The Shmooze

Israeli Parents Launch ‘Stroller March’ To Protest High Cost of Raising Children

By Renee Ghert-Zand

  • Print
  • Share Share
iStockphoto

Boy, oh boy — and girl, oh girl — things happen fast in Israel.

Just the other week, The Marker ran a big story on the comparatively high cost of raising children in Israel, as compared to other countries. Everything from diapers to strollers to baby clothes and toys seem to cost more in Israel.

Now, The Marker reports that, in response to concrete information supplied the public by that article, parents are rising up in protest. With their hunch about the economic burden of parenting confirmed, they are planning to join the many other protesters (young people angry about the cost of housing, striking doctors, and others) clogging the streets of Israel this week.

A national “stroller march” is being planned for Thursday. Parents — pushing their children in strollers decorated with yellow balloons — are going to hit the streets of Tel Aviv, Haifa, Rishon LeZion, Netanya, Kfar Sava, Rehovot, Raanana, Hod Hasharon, Beer Sheva and even Sderot in a coordinated effort at 5:30 p.m.

Jerusalem’s march has been postponed until Sunday so as not to conflict with tomorrow’s scheduled Pride parade there.

This is a grassroots effort, and thousands are expected to turn out. The word has gotten out fast through Facebook pages in Hebrew, English, Russian, Arabic and Amharic. There has been a huge response from mothers in the religious community. On the other hand, there has been no word from the Arab community as to whether they will participate, but organizers believe it is just a matter of time before the Arab population comes on board, as well. Naamat, which runs many daycare centers and provides services for mothers and children is supporting the initiative.

The main demands of these parents who are tired of paying up to $3,600 NIS per month for daycare are: free education for children from the age of three months, governmental controls on the prices of basic products for children, a longer maternity leave, the elimination of the extra charge to bring a stroller on public transportation, and making the salary of a nanny or babysitter tax exempt. The mothers are planning to strike on August 1 to amplify their demands.

Liat Vardi Bar, one of the organizers, said, “We didn’t think this would be so crazy. I’ve never experienced anything like this. This is like the solidarity of revolutions that you’ve read about in history books. It’s really exciting. You realize that everything that you thought you alone were dealing with—is really a very common cry. There are tens of thousands of parents all over the country who can’t live normally.”

As broke, tired and overstretched Israeli parents are, it appears that they are going to find the energy to march en masse with their children tomorrow after work. Unless you want to get run over by a stroller, don’t stand in their way — because baby, they mean business.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Strollers, Protest, Parenting, Israel

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’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • 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.