Friday, April 26, 2013

Second Class Single Mothers

Last month, the Israeli paper Maariv highlighted an essential flaw in the Bituach Leumi [Israeli Social Security] system:  their charter was written in the 1950's, long before the phenomenon of single mothers by choice because an accepted reality.  Practically speaking, it means that single mothers by choice and their children receive less benefits than women who are divorced or widowed, though we all pay the same amount into the fund on a monthly basis.

I have now personally experienced this flaw.  At the beginning of the year, Raphaela's Gan posted a list of all those families eligible for a discount in tuition;  divorced, widowed, student etc. If you could bring a letter from  your doctor proving that you suffered from chronic hiccups you got a discount.  No where on that list mentioned single mothers by choice, and so on the advice of the manager of the Gan, I put in a special request, stating that I have no family in the country and that I am solely responsible for financing our little family unit. I further stated that I saw no difference between myself and a divorced woman raising her children alone; in fact, even a divorcee gets some child support from her ex-husband.

Eight months later... the Board of the Gan informed me that they had refused my request, stating no particular reason other than, "Denied."  While I felt disappointment, the manager of the Gan was enraged and is determined to appeal their decision.  She asked me to sit with her this morning, so she could write a letter to the Chair of the Board, "a letter that will make then sob their heart out and give me some reduction in tuition."

I appreciate her support, though I hold no high hopes for the bureaucracy to change its mind.  The law on the books in Israel must catch up with the reality of the 21rst century family.


tesyaa said...

It's weird that they don't recognize single mothers. Aren't there many single mothers (not necessarily by choice, so to speak) who have never been married? What category do they fall into?

Commenter Abbi said...

Is this a private gan or an ironi gan?

Doc said...