Bah, humbug! Ebenezer Scrooge seems to have come to Israel this Passover.
The big talking point among Israelis during this time of year is what their company gave them. Employers are expected by convention to give employees a gift twice a year, at Passover and at Rosh Hashanah. It’s a longstanding tradition that dates from the days when the socialist-Zionists who founded the state made it a bastion of workers’ rights.
But a survey commissioned by the Israeli Management Center (results not online) indicates that this year, one in five companies is defying expectations and giving nothing. Those who have given gifts spent an average of 355 shekels ($100), which is slightly down on previous years.
In other Passover-related news, it seems the festival is bringing a rare bout of inter-religious tolerance to the Galilee. Arab and Jewish leaders have been in conversation about the sale of pita, a traditional Arab business. Druze government minister Ayoub Kara declared that “if people’s livelihood depends on their selling hametz, we’ll make sure they do so far away from people who would be offended by its sale, and make sure to keep away from the Kinneret and the beaches,” according to this report in the Jerusalem Post.