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


Unexpected Parnassah in Israel

One very strange, yet exciting, thing about living in Israel is that parnassah (one’s livelihood) can come from the most unexpected sources!

For example, as I wrote a while ago, after 13 months of scouring job sites and sending out résumés all over the Internet for numerous hours daily, Michael landed a job with a company that didn’t have an opening at that time. A manager at Delek met Michael through a consultant he had networked with via an NBN contact who knew he was looking for work. Delek hired him because 1) they might need someone to fill that role in about 6 months and 2) the company is committed to helping new olim.

The opposite happened to me a few weeks ago… Continue reading Unexpected Parnassah in Israel


Pesach Loans – Only in Israel!

Yesterday I had an unusual customer service experience with a Bank Leumi representative. I phoned (because with my limited Hebrew I couldn’t find the correct link on their site) with the goal of transferring money from our savings to our checking account. The conversation went something like this:

Continue reading Pesach Loans – Only in Israel!


Registering a Freelance Business in Israel

Disclaimer: This is not a comprehensive guide, just my experiences in registering as a business in Israel today – at the request of my friend Shoshana 😀

There are two ways to go about this – the hard way or the CPA way! For more than 6 months (on and off) I have been trying to accomplish this task the hard way, i.e., Internet research, meetings at MATI Centers in Jerusalem and Ra’anana (MATI is The Israel Small and Medium Enterprises Authority), blogs like Gidon Ariel’s How to Succeed as an Atzmai… The bottom line is that my Hebrew skills are not good enough to navigate the system of locating the correct offices (and their business hours) or the correct forms (and completing them). Continue reading Registering a Freelance Business in Israel


How to Deposit a Check in a Bank Leumi ATM

One of the most humbling (i.e., humiliating) things about making Aliyah has been my inability to conduct “business as usual” due to my poor Hebrew skills. A few weeks ago I needed to deposit a check that someone gave us. When I entered the bank a young employee snatched me out of the teller line (where it would have cost me 5.5 shekels to complete a transaction) and insisted on taking care of my deposit via the ATM – I was thankful (it cost only 1.65 shekels to use the ATM), but she went so quickly through the screens that I was unable to recall the entire process.
Continue reading How to Deposit a Check in a Bank Leumi ATM


Aliyah Dollars and Sense

The Nefesh B’Nefesh e-mail list has been hopping lately with prospective olim asking questions about whether or not it makes sense to ship their appliances, electronics and/or furniture to Israel on their lift or container. And others have written to me off-list about realistic budgeting of their living expenses during the first year. I’ve been responding to as many as I have time for regarding the cost of shipping vs. selling at garage sale prices and buying new here, along with ball-park living expense figures. This morning it dawned on me that it might be beneficial to publish the information here until I get the Aliyah Handbook ready for its online debut, so here goes… Continue reading Aliyah Dollars and Sense


Clothes Pins and Bank Accounts

Monday, July 14th:

Sanne, our very kind landlady, drove us up to Kikar Yaalom (the old shopping center across the street from the new mall) and took us to the hardware store. We couldn’t find the adapters we needed for our phone, but did buy 2 clothes drying racks and clothes pins. Continue reading Clothes Pins and Bank Accounts