About half of Israelis will have to cut down on holiday shopping this year, survey says

Report reveals that religious and ultra-Orthodox participants are more likely to make cuts than their secular counterparts.

Cakes for Rosh Hashana from Lehem Erez (photo credit: Dan Lev)
Cakes for Rosh Hashana from Lehem Erez
(photo credit: Dan Lev)
Close to half of Israelis will be forced to cut down on shopping for the holidays this year due to financial constraints, according to a survey released by the Shahaf Foundation, which works to “develop and promote a national movement of young socially active communities.”
According to the survey carried out ahead of Rosh Hashana for the foundation by the GeoCartography Institute, 46 percent of the 500 respondents reported that new clothes and children’s gifts represent the main concessions having to be made this year.
About 28% reported that they will purchase less clothes or forgo the expense altogether and 22% said that they will buy fewer or no gifts for children.
The report also shows that despite this, the holiday table is not expected to suffer as a result of the economic situation, as 88% of respondents said they do not intend to reduce their consumption of meat for the Rosh Hashana dinner, 92% will not cut back on wine and 93% intend to buy the same amount of fish and chicken as in previous years.
In addition, 93% of participants said that they will not reduce their consumption of honey and 95% do not intend to give up or cut back on purchasing apples.
Regarding respondents whose income is below the national average, 65% admitted they will forgo or reduce their food expenses this year. A quarter of the low-income earners said they would cut back on meat.
The report also revealed that religious and ultra- Orthodox participants are more likely to make the cuts than their secular counterparts.
“The economic disparities among disadvantaged populations are growing strong and many families are forced to reduce holiday shopping and purchase only the necessary products,” CEO of the Shahaf Foundation Dr. Haia Jamshy said in a statement.
Jamshy added that the Shahaf Foundation supports young communities in the periphery with the goal to reduce the gaps with the center.
“Among other things, these communities work to allow everyone to enjoy holiday meals, social activities and a high level of education without having to spend colossal amounts of money,” Jamshy said. “The change that these communities offer is essential these days, when many residents of Israel, especially in the peripheral areas, are living under a heavy financial burden.”