Kanievsky funeral cost Israel's economy NIS 1.5 billion - report

The funeral was attended by approximately 850,000 people and shut down large swathes of the country's center.

Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai arrives outside the home of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky who passed away, in the city of Bnei Brak, on March 20, 2022 (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai arrives outside the home of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky who passed away, in the city of Bnei Brak, on March 20, 2022
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

The funeral of Rabbi Haim Kanievsky on Sunday cost the Israeli economy approximately NIS 1.5 billion, according to an analysis by the business data company CoFace BDI.

The estimate was based on the loss of work due to Gush Dan residents being unable to travel to their workplace or parents staying home with kids who were unable to travel to school, according to BDI co-CEO Tehila Yanai.

The estimate also included the alternative costs of the large number of police, IDF and rescue forces that were deployed at the site of the funeral in Bnei Brak, Yanai explained.

Some 3,000 police officers took part in securing the funeral, which attracted approximately 850,000 people according to estimates in Hebrew media reports.

The Ramat Gan Stadium was turned into a helicopter landing pad for evacuations and the IDF's elite 669 rescue unit was put on alert. 

 Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral ceremony of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky at the cemetery in the city of Bnei Brak, on March 20, 2022.  (credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90) Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral ceremony of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky at the cemetery in the city of Bnei Brak, on March 20, 2022. (credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)

At least 37 people were injured in various incidents, none seriously.

The Israel Police requested on Saturday night that whoever can should avoid the Bnei Brak area on Sunday. According to data released by Israeli telecommunications company Pelephone, between 6:00-7:00 a.m. a 22% increase in the use of the navigation app Waze was recorded relative to the same timeframe last Sunday. However between 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. usage dropped to 8% below last week's.