Friday, June 1, 2018

Sick? Injured? Get to your Health Fund

Lior Regev

The final months of 2017 were tough on the health of the people in Zion. The winter, or more precisely the lack of winter, and the accompanying dryness, made their mark on the parents and children who suffered together. The frequent flus, and the viruses and germs that never let up and were constantly on the attack, wore everyone down. According to an article by Rotem Elizera published on Ynet (in Hebrew), they caused an increase of 10 percent in the sick days taken by workers in Israel, in comparison to 2016.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Employment rates of Jerusalem’s Arab women


Thirty-seven percent of Jerusalem’s population aged 15 and over are Arabs. This population is characterized by large households, with an average of 5.2 family members, and a high poverty rate, which reaches 82%, compared with the overall poverty rate in Jerusalem, which is 49%. The high rate of poverty among the Arab population is attributed mainly to the low participation in the labor force among Arab women, and to unskilled employment, which offers low salaries.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Boys' Names

Omer Yaniv

Congratulations! It's a boy! What's his name? If he was born in Jerusalem in 2016, there's a good chance that his name is David, since that was the most popular name for Jewish boys born in that year, during which 287 boys were named David. Unlike in Jerusalem, the most popular name for Jewish boys in all of Israel was Noam, with the name David ranked second place. Among Muslim boys in Israel the name Muhammad was the most popular, and it is also the most popular among all boys in Israel. The name Noam for a boy (it is also a girl's name) was also the most popular name in several Israeli cities, such as Haifa, Beersheba and Rishon Lezion, while in Jerusalem the name Noam was in 16th place on the list of the most popular Jewish boys' names. In Tel Aviv, the names Ori or Uri (which are spelled in exactly the same way in Hebrew) were the most popular.

The ten most popular names for Jewish boys in Jerusalem, apart from David, were Yosef (272 boys), Avraham (246), Moshe (233), Yehuda (212), Yisrael (210), Shmuel (184), Ya'acov (182), Yitzhak (162), and Haim (152). Apart from Noam and David, the most popular names in Israel for Jewish boys were Ori or Uri, Ariel and Yosef. In Tel Aviv the other popular boys' names were Yonatan, Adam, Noam and Eitan. In Haifa, apart from the name Noam, the most popular names were Eitan, Daniel, Adam and David. In the large localities surrounding Jerusalem the most popular name for a boy in both Beit Shemesh and Betar Ilit was Avraham; Shmuel was the most popular name in Modi'in Ilit; Noam in Mevassert Zion; Eitan in Modi'in-Maccabim- Reut; and in Ma'ale Adumim Elia was the most popular name for a boy.

Translated by Gilah Kahn

Friday, April 20, 2018

Naming your daughter

Omer Yaniv

Mazal tov, it’s a girl! What’s your baby’s name?
If she was born in 2016 in Jerusalem, there’s a good chance her name might be Sara, since this was the most popular name given to Jewish girls (232 of them) that year. In contrast, in the country as a whole, the most popular girls’ name in Israel was Tamar (Sara came in at number 8). Among Muslim girls, the most popular name was Maryam. Among Jewish girls in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Rishon Lezion and Beer sheba, Maya was the most popular name (Maya came in at No. 31 in Jerusalem).
After Sarah, the most popular names given in 2016 to Jewish girls in Jerusalem were Esther (223) Tamar and Ayala (204 each), Yael (181), Avigail, Rivka and Miriam (171 each) and Haya (157).
In Israel overall, the most common names given to girls were Tamar, Noa, Avigail, Maya and Yael. In Tel Aviv, the most popular names after Maya were Ella, Lia, Emma and Yuval. In Haifa, the most common names after Maya were Avigail, Ayala, Yael and Romi.
In haredi cities such as Beit Shemesh, Beitar Illit, and Modi’in Illit, the most common name was also Sara. In Modi’in-Maccabim-Reut and Ma’aleh Adumim, the most popular name was Talia, and in Givat Ze’ev, the most popular name was Noa.
Stay tuned next week for a list of the most popular boys’ names.

