Daily Israel Report

Committee to Reconsider Daylight Savings Time

Minister Gideon Sa'ar has appointed a committee of experts tasked with re-examining Daylight Savings Time.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 4/21/2013, 4:38 PM

Gideon Saar
Gideon Saar
Flash 90

Minister of the Interior Gideon Saar has appointed a committee of experts tasked with examining the controversial issue of Daylight Savings Time (referred to in Israel as the "Summer Clock").

The committee will look at several aspects of the issue, including the effect resetting the clock has on the economy, energy use and road safety.

The committee will also examine the possibility of making changes to the previous Knesset’s legislation in the matter.

It will be headed by Shmuel Abuav, head of the Or Yarok (Green Light) traffic safety group. The committee will also include Professor Gabi Barbash, the director of Ichilov Hospital, Dr. Shimon Shoshani, former director of the Education Ministry, Professor Yonina Eldar, a professor of electrical engineering at the Technion, and several others.

Daylight Savings time is controversial in Israel, due in large part to the early switch back to Standard Time. For years Israel has switched back to Standard Time during the Jewish fall holidays, which sometimes occur as early as September. This is meant to make life easier for observant Sephardim who wake up early for the Slichot prayers during the holidays and make the Yom Kippur fast end earlier for everyone.Advocates of the change to Daylight Savings want it to continue till after the holidays.

On the other hand, those same advocates have succeeded in effecting the change to Daylight Savings Time early in the spring, causing the Passover seder to begin after 8 P.M. because of the need to say the Evening Prayers beforehand. This prevents chldren from remaining awake for the seder.

There have been calls on the government to extend Daylight Savings Time until October regardless of the timing of Jewish holidays. However, there is another group, including scientists, who say that the entire issue is superfluous in Israel. They claim that the entire switch is unnecessary and that savings are minimal because Israel is closer to the Equator than Europe.