April 11, 2011

Israeli Hotel Spend $25 Million to Convert to Passover; 88% of Israelis Participate in Seder

Jerusalem…So what does it cost to convert Israel’s hotels to be kosher for Passover? According to the Israel Hotel Association, the bill comes to $25 million. This includes acquisition of cleaning materials, kosher for Passover food stocks, maintenance and cleaning staff, hiring cantors and people to run the Seders on the first night. The hotel group says that preparations for Passover add 40% to the year-round overhead. Shmuel Tzurel, CEO of the Hotels association said that hotel rates are always more expensive during Passover than during the rest of the year in order to compensate the hotels for the huge financial outlay involved in converting the hotels to kosher for Passover. The Hotel Association is reporting occupancy for the holiday at around 80%.The Dan Hotel chain reports that their occupancy will be upwards of 85% during the holiday. Like Jews worldwide, Passover is the most widely observed holiday on the Jewish calendar. When it comes to Seder, most Israelis are Jewish no matter how secular. A Central Bureau of Statistics survey found that 88% of those who regard themselves as either traditional or secular take part in a Passover Seder. 48% eat only kosher for Passover foods during the week of the holiday.