16 July 2024

Makor Rishon: A New Website Teaches Immigrants Not to Be Fryers

Makor RishonInterviewed for a profile printed as the back page feature in the Israeli daily Makor Rishon by Zvika Klein, which was also mentioned during Israel Army Radio‘s morning show

The new portal helps new Israelis find the best deals and assists them in familiarizing themselves with the depths of bureaucracy in Israel

The headline of a new website launched recently by Yehoshua Oz, a new immigrant from Virginia, is “Tired of being a fryer?”  The site teaches new immigrants how to cope with Israeli bureaucracy and how to avoid being a fryer.  According to him, the idea for the new portal crystallized when he was working for an Israeli high-tech company as a new immigrant.  Over the course of his work there, he discovered that on his payslip there were several months of keren hishtalmut (a savings plan) and bituach menhalim (manager’s insurance policy) missing. [Note: The missing money was noticed in the insurance company’s statements, not payslips.]  This discovery caused him to look into the issue by turning to experts, reading articles on the internet, and meeting with a lawyer.  With time, it became clear that more and more friends were negatively affected in different ways by the system in Israel due to their ignorance.  “I decided that it would be easier for me to write down what I learned once and put it up on a website rather than to explain it each time to someone else,” he said and added, “Often new immigrants can be fryers, but that is also true of native Israelis.”

In this way, Yehoshua Oz has succeeded in helping hundreds of new immigrants from around the world solve many problems and ease their dealings with complex bureaucracy that caused some of them to spend money for no good reason.  For example, one article that received a great deal of feedback was an article on Idan+ digital TV converters, a converter which allows one to watch television without a cable or satellite subscription.  “One family sent me an email saying that they are saving hundreds of shekels per month on all of the extra channels that they don’t want, now that they understand there is a free option.”

Not only does he assist immigrants with technical problems like how to buy a Rav-Kav and regarding pension payments, but he also helps visitors find the best deals.  At the end of the interview with him, he indicated that the site is financed out of his own pocked, without assistance from friends.  “This is my personal way to give back to Israel, helping others save tens of thousands of shekels and maybe more,” he said with satisfaction.

Makor Rishon No Fryers 09 January 2012

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