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A new Jerusalem resident's card will offer Jerusalemites an array of discounts on cultural activities in the city, the municipality announced Wednesday.
The Jerusalem resident's card, which has been in the planning for over seven years, dating back to the tenure of former mayor Ehud Olmert, was launched eight months before the city's mayoral elections.
The card, which can be purchased at City Hall for NIS 18 and is valid for a two-year period, offers city residents aged 16 and older discounts ranging from five to 30 percent at 170 institutions throughout the city, including museums, theaters, and sports centers, city officials said.
"This is not a credit card, but a card with the heart of a Jerusalmite," said Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski at a city hall press conference at which the card was launched.
The card, which is not transferable, includes a photo ID of the holder. In an effort to reach out to young Israelis who are increasingly leaving the city for better quality of life elsewhere, the resident's card will also be issued to students who have lived in Jerusalem for over half a year, city officials said.
"This is another reason for residents to continue living here," said Yair Maayan, director-general of the Jerusalem Municipality.
The city museums offering 15-20% discounts to cardholders include the Israel Museum, the Tower of David Museum, the Science Museum and the Museum on the Seam.
The inauguration of the city resident's card in an election year prompted the respected Jerusalem city attorney Yossi Havilio to inform Lupolianski that he may not use the card for electioneering purposes, and forbade him to include his picture on the card.
"I don't smell any electioneering," Lupolianski said Wednesday, when asked about the timing of the card's launch.
The primary reasons for leaving the city cited in years past are better job opportunities and more affordable housing.
A full listing of the card's benefits appears on-line (in Hebrew) at www.yerushalmi.org.il.