Translated by Hannah Hochner.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Yeshiva High Schools

Tehila Bigman

In recent years, the demand to study at yeshiva high schools has increased among the haredi public in Israel. At yeshiva high schools, alongside religious studies students learn general subjects and follow the curriculum for the matriculation examination. This new interest reveals deep processes at work in haredi society that indicate a desire for integration into the employment market, which is often the result of the aspiration to earn a decent living, and sometimes a wish to be a more significant part of general Israeli culture.

Studies for boys in the haredi sector begin at age three. That is the age when a boy enters the Talmud Torah or heder and starts to learn how to read. Studies at the Talmud Torah continue until age 14 (the end of eighth grade), and include many hours of religious study –Torah study, Halacha (religious laws), Mishna, Gemara, Musar and World View – as well as general subjects which include math, geography, nature studies, history and more. English and other foreign languages are rarely included, and there is minimal, if any, "enrichment," in subjects such as technology, computers, art, or physical education. In the higher grades there are more religious studies at the expense of the other subjects. After completing the studies at the Talmud Torah, the haredi youth continues to a "small" or "junior" yeshiva for the next three years (parallel to grades nine through 11). Only religious subjects are taught at the small yeshiva.

This means that a graduate of the haredi school system receives a rich education in religious studies, but his level of education in all other areas is roughly equivalent to a student in grade five or six in the state systems. Therefore, entry into the work force, as well as into higher education in the country, is effectively blocked to these haredi graduates.

Research undertaken at the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research indicates a trend that shows that more and more members of the haredi community are interested in changing the situation and providing their sons with the tools and the possibility of receiving a broader education starting in high school, to enable them to earn a decent living, or because they believe that the true "Way of the Torah" includes preparedness for a practical life.

In a survey of 450 men and women who are representative of haredi society, 17% of respondents said that they would have no problem sending their sons to a haredi yeshiva high school. Alongside 41% who responded that under no circumstances would they be willing to send their sons to an institution that combines secular studies and preparation for the matriculation exam (which is representative of the prevailing approach in haredi society today), a similar number of respondents said that they wouldn't rule out this possibility. The survey data shows that in the coming years a potential 5,000 additional students may attend haredi yeshiva high schools.

Among respondents in Jerusalem only 12% said that they have no problem with their children studying at a high school yeshiva, and it is interesting to note that in Bnei Brak, a center of haredi Judaism, the percentage was almost double, with 23% of parents responding that they have no problem with their sons studying at a yeshiva high school.

The results foresee a growing phenomenon, which may have far-reaching influence on the employment market and the integration of the haredi population into the larger community in Israel, and we would be advised to pay attention.

Translated by Gilah Kahn

Friday, April 6, 2018

Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Erela Ganan

The Central Bureau of Statistics Social Survey for 2016 posed the following question to its respondents: "Are there situations in which you feel lonely?" While working on this weekly column I came across that question, and I wondered – would I have answered that question honestly? And on a government survey? Which of the four options (often, sometimes - from time to time, infrequently, never) would I have chosen? I'm still not sure, but in the meantime, this is what the existing data reveals…

Men in Tel Aviv are lonelier than men in Jerusalem; women in Jerusalem are lonelier than women in Tel Aviv
6.7% of the men in Tel Aviv often feel lonely, as opposed to 3.7% of the men in Jerusalem.
6.66% of the women in Jerusalem often feel lonely, as opposed to 5.94% of the women in Tel Aviv.

When you cluster the answers, the loneliness gaps by gender and by city blur – about 21% of the men in Jerusalem are often or occasionally lonely, similar to about 23% of the men in Tel Aviv. However, we learn that in general women feel lonelier than men do. About 80,000 women in Jerusalem (31%) and about 44,000 women in Tel Aviv (26%) feel lonely often or occasionally. The situation in Haifa isn't much happier: 20,500 of the men in Haifa (21%) feel lonely often or occasionally, as opposed to about 30,000 women in Haifa (27%).

To what is the sense of loneliness connected, among Jerusalemites?

