Israelis enjoy Election Day workplace respite

Those in Israel are set to enjoy Election Day's expected sunny and warm weather with friends and family across the country.

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens 390 (photo credit: Judith Marcus)
Jerusalem Botanical Gardens 390
(photo credit: Judith Marcus)
As Election Day is a day off from work, Israelis were set to enjoy Tuesday’s expected sunny and warm weather with friends and family across the country.
For families with children, the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem will hold a mock election where visitors will be able to vote for their favorite animal and name him leader of the zoo.
A similar vote is expected to take place at the Botanical Gardens in Givat Ram, where the public is invited to choose a tree that will be named chief of the gardens. Before picking their leader, however, they will be offered a tour to visit the contenders: the olive tree recognized as a sign of peace; the cedar, considered stable and reliable; the fig tree symbolizing wisdom; the eucalyptus and its determination to thrive even after being uprooted from its land of origin; and the myrtle, representing endangered plants.
While some people plan to take part in such family activities after going to the polls, in Tel Aviv, 24-year-old Tamara Hirsch, who came to live here four years ago and does not hold an Israeli passport, can’t cast her ballot on Tuesday.
Instead, she planned to enjoy her day off from her job at Google to go to the beach, something she didn’t imagine she’d be able to do in the winter.
“Its nice to have a day off in the middle of the week, and see some friends,” Hirsch told The Jerusalem Post, “especially one that it falls on a good weather day, that’s perfect.”
“I would have liked to give my vote,” she said, “since in my opinion every single vote counts and is part of the result.
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Click for full JPost coverage
But, for me I can just hope that the results will be positive for the country; that’s what matters.”
Tel Aviv residents also looked forward to taking advantage of Election Day sales taking place around the city.
Many chain stores such as Gap, American Eagle and the Body Shop sent text messages to clients throughout the day on Monday to let them know about Tuesday’s discounts.
At the French clothing shop Zadig and Voltaire in State Square, store manager Moise will offer his clients a 50 percent discount on Election Day.
“We’re doing that because it’s a day off and people are not going to work, so it’ll encourage them to shop,” he explained.
“Personally, I’m not expecting many people to show up, because it’s a day off and people may want to just relax, or their kids are off from school so they might not be free to shop, but I think that some of my usual good clients will definitely come and buy more than they usually do, to take advantage of the sale,” Moise, who plans to go to his polling station before opening the store in the morning, told the Post.
At the Tel Aviv Moishe House, home to young international Jews in their 20s, Election Day is another opportunity to gather around a barbecue with some beer.
“We’re having an election-themed day party,” Benji Davis, one of the house’s residents, told the Post on Monday evening.
Davis, originally from California, explained that while in the United States people work on the day of the election, having the day off in Israel is a great opportunity to spend some time with friends.
“It’s going to be something very chilled, laid back, where people can just enjoy themselves,” he said. “We’re also going to have a mock poll and maybe some decorations.”
Davis and his roommates were expecting some 60 people to attend on Tuesday.