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Israeli austerity-period ('Tzena') food program price list, March 1955 - framed announcement-poster. This public announcement was issued by the Ministry of Trade and Industry's Department of Food and intended for display at a participating grocery shop; the price list is not filled in (with the arrival dates of the grocer's goods).
The broadsheet's headlines read: "Ration Program for March | (7 of the month of Adar 5715 - 8 of the month Nisan 5715) [March-April] 1955 | By Order of the Inspector of Foodstuffs the Grocer is Required to Mark in the Grid by each Good the Date on Which He Received the Good for Distribution"; the announcement is then subdivided into two main sections - one for "Rations Not Requiring Payment" and one for "Free [Open] Sale".
The sections list the price (in Prutot and Agorot) of foodstuffs by weight, such as sugar, local jam, rice, coffee, tea, "imported cheese" and "filled chocolate"; the items for open sale include fats, eggs, filleted fish and meat, salted and frozen fish; there is a special box for "Additional Servings" for pregnant women and for "Workers Doing Hard Physical Work - details will be forthcoming".
The pricelist is signed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry's Department of Food and includes a reminder at the bottom that the Voice of Israel radio broadcasts annoucements by the Department at 7:10 every morning, and that on certain days at 12:30 it airs a program sponsored by the Department. Citizens with complaints are asked to come to the relevant office in the "Peles" building in Jerusalem. The public is asked to retain the vouchers from their coupon books for jam, butter, margarine, coffee and tea for possible inspection.
The austerity period (known as the 'Tzena') took place between 1949 and 1959: to cope with shortages of food and raw materials as a result of the War of Independence, the absorption of a million new immigrants, the need to stabilize the local currency and economic sanctions by neighboring Arab states, Israel instituted an austerity program in April 1949 based on coupons and points, which allocated pre-determined amounts of foodstuffs and, later, other materials to its citizens.
The program was originally led by Canadian-born lawyer Bernard (Dov) Yosef - former civilian commander of wartime Jerusalem - and the then "Minister of Austerity", and the allocation of foodstuffs was determined by an American expert. The newspapers would announce the time and area of food distribution, along with the price and necessary coupon booklet vouchers for the acquisition. The program later grew to encompass clothing, furniture and even housing, serving as a method of establishing a national "bottom line" standard of living and Israeli-styled tone to daily social standards. The pricelist has fold marks and a few small tears at the top - appears removed from a wall or billboard.