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(photo credit: Bloomberg)
Israel and the rest of the world may be in an economic slump, but some Tel Aviv high-school graduates seem to have no idea there is any recession. Www.mynet.co.il reports that while many 12th-grade students are planning relatively restrained "after parties" to follow their schools' official graduation ceremonies, some are still planning to go all-out with extravagant balls, designer dresses and luxury transportation.
According to the report, event organization companies say that despite the economic situation, they are still negotiating parties for Tel Aviv's students at upmarket villas in Herzliya Pituah, on yachts and even on the roof of the Azrieli Center. Some students are reportedly still planning to hire limousines to take them to and from their events, and some girls are still planning to spend NIS 1,500 or more on a dress for the night.
The report said that while schools are limited in the amount they are allowed to charge students for graduation ceremonies and generally put on restrained events, the after-parties organized by the students themselves can vary wildly from moderate to over-the-top. It said the Tichon Hadash high school, for example, would hold its official graduation ceremony at Tel Aviv University at an approved cost of NIS 200 per student. But the after-party is being planned to be held on the roof of the Azrieli Center at a charge of NIS 400 to 500 per student. One of the organizing students said the economic situation was being taken into consideration by holding the party immediately after the graduation ceremony, which meant students would not have to change their clothing and buy a new outfit for the second event.
"People understand that it is not worth shelling out a fortune on clothing for one evening," the organizer said.
One student said she and her friends were having their dresses specially made for their after-party, and she was paying NIS 1,700 for a "beautiful" turquoise dress. "It may seem a bit exaggerated, but we are finally finishing [school] and we need to celebrate in a big way," she said.
Some parents were also supportive of a lavish celebration. One mother said she had spent a lot on her elder daughter two years ago, and now felt she had to do the same for her younger daughter, who is graduating this year. "It is a little crazy," the mother said. "She asked for a dress that cost no little money, NIS 750, but it looks amazing on her, and I am going along with it because after all it happens once in a lifetime."
But the report said that overall most students and parents were tightening their belts and limiting expenditure on after-parties. At Ironi Hei, students are planning a party at a reception center that will cost no more than NIS 200 per student, and they are "expected to manage without extravagant outfits." And at Ironi Zayin in Jaffa, the school is putting on both the official graduation ceremony and the after-party, with the first costing NIS 250 per student and the latter being held at the local community center as a gift to students from the school.