Almost a Quarter of Israeli Population Living in Poverty in 2012, Report Finds

Peres Tweets Disappointment At 'Disturbing' Statistic

By JTA

Published December 19, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

More than 1.7 million people in Israel were living in poverty in 2012 — some 23.5 percent of the population — marking a slight dip over the previous year.

The annual poverty report, released this week by Israel’s National Insurance Institute and the Central Bureau of Statistics, noted that 817,000 children were among those living in property that year. In 2011, more than 1.8 million people and nearly 861,000 children lived in poverty.

Some 439,500 families, or 19.4 percent of Israeli families, lived below the poverty line in 2012, and 5 percent of those families had two workers or more. Arab families made up nearly 37 percent of Israel’s poor households. The highest poverty rates were in Jerusalem.

Some 180,000 elderly citizens lived in poverty in 2012, representing 23 percent of Israel’s elderly.

“There are indications that in 2012 there was a certain improvement in the poverty situation and inequality generally, particularly among the young and in smaller families,” according to the report.

Gidi Kroch, CEO of Leket Israel, a food rescue organization that helps feed poor Israeli families, said the statistics have not changed in years, “and it’s not a case of no news is good news.”

“It’s indicative of the lack of planning and lack of changes being implemented to alter the poverty crisis in Israel,” Kroch said. “The wording of the report gives you the sense that they are referring to products and not individuals; the people living in poverty. It’s as if the people have gotten lost in the statistics.”

Israeli President Shimon Peres, who was presented with the report Tuesday, tweeted his disappointment: “The fact that there are 800,000 hungry children in Israel is disturbing. If there are poor among us, it reflects on us as a society #Poverty.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.