Publications that I was interviewed for, appeared in, written for, or have been quoted in, include:
Article from the Times of Israel, November 12, 2012: Israeli Cellular Customers in for Big Surprise when Dialing Internationally – By Rifka Lebowitz.
Unlimited talk time, extensive text messaging, gigabytes of Internet usage, hundreds of international minutes: almost unbelievable offers are enticing Israelis to switch their cellular service carrier. And they have. This spring two new players entered the market, bringing the number of cellular service providers to nine. Within days of the new arrivals, 20,000 customers switched carriers to take advantage of favourable rates. In a country of almost eight million, these numbers are astronomical. Read more...
Article from Haaretz, English Edition, September 11th, 2009: Closing the Financial Gender Gap – By Raphael Ahren.
If traditional gender roles have left women less adept at running their finances than men, Rifka Lebowitz, a Glasgow-born private financial consultant, says female immigrants in Israel struggle with money matters in particular. “Everything is in Hebrew and sometimes they’re on their own, and even their husbands don’t fully understand the system,” she explains.
To counter this trend, Lebowitz has started offering private tutorials to rectify the situation for local English-speaking women. “There are certainly many sophisticated women who are very good with their finances; some of them run the top companies in Israel and in the world. But there are also many women who aren’t – for whatever reason,” Lebowitz, told Anglo File this week.
“Maybe they felt it wasn’t their place [to understand finances], or sometimes they just weren’t interested until the time when they had no choice, or they made aliyah and [suddenly] needed to budget, to do things they never had to do before,” she surmised. “It’s not that women aren’t capable, just sometimes some women weren’t exposed to the same financial knowledge men are exposed to.”…
…she worked for a few years at a bank’s foreign currency desk, where she dealt mainly with Anglo clients and realized many of them had difficulties with the way the financial world works in Israel. …. Read more…
Pesach is no surprise – a surprise is something that comes about unexpectedly. Pesach on the other hand comes about at the same time each year. As soon as we have eaten our fill of hamentashen, Pesach is in the air – the stores have discounts on cleaning fluids, and kosher le’pesach cookies appear in even the smallest of grocery shops.
Pesach is the most expensive holiday of the year. The grocery bills are tremendous as we have re-stock our shelves from scratch. Suddenly we seem to need new cleaning products, and somehow we always find we’re missing a specific utensil or pans, cups or plates. And why is bread so inexpensive, but when it’s made into lechem ani (literally poor man’s bread) it costs a fortune?! Read full article here
Article about personal finance consultant, Rifka Lebowitz, in the Jewish Telegraph, October 2009:
A year ago, Glasgow-born Rifka Lebowitz handed in her notice as the head of an Israeli investment bank’s foreign currency desk in order to fulfill her dream of helping people undergoing financial crises. Rifka, of Beth Shemesh, said: “Everyone was shocked because I handed in my notice on the worst day of last year’s stock market crash. “But my dream was to set up my own company to help people and I realized that people would need me more during a financial crisis.”Her hunch was right and Rifka has built up a successful financial consultancy business called Financial Savvy Women, aimed especially at women,many of them English-speaking olim. She said: “Often it’s the husbands who deal with the finances. On divorce or bereavement many women are suddenly on their own without having had financial exposure. Also some married women come to me because they want to understand what, up to then, had been their husbands’ province.”She also felt that women were more prepared to acknowledge their financial inadequacies and go for help than me n. Rifka added that the financial world and banking in particular was very different in Israel than in Britain.
Rifka, who gives Nefesh B’Nefesh seminars to new olim,explained:“It is important for new olim to be comfortable with the Israeli banking system and stock market.Unlike the British banks, which provide a service,Israeli banks market a product….Read more…
Article Summary – Appeared in the Jerusalem Post: The Importance of Hanukka Gelt – By Rifka Lebowitz; Suzy Kehati.
Since the time of the Talmud, the idea of giving money to children has been associated with Hanukka. Traditionally known as Hanukka gelt, in more recent times this tradition has been replaced in some Western countries with presents.
Prof. Walter Mischel, of Columbia University, carried out research into delayed gratification, which is commonly known as the marshmallow test. A group of four-year-olds were told they could receive one marshmallow immediately or two later on. When the children were reassessed as adults, it was found that those who were able to wait to get the marshmallows got better grades in school and dealt with their problems better. This skill of delayed gratification is essential for making long-term investments, holding a portfolio and managing household finances. Read more here.