Organizers are busy at work making final preparations before
introducing a special credit card for Shabbos-observant
consumers following an agreement signed between Visa CAL and
Advertising has begun in order to allow businesses,
factories, retail chains and stores to join the program and
to offer Shabbos-observant customers benefits and discounts.
The first credit card of its kind anywhere in the world, the
magnetic strip contains instructions to render the card void
on Shabbos and Jewish holidays.
During meetings held recently and in light of announcements
indicating that many Jews and delegations from the US,
Canada, Great Britain, Belgium, France and other countries
plan to participate in the worldwide rally for Shabbos
scheduled to take place at Yad Eliyahu Stadium in Tel Aviv on
29 Teves, the possibility of expanding the shoppers' club to
include Shabbos-observant Jews in other countries is also
This would be achieved by distributing the card through CAL
affiliates around the world or through a company based in
Israel. Economists who took part in the discussions said that
expanding the shoppers' club to other countries would make it
one of the biggest of its kind operated by credit card
companies. Details of this matter, together with a series of
other issues, were discussed at a meeting in Jerusalem early
last week of the Steering Committee in charge of arrangements
for the Shabbos rally, which is supervised by maranan
Since the agreement to issue a credit card was signed between
CAL and Zaakat HaShabbat, several other companies have
indicated that they would like to sign an agreement to issue
a similar credit card to Shabbos-observant consumers.
Although they rejected previous proposals by Rabbi Refoel
Halperin, now they are prepared to issue a credit card and
meet the condition of rendering it invalid on Shabbos and
Details on how to obtain these special credit cards will be
published in Yated Ne'eman when available, be'ezras
In addition to these activities, efforts are still in
progress to persuade several factories and businesses to
close their doors on Shabbos. Based on the respective owners'
explicit requests, their names are not being publicized until
final decisions are reached. In conversations with these
entities it became clear the owners take into account the
fact that hundreds of thousands of Jews have pledged not to
buy from business that desecrate Shabbos and that a special
customer club has been set up with CAL, transforming the
Shabbos-observant sector into an entity with tremendous
buying power of over one million potential customers.
Company owners also took note of the results of a survey
conducted by Dachaf showing the vast majority of Israelis
would like to preserve the character of Shabbos and its
sanctity in public.