I assumed that there would be a correspondence between the level of loneliness and the quality of family relationships. The Central Bureau of Statistics looks into this as well, and asks: Are you satisfied with your relationship with your relatives? There were insufficient respondents to the options that express dissatisfaction or complete dissatisfaction and so the sampling error doesn't allow for the presentation of the data, which means that I can't reinforce or rule out my assumption. Still, the 21% of the women in Jerusalem who report a frequent feeling of loneliness is comprised of 6.3% who are "very satisfied" with their family relationships, and 14% who are only "satisfied." Among the 31% of women in Jerusalem who feel lonely now and again, 8% are "very satisfied" and connected to their families, while 20% are only "satisfied."

And what of the family status of the respondents?

There is insufficient family status data about those who reported feeling a sense of loneliness "often." At the same time, from among the approximately 17% of Jerusalemites who are lonely "occasionally," about 12% are married, and about 5% are single. And among the approximately 24.4% of women in Jerusalem who are occasionally lonely, about 15% are married and about 5.4% are single.

And maybe, after all that, we can sum up and conclude that a sense of loneliness is part and parcel of feelings of human existence, and it's just as natural to feel loneliness as any other feeling. However, if you still feel overwhelmed, don't keep it to yourself – it's probably a good idea to seek help, or company...

Translated by Gilah Kahn

Friday, March 30, 2018

Housing Inventory

Yair Assaf-Shapira

Planning is required if you want to build apartments. When there is a dearth of apartments, a question that arises is: Is there a lack of apartments today because the scope of the planning wasn't wide enough or because the construction process is too slow and can't keep up with the planning? This debate is at the core of the argument about the future of the Committee for Preferred Areas for Housing (CPAH). Following a government decision, the Planning Administration and the Israel Land Authority provide the public with a database which includes all the apartments that exist "on paper" and their various planning stages, via the website This database is the residential planning inventory. We have tried to examine the scope of the Jerusalem apartments that are currently in the planning stages.

The planning inventory of all the apartments in Israel stands at 436,700 apartments, of which 8,900 (2%) are in Jerusalem. The cities with the largest planning inventories are not the big cities which comprise the nuclei of the metropolitan areas – in those areas they have "run out" of room to build – but rather mostly medium-size cities such as Ashkelon, where the number of planned apartments in the inventory stands at 27,800, Kiryat Ata (21,400), and Lod (15,900). The apartment inventories in Haifa and Tel Aviv are lower than that of Jerusalem, and number 6,500 and 3,900 respectively. With respect to the apartment inventory in Jerusalem, for 3,400 apartments (38%) the plans have already been approved, while the others are in earlier planning stages.

Will construction dwindle in the big cities once the apartments in the current inventory have been built? Not necessarily. The planning inventory included with this data does not take into account urban renewal or National Masterplan 38 (NMP38), which as we saw in this column, encompasses within its framework alone a further 3,550 potential new apartments in Jerusalem. It seems that urban renewal, or "compressing" the existing building situation is the principal option for housing development in the city.

Apart from that, a large portion of those who will live in the apartments yet to be built will come to the metropolitan centers for work, studies, leisure, etc. When examining the residential inventory according to metropolis, it emerges that most of the apartments in Israel's planning inventory (57% of the total number of apartments in the inventory) are located in the four metropolises. Thus it seems that the metropolitan centers are guaranteed a growing and developing hinterland, although while in metropolitan Tel Aviv there are 107,100 apartments in the inventory, in metropolitan Jerusalem there are only 27,800.  And furthermore, fewer than 60% of the apartments in the inventory in metropolitan Haifa and Jerusalem are in relatively advanced planning stages (with approval or lodging of objections), while more than 70% of the apartments in Tel Aviv and Beersheba are already in these advanced stages.

Translated by Gilah Kahn

Friday, March 23, 2018

Women in hi-tech

Shachar Bar

Hi-tech sector is an important growth engine for the Israeli economy. The number of hi-tech companies in Jerusalem has been consistently increasing since 2013, with an overall growth rate of 52%.

