An ultra-Orthodox Jew gestures during a protest in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The city of Beit Shemesh and its mayor Moshe Abutbul have apparently gotten into the Hanukka spirit by offering all city residents a NIS 100 subsidy on hats, though it is unlikely that anyone other haredim will make use of it.
“On the initiative of Mayor, Rabbi Moshe Abutbul, the Beit Shemesh Municipality is happy to give the good news that a special subsidy [is available] for the benefit of city residents for the amount of NIS 100 when buying a hat at the Ferster chain,” reads a message on fliers posted in haredi neighborhoods of the city.
The flier, bearing the Beit Shemesh municipal crest and logo, also helpfully lists the seven locations around Beit Shemesh where the vouchers for the subsidy can be obtained.
The voucher itself also bears the municipality’s crest along with the signatures of Abutbul and deputy mayor Meir Balarish.
Ferster has three stores in Israel which are located in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and Ashdod. It offers an array of fine black hats for mainly haredi clientele.
Its website does, however, display its basic fedora style hat in a variety of bright and bold colors.
According to a spokesman of the Beit Shemesh Municipality, the subsidy has been paid for by Ferster and has not come out of municipal budgets.
He added that it was Ferster which approached Abutbul with the idea, and that such cooperation agreements could be reached between the municipality and any other company interested in such a partnership. Representatives from Ferster could not be contacted to confirm that the company had funded the subsidy.