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Sunday, February 17, 2008

The declining dollar and the Charedi world

The dollar has plunged from 4.27 shekel to the dollar 6 months ago to 3.6 shekel to the dollar today. This has affected the Charedi world much more then the average Israeli. Where I work, no one is upset about this in fact, people are happy. We get paid in shekels and therefore people's salaries are worth more. Airline prices for example are in dollars so now a trip to the US that costs $1000 a ticket is 600 shekel cheaper.

However, the Charedi world for various reasons is wedded to the dollar. Kollel stipends, teacher salaries, etc. are all in dollars. Many institutions, to prevent people from getting hurt are paying at a rate of 4 or even 4.25 shekel to the dollar. The problem is that the donations that they get are being exchanged at only 3.6 shekels to the dollar causing the institutions to lose a lot of money.

What really is hurting the Charedi world is the fact that much of the money to support the Charedi world in Israel comes from the US. Most of the fundraising is done in the US, and the dollar is not going nearly as far. Every yeshiva has been hit very hard by this, they have raised a lot of money in the US and come back to Israel and find that it just doesn't go that far. In addition, many unmarried or young married couples are being supported by parents in the US on dollars.

The Mishpacha magazine this week had a long article about this where they interviewed people changing money who were very disappointed at how few shekels they got for their dollars.

The problems with the US economy are another nail in the coffin of the Kollel only society in Israel. The money is simply running out.


At 3:55 PM, Blogger Rafi G said...

and soon the dollars wont be there either, when the generation of working parents dies out and the generation of kollel families takes over...

At 4:03 PM, Blogger bluke said...

You are absolutely right. I give it one more generation at most.

At 8:24 PM, Blogger Zadok said...

For the past 40 years people were predicting the soon to be demise of the Kollel system due to lack of funds.

At 8:18 AM, Blogger ADDeRabbi said...

who can we blame it on? whose fault is it?


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