The Shmooze

Being Polite, All the Way to the Israeli Bank

By Nathan Burstein

  • Print
  • Share Share

It pays to be polite, even in Israel.

Though not known for their sparkling manners, Israelis are finely attuned to matters of etiquette and make more money when they treat others well, according to a survey published September 14.

In a national study titled “Is It Worth It To Be Polite?” researchers from the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies found that the answer is yes: Good manners do indeed translate to a “substantial” increase in Israelis’ earnings. Drawing its conclusions from responses by 992 adult Israeli Jews, the institute rated respondents with a “politeness score,” calculating the number based on questions about driving habits, cell phone usage, foul language and other topics. Although the study stopped short of claiming a causal linkage between etiquette and income, it concluded that each 10% improvement in politeness is “associated” with a 5.8% increase in family earnings. The results, first reported by the Israeli business newspaper Globes, also identified the country’s more and less polite demographics, noting that women are better behaved than men and that the ultra-Orthodox act more considerately than less religious groups. In keeping with national stereotypes, the study found that native Israelis scored lower than their foreign-born compatriots.

Asked about encounters in their daily lives, Israelis rated each other no ruder than did respondents to a similar study conducted in the United States. Their interactions with government agencies were less pleasant, however, with 50% more Israelis than Americans complaining about rudeness at government offices.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Israel, Manners, Polite, Rude, Study

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.