Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My Letter to the New York Times

A couple of weeks ago, the Times' Real Estate section published a story about an American couple who bought a luxury apartment in Jerusalem and had it decorated by a New York designer.

The day the article came out, I sent in the following letter. Since, at this point, they clearly have no plans of publishing it, I'm sharing it with you here.

Interestingly, shortly after I sent this letter, a local Hebrew paper published a 3-page feature article on this very topic. It made me feel so "in the moment."

When Leo and Myrna Zisman’s daughter suggested buying a vacation home in Israel, they thought “Why not?” (“With Art and Color, a Home to Mirror Jerusalem,” October 24, 2007.)

Here is why not: The American demand for Jerusalem vacation homes is pricing out
those of us who live, work, and vote here. And, it is depressing to live next to
an apartment – or several apartments – that are dark for most of the year.

To Americans with money to kick around and a love for Israel, I suggest alternatives: buy Jerusalem real estate and rent it out to Israelis, so the property will be inhabited year-round; come on more vacations and patronize Israeli hotels, restaurants, taxis, and stores; start a free loan society to help Israelis buy homes in Jerusalem; or move here permanently, and turn your New York home into the vacation home. We’d certainly love to have you here!


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