Companies in Jerusalem account for 6% of the entire Israeli hi-tech industry. For the last four years, 100 new hi-tech startups have been created each year.
Is this growth reflected in the percentage of women employed in the industry? Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

In Jerusalem, 84% of the hi-tech companies are small, with up to 20 employees. Although 39% of the workforce in these companies are women, we need to take into consideration that many of the administrative positions are filled by women. In new companies, however, only 29% of employees are women. This difference stems mainly from the composition of these new companies. New companies tend to employ people only in professional positions, since they have little need for administrative help, and as a result, the percentage of women among employees is lower. In addition, data show that only a tiny percentage of entrepreneurs are women, which is another reason for the low number of women employed in new small hi-tech companies. In hi-tech companies in Jerusalem,  61% of women work in professional positions. In contrast, 71% of the women in new companies are employed in professional positions.

The total number of workers in the Israeli hi-tech industry rose from 272,200 in 2013 to 310,300 in 2016. The percentage of women employed in the industry has remained stable throughout the different regions in Israel. For example, in Tel Aviv, women make up one-third of employees in hi-tech companies, a statistic that has remained constant in recent years.

In Jerusalem, however, the situation has improved in recent years. In 2016, 39% of hi-tech workers were women, which is 3% higher than it was in 2013. In fact, in the biotech sector, women make up the majority of employees. In new biotech companies, women make up a whopping 59% of employees. One possible explanation for the high number of women working in biotech is their preference for studying subjects such as life sciences, as opposed to subjects like computer sciences.

Translated by Hannah Hochner.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Taking Account of Bank Accounts

Yair Assaf-Shapira

In a world where most bank transactions can be dealt with over the Internet, are physical banks a vanishing phenomenon? We might assume that for a growing sector of the population there is no need for a physical branch, but based on the crowds at some of the banks it seems that there are still those who avail themselves of the services.

According to data from the Banking Supervision Department at the Bank of Israel, there are 1,294 active bank branches in Israel today, 206 (16%) in Tel Aviv, 124 (10%) in Jerusalem, and 69 (5%) in Haifa. In 2017, 15 bank branches were opened in Israel, while 46 were closed (including one which was opened that same year), so that there was a negative balance. It should be noted that some of the branches that appear on the list are not general service points, but specialize, providing mortgage or investment services, while some don't supply any services at all, such as the administrative branches.

A comparison of the number of branches in a specific locality to its population size creates an index that presents the integration between 1. The quality of the banking services provided to the residents of the locality who need to use the bank, and 2. The centrality of the locality as a provider of services in its area. In Tel Aviv there are 4.7 bank branches per 10,000 residents (and it is second only to Rosh Pina in the number of branches per 10,000 residents). Like Rosh Pina, the other localities, following Tel Aviv, are relatively small, but function as commercial centers for the surrounding regions – such as Kochav Yair (4.4 branches to 10,000 residents) and Kfar Ya'assif (4.1). In Jerusalem, the ratio is relatively low, and stands at 1.4, and also among the other large cities, only in Ramat Gan (3.5) and in Haifa (2.5) is the ratio higher than 2. It appears that the network of branches is organized in such a way that people will not necessarily receive service in the neighborhood where they live, but also won't have to travel too far to get what they need. Tel Aviv's prominence is also lower, when taking into account that its daytime population is 40% larger than its permanent population.

One banking service that requires a physical presence at the bank is the withdrawal of cash from a bank machine. There are 2,100 such machines in Israel, and with respect to this service as well, the small and medium-size cities stand out, such as Rosh Pina (17 machines per 10,000 people) and Kfar Ya'assif (7.2). In Jerusalem there are 211 machines per 10,000 people.

Translated by Gilah Kahn

Friday, March 9, 2018

Daytime Populations

Yair Assaf-Shapira

According to population statistics published by the Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2016, 874,200 people lived in Jerusalem, half that number in Tel Aviv (435,900) and one-third that number in Haifa (279,200 residents).

These are the numbers of permanent residents in these cities, but since they are major metropolitan areas, the number of people who spend the day in these cities rises every morning, when tens of thousands of people enter the city for employment, education and other activities. These metropolitan cities function as employment centers for people who live in nearby commuter towns.
According to the CBS Labor Force Survey, the city with the highest number of incoming daily commuters is Tel Aviv. Some 257,000 people commute to work in Tel Aviv every day and live elsewhere.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Goodbye Organic Garbage, Hello Compost

Lior Regev

In the small country of Israel, garbage is a big problem. The unsorted waste that we throw in the trash is collected by trucks that move it to sorting stations, and at the end of the process much of it is transported to landfills. The trucks' journeys through the city streets require energy, contribute to air pollution and traffic jams, while the landfills take up large amounts of space that could be used for better purposes. One of the solutions to the mountains of waste is separation at source.

