Israeli Post Office Goes Private

in Life, Culture & Sports

My mom called me on my 35th birthday, excited. “Did you get my card?” she asked expectantly. “Not yet,” I responded, though she proceeded to tell me that she went to the post office at the beginning of the week to send it specially. She lives two hours North of my mailbox, so you’d think one envelope, specially mailed, would make it in time. Her special trip yielded unfruitful. Not only did I never receive the card, but it also took over two months for it to land right back in her own mailbox.

A post office in North Tel Aviv with parcel station for self-collection. Wikimedia Commons / Ori.

And so, it goes with Israeli post. Countless tales and terrors of people’s disappearing packages, unseen bills, and other dreadful mailing mishaps. Once, a dear friend sent me a surprise package, though luckily, she checked in just in time-ish. “Did you get my surprise?” By the time I received the notice in my mailbox, and skipped to pick up my package the next day, they told me every package gets sent back after 14 days. When I told her, I had received the notice only 3 days ago, she shrugged. And don’t get me started about the billing company who charges me NIS 13 monthly for a paper bill, which I have never once received.

The Israeli Post has not only created stress and havoc in my life; it’s become a running joke. It’s perhaps the only postal service that just doesn’t deliver. Yet the Israeli postal service is said to be making changes soon and plans to privatize 40% of the largest logistical and retail company in Israel.

About 20% will be taken over by a strategic private head, while the other 20% will be made available to the Israeli stock market, inviting the public to become shareholders. The intention behind the move? Better service. With 1,500 workers in 1,300 locations operating the snail mail service, they need it.

Based in the startup city of Tel Aviv, Zo Flamenbaum is a writer and social entrepreneur who dedicates her time to mission-driven projects that empower connection between the many diverse layers of our world. In 2014, she founded School of Shine as a value-based educational space for women who are tired of the ‘default life’ and crave personal freedom through self-expression for more purposeful living.

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