A survey conducted by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics in towns with over 100,000 residents found that a town’s honesty does not necessarily correlate with overall satisfaction.
In answer to the question: “If you lose a wallet with identifying contents and it is found by a local resident, do you think the wallet will be returned to you with nothing missing?” the national proportion of affirmative replies was 53%. Bnei Brak scored the highest with a rating of 84%. The nearest contenders to Bnei Brak were Rechovot and Yerushalayim with 59% and 55% respectively. Ashkelon came last with a rating of 27%.
Regarding how much people trusted their towns’ residents, Bnei Brak came first again with a score of 75% followed by Rechovot and Yerushalayim with 59% and 55% respectively. Bnei Brak also did best regarding complaints of vagrant youth wandering in the streets. Only 27% of Bnei Brak respondents said the phenomenon bothered them. In Netanya and Yerushalayim, the percentage of dissatisfied was 59% and 32% respectively.
But honesty and orderly youth are apparently not the only ingredients of urban satisfaction. Bnei Brak and Bat Yam rated worst at only 66% when residents were asked whether they expected to remain in their town for the next five years. Highest scoring was Netanya with 82%. The national average was 74%.
During the week the survey was publicized, secular poet Noam Partom tweeted that after she lost a wallet in Ramat Aviv and it was found by 78-year-old Savta Zahava from Bnei Brak, the finder “immediately phoned me because she didn’t want me to have one moment of superfluous distress.”
In response to Partom’s tweet, radio announcer and speaker Boaz Cohen wrote of a similar experience:
“I said on the radio this week that I bought milk and cornflakes in a Bnei Brak grocery in the middle of the night and forgot my wallet there. The store owner got onto a small motorcycle and pursued me for three kilometers, flashing his lights and honking. He caught me on the Geiheh Highway, handed me the wallet and said, ‘This is yours.’
“I was in total shock. He could’ve phoned me, given it to the police or waited until I found it was missing. But he left customers in the store, got on a motorcycle and raced after me. Amazing!”
David Steger – Matzav.com Israel