Over the past decade, an increasing number of composters have been springing up in public parks, building courtyards, and private homes in Jerusalem. A composter is a container for organic waste, such as scraps of fruits and vegetables and other organic matter, which comprises some 40% of household waste. This organic matter decomposes in the composter and can be used as fertilizer in gardens.

The distribution of compost bins in Jerusalem began in 2008, at the initiative of residents of the Beit Hakerem neighborhood who came together as a non-profit organization. In 2012, the "MahapchYarok (Green Revolution)" – which is responsible for dissemination of information, sale of containers, and operation and maintenance of composters, received municipal recognition and support from the Ginot Ha'ir Community Council and the Municipality. Today, according to data supplied by "MahapchYarok" via director of the initiative Jonathan Plitmann, more than 5,400 households in Jerusalem make use of the containers, either frequently or occasionally. The containers may be divided into the following four categories: containers that operate in parks and schools; containers located in apartment buildings; composters that operate in community gardens and other public spaces; and containers used in private households.

Friday, February 16, 2018


Omer Yaniv

In a diverse society such as Israel's, we would expect that occasionally there would be friction between different people on the basis of the social variations between the groups to which they belong. We often see that people are discriminated against negatively or positively because they belong to a particular gender or to a particular ethnic or religious group. An examination of the results of the 2016 Social Survey conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics, reveals that there were more people in the city of Jerusalem who responded that they encountered high levels of discrimination in almost all of the categories (types of discrimination) examined, than there were in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Haifa, and the general population.

Close to 22% of respondents who live in Jerusalem said that they have encountered discrimination based on the religious group to which they belong, as opposed to about 9% in Haifa and in the general population, and about 7% in Tel Aviv. There were also a much larger percentage of respondents from Jerusalem (18%) who said that they had experienced discrimination based on nationality, as opposed to Haifa (12%), the general population in Israel (10%), and Tel Aviv-Jaffa (7%).

One of the main reasons for the differences between the populations in Jerusalem and the other cities, is that Jerusalem is the city with the most diverse population. There is a large Haredi population residing in Jerusalem (about 34% of the Jewish population) and a large Muslim population (about 36% of the total population in the city). The high percentage of Arab residents in Jerusalem (37%) as compared to the entire country (21%), Haifa (11%), and Tel Aviv-Jaffa (4%) explains the high percentage of respondents who encountered instances of discrimination based on nationality in Jerusalem. While only 8% of the Jewish respondents in Jerusalem indicated that they encountered discrimination based on their nationality, more than 38% of the Arab respondents said that they experienced this kind of discrimination. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that a higher percentage of Jerusalem residents will encounter instances of discrimination based on religion or nationality as compared to people in all of Israel and in the other cities, where the percentage of Haredi people and Arabs is lower. Despite the great difference in percentages among Jerusalem and Israel and the two other largest cities, with respect to discrimination based on nationality, the survey revealed that from the percentage of respondents who were asked whether they encountered discrimination related to their nationality at work, only a low percentage (3%) both in Jerusalem and in the rest of the country, reported that they encountered discrimination related to their nationality at work. The only area where the survey found that residents of Jerusalem encountered less discrimination than was encountered in Tel Aviv-Jaffa was in the area of discrimination based on age. About 10% of the residents of Tel Aviv-Jaffa responded that they encountered age-based discrimination, as opposed to 8% of the residents of Jerusalem, and 7% of the residents of all of Israel and of Haifa.  Also at the work place a higher percentage (6%) of the residents of Tel Aviv-Jaffa encountered age-based discrimination than did residents of Jerusalem (about 4%).

