Dear Olim in Israel: We can help take down Binary Options

My girl Simona Weinglass wrote a groundbreaking piece on the corrupt cesspool that is the binary options industry in Israel. You can read about it here.  It’s actually shocking.

EVERYONE in the immigrant community in Israel seems to be talking about this piece.  Sabbath tables across the country thrummed with the energy of the conversation – people are angry.  They should be.

And already, so many people have come forward to share their terrible experience with this disgusting industry.

A girl who would cry herself to sleep.  A guy who was afraid of what might happen if he quit.

The industry is notorious for employing olim — immigrants — in Israel.  For two reasons:

  1.  The binary options industry needs people who speak English, French, Russian, Spanish… whatever… as a native language.  It’s all part of the scam to hook the buyer into believing the seller.
  2.  And new immigrants in Israel who are struggling with a brand new language and culture and trying desperately to find footing are easy targets.

(Hey Nefesh B’Nefesh?  Next year include a big old warning about this despicable industry in your brochure, mkay?)

And here’s part the problem –  a problem that helps sustain the industry: If you’re a new immigrant in Israel, where  ARE you supposed to work?

Sure, some can go into digital marketing – IF you know how to write, and you speak English.

Ok, you can wait tables — but when the economy is down, it’s hard to find a job in the service industry.

Ohh! You can launch a startup — but what if you lack the money and connections  to get it off the ground?

It. Is. Hard. Here.

And it takes time to find footing, and I want to implore all of us who have been here for a while and have begun to grow our roots to reach out to those who are newer, and in a more fragile space.

“Join the army!” people say.  “It’s a great way to learn the language and make friends.”  And yes, that’s true – but what if you can’t join the army?  What if you have kids, or are too old, or have a health condition?

“Learn Hebrew!” Yes, you SHOULD learn Hebrew, but THAT takes time and you still gotta pay rent and buy food, too.

New immigrants need friends — friends who can commiserate, and friends who can help.

So here’s my request — for all of us who have been there, who have struggled, who have made it somehow through the first month, then the first six, and then the first year…

Let’s reach out to new Olim and help THEM.

Let’s post job offers in Secret Tel Aviv – an amazing resource for people looking to build community.  Let’s get involved in their job posting section that creator Jonny Stark built to help immigrants find great jobs.   And let’s actively reach out to people we see struggling in this forum – and in others – and say “hey, how can I help?”

Let’s pay more attention when we hear someone mutter “I’m looking for a job,”

Let’s be proactive and post jobs we know about and send them directly to our friends and ask them to share, too.

And for those of us in a position to hire, let’s seek out fellow olim – mentor them, and help them flourish.

The binary options industry NEEDS to be taken down, but our government doesn’t seem to be too concerned.

But WE can help by redirecting the flow of workers somewhere else — somewhere toward building a country we can be proud of.

So, please – in the comments section below – or on Secret Tel Aviv – or on your own FB page, post jobs you know about, post resources, talk to the person struggling to order coffee in broken Hebrew.

That person used to be you.


About the Author
Sarah Tuttle-Singer, Times of Israel's New Media editor, lives in Israel with her two kids in a village next to rolling fields. Sarah likes taking pictures, climbing roofs, and talking to strangers. She is the author of the book Jerusalem Drawn and Quartered. Sarah is a work in progress.