the coming years.
The Israel Museum, which is Israel’s national museum, is the most popular of Jerusalem’s museums, and for good reason. In 2015 it displayed more than 290,000 collection items in 34 different exhibits, and had some 730,000 visitors. Other Jerusalem museums that drew large crowds in 2015 were the Bloomfield Science Museum with 291,000 visitors, the Tower of David Museum with 266,000 visitors, and the Bible Lands Museum with 228,000 visitors. In 2013, about 37% of all visitors to Israel’s recognized museums had visited a museum in Jerusalem. In other words, Jerusalem’s museums had more than 1,630,000 visitors, compared with 1,070,000 visitors to museums in Tel Aviv and the surrounding area (24% of all visitors to museums in Israel) and 530,000 visitors to museums in Haifa and its surroundings (12% of all visitors).

Sources: PILAT and Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research
Translated by Merav Datan

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Rain that Pays for Itself

Mimi Kaplan
Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research – Milken innovation center

Atop a 1,000 square meter roof of a school building, rainwater falls and runs down into gutters at the perimeter. Through the gutters, the rainwater flows into a large reservoir either by the force of gravity, or with the help of sub-pumps. The reservoir is connected to the school’s toilets by a separate line in order to avoid cross connections with city water.  A pressure switch activates only upon a toilet flush in the school bathroom, causing the rainwater to flow once again and refill the toilet. Through these pipes, reservoirs and pumps, this system captures the valuable natural resource of rainwater and puts it to use. 
This is the model of rainwater catchment system that Amir Yechieli's company, Yevul Mayim, has installed at 150 schools in Israel so far. Once built, the systems are used as educational tools by the schools, to teach students concepts of conservation and research methods like data collection and arithmetic. Though there have been many national and international sponsors of the systems like the Jewish National Fund, Rotary International and the Jerusalem Foundation, the systems are viable as a financially and environmentally sustainable investment in their own right. 
The system described above has the collection potential of approximately 429 cubic meters annually, or 2,681 bathtubs full of water, given Jerusalem's average amount of rainfall. The actual volume of rainwater moving from roof to toilet depends on the total amount of rainfall , its distribution, the storage capacity, and number of toilets hooked up to the system. This is 429 cubic meters of rainwater that would not incur the energy costs of treatment and pumping, or the direct financial cost of NIS 9.95 (including value added tax) per cubic meter, which comes out to NIS 4,269 annually at the water rate for public buildings. 
The average cost of a modest rainwater catchment system for a school rooftop in Jerusalem is NIS 30,000 with negligible operating and maintenance costs. This capital cost could be paid for in a number of ways, all of which assume use of all of the 429 cubic meters, and that money would be set aside for repairs. First, as mentioned above, a philanthropic organization could pay the full capital cost. Second, a public-private partnership between the school, the municipality and a private installation company could be created to finance and build the project. The initial capital cost could be split between the three partners, and the school could pay the other two back over time through a negotiated percent of the avoided cost. Third, a third of the capital cost could be raised by the school's local community, and two thirds paid for by a 5-year loan that the school takes from a commercial bank (at market borrowing terms). And fourth, the municipality could take a 5-year loan (at market borrowing terms) from the national government to pay for the creation of rainwater catchment systems. The number of years it takes for the money saved by installing a 1,000 square meter rainwater catchment system to equal the NIS 30,000 capital cost is depicted in the graph. Jerusalem has approximately 896,112 square meters of roof space on public buildings, which yields a potential water saving of 384,253 cubic meters annually. Expanding the number of rainwater catchment systems on Jerusalem's roofs through any of these four financial mechanisms would lead the city to continuously save more water, energy, and money.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Fight for Your Right (To Pay Tax)