Translation: Gilah Kahn

The Social Survey, Central Bureau of Statistics
Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem

Friday, February 2, 2018

Garden City Movement

Shaya Rosenblum

The area of a city that is devoted to parks, gardens, and inviting spaces where people can sit is an indicator of the extent of municipal investment in the quality of life of the residents of the city. For the most part, residents prefer to live close to green areas where they can walk around, sit down, and enjoy recreational activities with their families and friends. In this column I will review the size (area) of the green space (that the municipality actively maintains) in relation to the total number of residents.

First of all, relative to the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa, Jerusalem lags far behind. According to the data from the Jerusalem Municipality, there are 2,820 dunams (1 dunam = 1/4 acre) of green space for which it is responsible (not including passageways and green areas that form barriers between lanes of a road), which constitute 3.84 square meters per resident. In Tel Aviv there are 2,600 dunams of green space, which constitute 6.21 square meters per resident, and in Haifa the situation in this respect is the best of all, with 2,390 dunams, which constitute 8.76 square meters of green space per resident (the data for Tel Aviv and Haifa was culled from the cities' yearbooks).

When examining the data for Jerusalem at the neighborhood level, it is immediately apparent that there are barely any green spaces in the Arab neighborhoods. The Wadi Al-Joz and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhoods have the largest amount of green space per resident among the Arab neighborhoods – 2.09 square meters per resident – while in the neighborhoods of Kafr 'Aqb, Beit Hanina, Sur Baher and Um Tuba there are no parks, pedestrian walkways, gardens, inviting areas to sit, or decorative nooks at all, that are maintained by the municipality.

In general, one can see the difference between the older neighborhoods in Jerusalem, which are urban and more crowded, so that there is less public area available for parks, and the new neighborhoods beyond the center of the city where the area of green space per resident is greater. Thus, in the older neighborhoods, the green space is somewhere between 0.2 and 1.1 square meters per resident, as opposed to in the newer neighborhoods, where it is between 5.6 and 7.8 square meters per resident. One example is the Bayit Vegan neighborhood (0.49 square meters per resident). This neighborhood is located outside the city center, and was established in the 1930s on private land, as a "garden city." Every plot contained a house and a private garden, and none of the land was allocated for public parks. Over the years, the original houses were torn down and larger buildings were constructed in their place. However, it was not possible to allocate land for public green spaces, since the plots were privately owned.

Until the early 1990s, there was no adherence to any kind of policy that would ensure allocation of a satisfactory ratio of green space to each resident. In neighborhoods where the contractors' assessment was that there wasn't much demand for green space, such as in the Har Nof neighborhood (1.77 square meters per resident), only small areas were allocated for public green space. Only in the neighborhoods that were built in the 1990s did the planners ensure that the amount of green space per resident would be at least 5 square meters. 

Translation: Gilah Kahn

Friday, January 19, 2018


Dafna Shemer

Among both Jews and Arabs, the influence of education on employment is clearly evident. According to the Labor Force Survey conducted for the year 2016 by the Central Bureau of Statistics, the rate of those employed among Jews at the predominant working ages (25-64) in Israel is 82%, while the rate of employment among Jews who hold a BA degree is 89%, rising to 91% among those who have an MA degree, and to 92% for those who have a PhD. Among Jews who possess a matriculation certificate (who did not continue on to higher education), the rate of employment is 81%. Among the Arab population, the total rate of employment is only 53%, a similar percentage to those among the Arab population who hold a matriculation certificate (54%), while among Arabs who have a BA, the rate of employment reaches 77%.

The ratio between education and the rate of employment among Jewish men and women is similar, while among the Arabs there are wide gaps between the men and women. Among Arab men, the rate of employment is 75%. The rate of employment among Arab men who have a matriculation certificate is 82%, and the rate of employment among Arab men who have a BA degree is 88%. Among Arab women the rate of employment is lower – only 32%. Among Arab women who have a matriculation certificate the rate of employment is 30%, while for those who have a BA degree the rate is 68%. The chances that an Arab woman who holds an MA will be employed are 82%.
While the rates of employment in Jerusalem are lower than those in the rest of the country, the trends are similar. Among Arabs, the rate of those at the predominant working ages who are employed is 49%, whereas the rate among Arab men is 80%, with the rate among Arab men who hold a BA reaching 86%, while 83% of those who have a matriculation certificate are employed. Among Arab women in Jerusalem the rate of employment is only 20% in general, 12% for those who have a matriculation certificate, and 43% for those who have a BA.

