I have a new passion for an old problem.
I don’t know why I haven’t been more aware of this problem. Nor do I know why this problem hasn’t been given more attention. But, that doesn’t matter. What matters now is that I’m giving it attention, and I hope to continue to give it attention.
That problem is poverty in children – in Israel.
In Israel today, 22.6% of people in Israel live below the poverty line. That is a big number, but that says nothing about the impact on children. In Israel, 33% of all children live below the poverty line.Â Let me say that in another way:Â one in three kids in Israel is poor.
That STILL doesn’t give us the right perspective. Let’s add in some American figures.
In the US, only about 12% live below the poverty line, a bit more than half the Israel figure – while poverty among children was 21%, or one in five kids.
So, poverty in Israel somewhere between twice and two-thirds more, right?
Poverty in Israel is MUCH worse. Why? Let’s look at the numbers.
Poverty line for a four person family:
US – $20,000/year
Israel – $11,000/year
The poverty line in the US is TWICE as high as the poverty line in Israel.
But, I know what you are thinking. The cost of living in Israel is lower than that of the US.
The cost of living in Tel Aviv is actually HIGHER than the cost of living in Los Angeles or Washington.
This means that the poor in Israel are TWICE as impoverished as in the US.
Or, maybe I should put it this way: In Israel, more than one in five and one in three children are suffering from hunger.
And then think about the poorest city in all of Israel, Jerusalem.