Dafna Shemer
Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research

Jerusalem’s Arnona (municipal tax) is particularly high, the highest in Israel. In 2014 Jerusalem’s total due Arnona was 1,173,000,00 NIS (New Israeli Shekels) for 212,000 housing units. Arnona discounts amounted to 26% of the total, with 40% of the discounts going to residents from Jerusalem neighborhoods of low socio-economic status (a socio-economic status of 2-5, with 20 being the highest status, according to the 2008 census).
An examination of Jerusalem’s lower socio-economic neighborhoods reveals an interesting picture regarding the exercise of rights on the part of East Jerusalem versus West Jerusalem residents. These neighborhoods are geographically and socially distinguishable as areas populated by the ultra-orthodox (haredi) in West Jerusalem and by Palestinians in East Jerusalem.
Most (72%) of the properties in West Jerusalem that belong to residents of lower socio-economic standing have a ranking of 4 or 5, whereas in East Jerusalem only 49% of the properties belong to residents with a ranking of 4 or 5.
Building on the assumption that people with the same socio-economic status would receive the same discount in Arnona, given their income, we examined lower socio-economic neighborhoods in West Jerusalem and in East Jerusalem. We examined how many discounts were granted on the basis of income, as a proportion of the total number of apartments in the neighborhood. Evidently, the percentage of Arnona discounts based on income, as a proportion of the total number of apartments, is higher in West Jerusalem (39%) than in East Jerusalem (26%). For the sake of comparison, we note that in neighborhoods of higher socio-economic standing (15-19), 6% of the apartments receive a discount on the basis of income.
Both East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem neighborhoods show a decrease in the percentage of discounts granted on the basis of income as the socio-economic ranking of the neighborhood rises. East Jerusalem neighborhoods with a socio-economic status of 2 received discounts for 27% of the apartments therein, whereas West Jerusalem neighborhoods with a ranking of 2 received discounts for 42% of the apartments therein. East Jerusalem neighborhoods with a socio-economic status of 5 received discounts for 15% of the apartments therein, while for West Jerusalem this figure was 35%.
When we examine the total Arnona collected, in relation to the total due without discount, amidst residents of lower socio-economic standing, we find that collection rates in East Jerusalem (72%) are lower than in West Jerusalem (85%). Here too, as the socio-economic status increases from 2 to 5, Arnona collection rates increase. For higher socio-economic rankings (15-19), collection rates are higher too – at 96%.
In sum, one might conclude that residents of West Jerusalem are more effectively exercising their rights vis-à-vis Arnona than East Jerusalem residents. And perhaps as a consequence, Arnona collection in West Jerusalem is more effective and efficient than it is in East Jerusalem.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Employment Integration and the Jerusalem Intifada

Marik Shtern
Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research

Since the end of the second intifada and construction of the separation fence, the economic and employment integration of Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents within West Jerusalem has been on the increase. The demographic growth of the city’s Palestinian population, on the one hand, and the economic crisis in East Jerusalem caused by the separation fence and consequent disconnection from the Palestinian economy, on the other, resulted in the integration of this population group into the Israeli labor market on a scale and scope unprecedented since 1967. Newly available data of the National Insurance Institute (social security), as processed by the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research in relation to the composition and characteristics of persons employed in Jerusalem during 2006-2015, reveal that in 2015 the increase in number of Arab workers was halted, for the first time ever, and even reversed slightly.
As of 2015 employed residents of Jerusalem numbered 278,403. The relative proportion of employed Arabs within the city’s labor force grew steadily between 2006 and 2015, from 22% in 2006 to 28% in 2015. During this period the number of employed Arabs registered with the East Jerusalem branch of the National Insurance Institute rose from 45,730 to 74,204 – an increase of 62%. In 2015 this increase was halted and the total even declined by 110 employees.
Current data on recipients of unemployment benefits and income support can, to a certain extent, help explain why the city’s Arab labor force stopped increasing. According to National Insurance Institute data, the number of recipients of unemployment benefits among East Jerusalem Arabs rose steadily from 352 in 2008 to 1,501 in 2015 – an increase of 426% in seven years. The main increase took place during 2013-2015. In addition, the number of income support recipients from East Jerusalem also jumped, nearly doubling between 2011 and 2015, from 3,853 to 5,793 – about 700 more than the number of Jewish income support recipients in the city for the same year. These figures presumably reflect the large number of Arab workers who were excluded from the employment cycle in recent years. Their exclusion can probably be explained in terms of the economic crisis that befell Jerusalem’s private employment sector following the events of the Jerusalem intifada, as well as instances of dismissal or refusal to employ Arab workers in West Jerusalem during this period. At the same time, the increase in recipients of unemployment benefits and income support could also indicate an increase in awareness and capability within this population group when it comes to implementing their social rights. In other words, their economic integration and what has recently been termed their “Israelization” actually enable Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem to claim their social rights under conditions of economic crisis or dismissal from work, which in turn result from an intensification of the national conflict in the city.

Translation: Merav Datan

Monday, February 20, 2017

The True Stats of Doing Business

Alon Kupererd
Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research,

If one examines the available data on openings and closings of businesses, while ignoring the net change in the number of businesses, one might conclude that the business sector is constantly in flux – given the large numbers of openings and closings.