The Council for Higher Education in Israel claims that the market for higher education has reached its limit with respect to the number of students enrolled. In an attempt to assess the extent of enrollment among the different populations in institutions for higher learning, we compared three age cohorts (ages 20 to 22) with the number of students studying for a first degree at local universities and colleges. We found that about 60% of non-Ultra-Orthodox Jews ages 20 to 22 are studying at institutions of higher learning, as compared to 23% of Arabs at the same ages.

It appears that the Arabs lag behind the Jews when it comes to embracing higher education. The percentage of Arab women who hold academic positions is high (35%) relative to those in other positions, and similar to that of Jewish women (33%). In other words, education is a key to employment for Arab women, so that encouraging Arab women to continue their studies at institutions of higher education may yield high returns with respect to their rate of employment.

Translation: Gilah Kahn

Friday, January 5, 2018

NMP38 -- The TAMA

Yair Assaf-Shapira

National Masterplan 38 (NMP38, or TAMA38) is a national plan with a double purpose – to reinforce old buildings and ensure their earthquake preparedness; and to contribute to urban renewal, by adding new apartments in built-up areas. The NMP38 allows for the possibility of constructing additional apartments, the sale of which finances the reinforcement of the building, the expansion of the existing apartments, and often the addition of an elevator and other improvements. When you visit Jerusalem neighborhoods, you may see projects being executed in the framework of NMP38, but not many of them. For instance, on the street where I live there is one completed NMP38 project, and on my way to the Jerusalem Institute I pass by two additional projects. Is the NMP38 in Jerusalem proceeding at a relatively slow rate? Not necessarily.

Extensive planning processes take long years to complete, and not only due to bureaucratic procedures and processes. In the case of NMP38, and especially in Jerusalem, it takes time until both home-owners and entrepreneurs are convinced that they are embarking on a worthwhile investment. Are the tenants and entrepreneurs convinced? What does the future hold for NMP38?

The Jerusalem Municipality publicizes urban renewal projects, among them NMP38 projects, on the municipal Geographic Information System (GIS) website. Among all the projects that received building permits – in other words, projects where construction has already begun, will begin soon, or has been completed – 75 projects were identified across the city, comprising the expansion of 720 existing apartments, which includes the addition of 510 apartments, in the framework of NMP38.

These projects were approved starting from the middle of 2011, which means they have been in progress for the past 6.3 years. Hence, every year, on average, about 81 apartments have been added via NMP38. And it is very likely that the pace will accelerate, for today there are 410 projects, at various stages of planning (they have yet to receive building permits), which include the addition of 3,550 new apartments. It turns out that on the street where I live five additional projects are planned, and that on my way to work I pass by another eight projects that are in different stages of planning.

NMP38 has one track for the reinforcement of existing buildings, and another track for demolishing and re-building. It is interesting to learn that about 51% of the additional apartments in the new projects (those in the initial planning stages) are now on the demolish-and-re-build track, as opposed to 30% of the apartments that have received building permits over the years. It appears that NMP38 in general, and the demolish-and-rebuild track in particular, have won over the tenants and the entrepreneurs.

The highest prevalence of the NMP38 project is in the Rehavia neighborhood (33 projects of which 16 are in the initial planning stages). This fact provides food for thought, for it is in this neighborhood, where a detailed and up-to-date Master Plan exists, where the behavior of the public clearly demonstrates a preference is for NMP38, which by its nature does not include comprehensive neighborhood thinking, but focuses solely on the individual building.

UPDATE: According to data received from Moria, as of the beginning of January 2018, the up-to-date data is as follows: So far, 101 building permits have been issued in the framework or NMP38, adding 832 apartments. During the year 2017 alone, 38 permits have been issued, adding as many as 426 apartments. This means that more than half of the apartments added in Jerusalem by NMP38, were added in 2017.

Translation: Gilah Kahn