We are One

Worry. Grief. Devastation. Anger. So Many Tears. My heart breaks for family and friends of Gil’Ad, Eyal and Naftali. I never had the privilege of meeting these young men, but I know them and their mothers, fathers, siblings, other relatives and friends – I know and love them because we are one.

This oneness is something that I don’t believe can be experienced completely between Jews until they are living side-by-side in Eretz Israel (I know there are those of you in galut who will say I’m crazy, that you love your communities, etc. but honestly – with all due respect – you really don’t know until you’ve lived here). And so with permission from Rabbi Yehoshua Fass of Nefesh B’Nefesh, I am sharing his letter of strength and encouragement at this most difficult time for Am Yisrael. And as always, I implore you to come home!


Tuesday, July 01, 2014

To my extended family and friends,

We are all experiencing feelings of intense grief, anger and anguish. It is impossible to go about our daily routine without these feelings overshadowing any other thought or action. It is heartbreaking and tear-jerking, as a parent, to find oneself in the position of needing to react to the range of questions and statements from our own children: From the innocence of “how could someone want to kill a child?” to the militant expressions of vengeance. Continue reading We are One


12 Year Old Entreprenuer’s Revolution in Jewish Entertainment

aviva-krainessDuring the frenzy of preparing for Pesach, I received an email asking me to share this story on my blog.  I politely told the sender – the father of this amazing 12-year-old – that I was busy cleaning, shopping and cooking (and suspected that most of you were too)  and that I’d get to this after the holidays.

I’ve been extremely busy, but was slowed down this morning by a priority shift – my Mom is in ICU again.  So when the reminder of this message popped up again I decided not to put it off any longer and as I read it, it hit me! I know this child!  Aviva Krainess was in my son’s kindergarten and possibly first grade class back in Cleveland and made Aliyah around the same time we did.  And I remember her name being on my (and Young Israel’s) Tehillim list for a very long time.  Aviva’s story of battle and triumph is inspiring. Amazing!

Please watch the video, read the story and share Aviva’s exciting project with everyone you know who could benefit from a bit of inspiration and love. Continue reading 12 Year Old Entreprenuer’s Revolution in Jewish Entertainment


Irena Sendler the Hidden Holocaust Hero

irena-sendlerNew records, facts and stories are constantly coming to light which provide fresh perspectives for Holocaust studies. Some of the new information comes from survivors while other data is ascertained by researchers. One particularly moving account of heroism during the Holocaust was uncovered by a group of Kansas high school students whose dedication to publicizing the unique story that they discovered led to the creation of a wide-ranging project, Life in a Jar, which developed into a book, a website and a performance which has been viewed by thousands of people throughout the world.

In 1939 Irena Sendler, a young Polish social worker, joined the Zegota, the Polish underground which was dedicated to helping Poland’s Jews escape from the Nazis. By 1942, with the establishment of the Warsaw Ghetto, the Zegota sent Sendler into the ghetto in the guise of a health inspector, to ascertain what could be done to save some of the Jews interned within the ghetto walls. Continue reading Irena Sendler the Hidden Holocaust Hero


Learning Hebrew with Stick Around

Last week while reading through some business news on LinkedIn, I came across Stick Around– language stickers for the home that can help us become more fluent in Hebrew.  Being a 3-time Hebrew ulpan drop-out, I was thrilled to see a product that better addresses my learning style and at a very reasonable price.  I’m anxiously awaiting my order’s arrival and will try to remember to report back to you soon on my impressions.

In the meantime, I spoke with the creator of Stick Around and after enjoying hearing the story of how this product came about, I asked him to share it with you too. So, here is a guest post by Amit Turkenitz, owner of Gingerhood.com Continue reading Learning Hebrew with Stick Around


Guest Post: Change in Israeli Tax Law

by Don Shrensky, CPA

On December 5th, 2011, the Knesset passed the first of the Trachtenberg committee recommendations. The new law is entitled “The Bill to Change the Tax Burden”. The goal of this law is to lower the income tax for the middle classes, starting from 2012.

Some components of the law are as follows: Continue reading Guest Post: Change in Israeli Tax Law


Guest Post: Calculating Vacation & Havra’a

by Moshe Egel-Tal, CSPP & CEO Israpay

Havra’a is a mandatory payment by law. It is paid annually to all employees who have at least one year’s tenure with their current employer. There are several rates (for private and public sector) and they are updated each year in June.

The current rate (June 2011) in the private sector is 365 shekels per day. Employees are allotted days according to their tenure as follows: Continue reading Guest Post: Calculating Vacation & Havra’a


Guest Post: Youth Employment

by Moshe Egel-Tal, CSPP & CEO Israpay

Just in time for the summer vacation!  Make sure your teenage kids who found a summer-time job are paid according to the law. Effective July 2011, the new minimum wages for youth are as follows:

apprentices = 14.22 shekels per hour
up to age 16 = 16.59 shekels per hour
up to age 17 = 17.77 shekels per hour
up to age 18 = 19.67 shekels per hour
from age 18 and up = 22.04 shekels per hour

There are special regulations in effect for employing youth: Continue reading Guest Post: Youth Employment


Understanding the Education System in Israel

This is in response to those of you who have been asking me via Facebook and e-mail about the education system in Israel. If I’ve missed something, please feel free to ask questions in the comment section below and I’ll attempt to get you answers.

Quality of Education in Israel

The quality of education in Israel varies based upon the community’s dedication to education (via tax allocations and programming), individual school’s focus, and parental involvement in the system. Unfortunately, Israeli schools are not ranked well among other countries in the developed world. But that can change, and you can play a role in improving the quality by making Aliyah and getting involved. Continue reading Understanding the Education System in Israel


New Release: With All Your Might by Rabbi Nachman Kahana

Dear Friends,

I am so happy to share with you the following announcement!

The Talmudic Commentaries Foundation is proud to announce that Rabbi Nachman Kahana’s new book, “With All Your Might,” is now in print. The title is taken from the verse in the kriyat shema prayer (see introduction below for explanation).

The book is based on Rabbi Kahana’s weekly parasha and holiday messages of the past several years, and will be available b’ezrat HaShem in the next two or three weeks. The major thrust is to show that the Torah was given to the Jewish people to be kept in Eretz Yisrael, and that the 2000-year-old punishment of exile has ended. Continue reading New Release: With All Your Might by Rabbi Nachman Kahana