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(photo credit: baz ratner / reuters)
In many social groups in Israel and around the world, status symbols are usually material things. This refers to valuable purchases, whether they are watches, luxury cars, cell phones, luxury clothing brands, places of residence or diamond jewelry. The more prestigious items a person has, the higher his status will be.
However, in recent years, the old status symbols and signs of wealth have become irrelevant, mainly due to the entry of “Generation Z” (born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s). In addition to the classic status symbols, this group also considers their work places (Facebook, Google, Ebay, etc.) as a sign of their status. There is no doubt that Gen. Z is considered less material. It believes less in the basics of the old world, such as buying an apartment or permanent residence, and certainly not in holding a permanent job until retirement.
Gen. Z is a generation that values interpersonal activities, and values relationships with people more than relationships with material things. In addition, and above all, it is a generation that grew up with a global perspective. It is in constant contact with the world through its smartphones and computers, which gives it a different perspective on its way of life and opens its eyes to opportunities outside of Israel.
In fact, one of the most salient features of globalization is the phenomenon of foreign passports and the return of young people to nationalism and their ancestors’ countries of origin. In a study from 2015 conducted by Dr. Yossi Harpaz of Tel Aviv University, Harpaz examined the demand for European passports among Israelis, and found that there were two main groups interested in obtaining another passport: the generation of parents (Generation X) and the younger generations (Y and Z).
Even though the research was carried out a few years ago, there is no doubt that Harpaz’s research brings a very significant conceptual change, the results of which we are now witnessing – an influx of Israelis, and especially younger generations, toward companies that issue foreign passports. The possibility of adjusting day-to-day life to the reality of the modern world, whether with new career opportunities, new places of residence, or even the ways we travel between countries, has made the European passport a document with unique characteristics, and even a “must” for many Israelis.
Generation Z is much more influenced by globalization because of technology and innovation, and wants to have a foreign passport in order to fulfill studying or employment opportunities overseas, and to develop a career and take advantage of their employment potential. At times, medical or engineering studies at an overseas university can provide more opportunities and a more promising career. Even the possibility of studying in a prestigious establishment, at times even for free, can be a huge springboard for a career, especially for a young generation that has difficulty saving and thinks about the big world.
In an era when hi-tech companies are interested relocating excellent Israeli employees, a European passport is a significant advantage that is also a springboard for the career. This is not necessarily a matter of leaving Israel forever, but an opportunity to develop skills and abilities.The writer is an attorney, and the CEO of Passportgo, which specializes in issuing European passports.
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