Daily Life in Israel

Jerusalem in July

Photo: Miriam Woelke
Jerusalem: View onto the two Palestinian neighbourhoods Jabal al Mukaber and Silvan up to the Mount of Olives.


I am almost spending my entire day working. I really hate one of my jobs and the only thing I want is to get out of there. Because I only started this job in March, I cannot just quit. It states in our contract that, in case we quit the job within the first six months, we have to pay a fine of 500 Shekels. However, the company’s policy is to fire more than 90 % of it’s staff after four or five months. This is a very common practice in Israel and even all over the world. Lay off the staff in order to get away with paying benefits.
So, I am waiting until it is my time. Even more so, as there is always money missing from my monthly salary. It is annoying having to run after my own salary and many times I am just asking myself, why I am sitting there when I have to run after my salary afterwards. Hopefully my time to get fired will be coming soon.
In the meantime we are enjoying the summer with it’s hot temperatures. 30 degrees Celsius every day. The schoolkids are on vacation and those Israelis with some money (or who receive a loan from their bank) travel abroad. The trip has to be cheap and this is why a lot of people go to Greece or Bulgaria. It is a kind of a paradox that hotels and all kinds of holiday entertainments are far more expensive in Israel than abroad. Eilat is more expensive than a Greek Island or Prague. Let alone the service, as Israelis don’t know anything about service. πŸ™‚ Don’t be shocked when you check into an Israelis four or five star hotel where the staff prefers to ignore you. It is not your fault but it is the local mentality. πŸ™‚

12 thoughts on “Jerusalem in July

  1. Miriam, what you wrote today is very disheartening. I cry for you being in the situation with your job. I can not believe the cruelty of the employers that use such hateful tactics to save themselves some money, they are cruel and ALMOST unforgivable. About it being more expensive to go to a hotel in Israel than to go to one in Greece or Prague is also very hard to believe

  2. B”H

    Well, some of my co – workers say “This is Israel where most people get cheated. No matter if Israelis or new immigrants.”

    However, I think that it is very common today that employers do whatever they want in order to save or cut costs. I just feel sorry for some of my co – workers who don’t really have an alternative due to their age. On the other hand, most of us know exactly what is going on and thus people prepare in advance. But you are right: It is unacceptable that every months, some of my working hours seem to have disappeared and not being paid.


    A lot of Israelis complain about the prices in their own country. If they want a cheap vacation or even a short trip, they rather go to Cyprus, Greece, Prague or Bulgaria. Local Israeli hotels are far too expensive and the service is terrible.

    • Once again, I will just say how sorry I am. You are right about companies doing anything they can to save money. This is done so that those running them and investing in them make more money. Fortunately here in the USA that is not done, at least to my knowledge. I am befuddled by the hotels doing what they do so Israelis are forced to go somewhere else, unless hotels are always filled by foreigners and so they don’t care

  3. B”H

    many Israelis say that they would go on a vacation here but, as long as local hotels are too expensive, people prefer to travel abroad. Israeli hotels, on the other hand, constantly complain about lack of profits and empty rooms. Tourism is down due to terror attacks. And local tourists prefer to go to cheaper places abroad.

    Regarding my second job:
    I just need to wait until I get fired. Hopefully this will be soon! πŸ™‚

  4. Miriam, that is absolutely insane, but I know there are people and companies that think insanely. I once in 1992 was renting a lower floor with two rooms and a bathroom in Spain which I was using as a private academy teaching English. At first is was very successful but it so happened that I had inherited the place from a man that had been arrested and sent to jail for drug trafficking. this happened two weeks after I had started working for him and within a year I had lost 95% of the students because the parents did not trust me. I could not keep up the rent as I had been paying but I still could pay something. The owner told me no deal (She knew I had nothing to do with the drugs and two of her children were my students) and what she did was kick me out. years later I learned that the place had never been rented again, the reason being that it was not a commercial area. I am 73 and retired now after having left Spain and come back home. I tell you the story to show you that the type of mindset that would rather lose than make only a little bit of money seems to be universal and in my way of looking at things, insane.

  5. B”H

    As soon as there is a drug story or just a tiny little suspicion, people freak. Once there is a reputation, people don’t care about the reasons. They just suspect anybody around.

    Most Israelis don’t work too long for a company. They like to move on or, in many cases, are forced to move on. Israeli working conditions are not the best. I think that the worst is when someone works for one of those temp agencies. Then he is really screwed.
    In Hebrew we call those employees OVDE’I KABLAN and they are not being treated in the best way. In this respect, I am still very lucky because I don’t have temp agency job.

    • Love your reply Miriam, thanks for what you say about what people do when there is suspicion of drugs, they certainly did in my case, which in my case was a good thing because that way I came back home which I was missing. About the work scene in Israel, so9rry to hear how it is, in my opinion it is not good for people. I am glad you are not dependent on temp agency for a job. When I was working, I never did either even when times were tough

  6. B”H

    I don’t depend on this second job and, the truth of the matter is, that it has been causing me a lot of trouble. First of all, I hardly have any private life anymore. Secondly, they pay the salary on time but there had been always money missing. In the end, I had to complain and, although I am getting some of the money, there is still something left.

    Anyway, I am cutting down on my hours and hopefully they will fire me soon. Then I only have one job and my normal life back. πŸ™‚

  7. B”H

    I cut down my hours to a minimum. Three days a week, working five hours in the evening. However, yesterday I got a message that they will only be able to reduce my hours in two weeks from now. So I have to suffer through until July 24th. πŸ™‚

  8. B”H

    Well, well …
    Just received another email letting me know that I am due to undergo special training for the so – called Basic Division. My second job is teaching English to Israelis.
    Special training means “not getting fired”. πŸ™‚

    At least, I cut my hours down to a minimum. πŸ™‚

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