The price of bottled holy water


You think bottled water is a rip-off these days? Well, you may be right.

Summer Birthright returnees may be interested to learn the cost of bottled water in Jerusalem on this drought-stricken day in 1923:

Owing to the scarcity of water at this dry season of the year, drinking water is being sold in three-gallon casks at four pence a cask, or about 8¢. The scarcity is particularly acute in sections that are not connected with Jerusalem’s main water supply. Cisterns that have gone dry in this hot weather contribute to the scarcity which is keenly felt in the poorer quarters.

For those who need of a quick math refresher before the school year starts…


  • An inflation calculator indicates that eight cents in 1923 is equivalent to $1.06 in 2011.

  • 3 gallons= 11.4 liters

  • A 6-pack of Ein Gedi water bottles — i.e. 12 liters — costs 11.99 shekels (NIS), which is worth $3.39 today.

Bottled water in Israel is about three times as expensive as it was 88 years ago; why did Israelis wait to protest cottage cheese?

Recommended from JTA