Published March 16, 2015 by Tzvi Shapiro

Making payment, graphicThe “expense chart” of a married man and father of four which outlines basic family expenses of more than 26,000 NIS monthly and exemplifies how even Israeli earners in the top 10 percentile are deteriorating into overdraft and financial trouble.

The social protests, which started with cottage cheese and Facebook and continues with the “tent protests “ on Rothschild boulevard is gaining new strength every day.

“Proud middle class”

This week, Globes received a letter from a man named “J. High Tech” who described himself as in the “proud middle class”.

This is what he writes:

I’m furious. It can’t be that they don’t understand. It must be the spin of “Spinyahu” and his cohorts. I am furious because I have read the words of Roni Sofer, the Speaker of the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “We need to go back to proportions. The social situation is not that bad in Israel and the economic situation is excellent.”

Mr. Sofer, let us speak about things openly. My wife and I are making 42,000 NIS gross per month. We assume that many in Israel would be jealous of this level of income.

For you, we are upper class, and regarding that there is no doubt – according to Central Bureau of Statistics Report 2009, a 37,461 NIS monthly gross considered in the top 10% decile.

“When I was young and optimistic…”

A few years ago, when I was young and optimistic  (today I’m 45) – I would grab the term “upper class” with both hands. Today, we do not finish the month. Yes, upper class, and  do not make ends meet. So we did some homework for our meeting with you, which will probably not take place because you will not invite us.

We have four children: 7, 5, 3 and 1. Four children is not the standard operation and a little more expensive, true. But we”re not willing to give up even one of these little amazing ones. We pay (rent) each month for a slightly larger house, for a slightly larger vehicle, and municipal taxes, electricity, water, garden, house – a book, diapers, food (lots) and a list that keeps on going.

For you, Mr. Sofer, I have created a summary (of monthly expenses).  By the way, the classes for the children are not in there – which we could not afford.

Rent: 7,000 NIS
Gan child 1: 2,600
Gan child 2: 2,500
Gan chovah child 3: 150
Tzaharon child 3: 750
School child 4:  180
Tzaharon child 4: 1,150
Electricity: 1,200
Water: 250
Arnona: 1,100
Food: 4,800
Telephone: 400
Cable: 300
Car Fuel: 1,000
Car Insurance: 850
Scooter insurance: 500
Scooter fuel: 480
Car maintenance: 200
Scooter maintenance: 250
Health: 300
Diapers: 360
Total: 26,330

So, from 42,000 gross, we are left with 25,000 NIS net. Every month we are in minus by 1,330 NIS. Correct?


So as not to produce a table the length of the  protest tents on Rothschild Boulevard I took out the babysitter once a month to go to the movies (that we do not see), I did not put in the annual holiday (we’re not going to), I did not write the consumption of electrical appliances, furniture and more, ignoring insurance on the contents of the house, not to mention textbooks, gifts for children and day camps (which grandmothers buy and finance).

“A dream is never harmful…”

I accept what you say that “not all are equal, some more and some a little bit less.” I have a graduate degree-my wife as well.

I do not live in Tel – Aviv, but 35 km away. I”m not going abroad and not dreaming of luxury towers. Or maybe I will dream, because a dream is never harmful.

“Mr. Sofer, I would like to finish the month balanced. I want to give the children chugim, I want to go to the movies once a month. I want to feel human and not a modern slave. And a little something, my wife also asked to go on vacation once a year. She says it”s good for relationships.

“You see? It’s not (just) the cry of the middle class.It’s also, the top 10%, losing height. And quickly.

Translated from a real letter received by Globes.

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