Indeed, the data on business registrations, as provided by the Central Bureau of Statistics and presented in the 2017 Statistical Yearbook on Jerusalem (forthcoming), indicate that in all economic sectors, with the sole exception of the manufacturing, mining, and quarrying sector, there has been a gradual increase in the number of active businesses during 2015. For example, during this year Jerusalem saw the opening of 242 new businesses in the real estate sector while 137 were shut down, indicating a positive net change of 105 businesses for this sector. This is smaller than the figure for Tel Aviv-Yafo, which saw an increase of 212 businesses in the real estate sector during the same year. In Haifa there were 146 business openings and 88 closings, yielding a net change of 58 new businesses – well below the figures for Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.

The important question, however, is whether this net change is a true reflection of activity trends in the business sector. Not necessarily, as it turns out, given that the absolute numbers do not accurately represent the proportionate change in the number of businesses in a city, and given that the economy of a city varies with the size of the city. As such, any comparison across cities requires an index of measurement that neutralizes variance in the number of active businesses per city. So let us compare business activity across cities using ratios per 1,000 businesses.

When we examine the above data using this method, we find that Jerusalem saw an increase of 44 businesses for every 1,000 active businesses, while Tel Aviv had an increase of 33 businesses per 1,000. In Haifa the proportion was 40 businesses per 1,000. Thus we see that even though Tel Aviv saw the greatest increase in this sector in absolute numbers, its rate of growth was the lowest among the three major cities, including Haifa, which had the lowest figure in absolute numbers.

In addition to the rate of growth, we can also examine stability. To see which sectors maintained relative stability and which underwent high turnover, let us calculate the rate of change among businesses (sum of business openings and closings) per 1,000 active businesses.

When we compare across sectors, we find that among the three major cities and Israel as a whole, the sector with the highest rate of business openings and closings was that of accommodation services and restaurants (287 openings and closings per 1,000 active businesses in Jerusalem, 260 in Tel Aviv, and 315 in Haifa).

The sectors with the next highest rates of openings and closings were the hi-tech industry (257 in Tel Aviv, 229 in Israel, 220 in Jerusalem, and 212 in Haifa) and information and communications (232 in Tel Aviv, 228 in Israel, 226 in Jerusalem, and 225 in Haifa).

It should be noted that those sectors that showed high rates of business openings and closings also had relatively high rates of growth in terms of the number of businesses per 1,000 active businesses: in Jerusalem the hi-tech industry ranked second and the information and communications sector ranked fourth; in Tel Aviv the hi-tech industry ranked first and the information and communications sector ranked second.

Translation: Merav Datan

Monday, February 6, 2017

What Would You Like to Buy?

Lior Regev
Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research

One of the indices of a country’s economic status is the rate of ownership of durable goods. Durable goods are purchased once every few years and include, for example, furniture, cars, or electric appliances such as a refrigerator, stove, or washing machine. In the modern capitalist economy, which relies on the market system and private property, ownership of durable goods serves as an indicator of a household’s economic welfare and standard of living.

The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) conducts an annual survey that examines ownership of various goods and services, among other factors (Survey of Household Expenditures). The list of goods whose ownership the CBS examines is updated annually, in accordance with economic development and technological preferences. A review of previous surveys finds that in the past it examined ownership of video players, which was later updated to DVD players. Perhaps future surveys will examine ownership of wrist-band microchips that project movies onto walls….

For some goods, increasing ownership rates corresponded with a rising standard of living, but the increase over the years was gradual. For example, the percentage of Israeli households that owned at least one vehicle was 55% in 1999, 58% in 2005, 62% in 2009, and 65% in 2014.

A comparison across cities finds that differences in vehicle ownership rates are relatively small. In 2005, 50% of Jerusalem households owned a vehicle – very comparable to rate for Tel Aviv (50%) and slightly lower than the rate for Haifa (53%). A decade later, in 2014, 60% of Tel Aviv households owned a vehicle – comparable to the rate for Haifa (61%) and higher than the rate for Jerusalem, at only 56%. The relative consistency of vehicle ownership rates reflects the high cost of owning this means of transportation and the economic stratification of households in Israel.

For other goods, ownership rates saw a dramatic increase over the years, as well as differences across various cities. The most salient example is air conditioners, which were seen historically as less necessary in Jerusalem given its comfortable climate relative to cities in central Israel. In 1999, for example, only 12% of Jerusalem households reported owning an air conditioner, compared with 42% in Tel Aviv and 39% in Haifa.

The rising standard of living alongside global warming has transformed air conditioners from a luxury item into a good that is essential for surviving the interminable Israeli summer. In 2014, a decisive majority (94%) of Tel Aviv households reported that they own an air conditioner. In Haifa the rate was 84%, comparable to the figure for Israel (82%). Jerusalem, too, has shown a significant increase in recent years, from 41% in 2009 to 60% in 2014, but it still has a long way to go to catch up with the coastal cities.

Translation: Merav Datan