End the Tears of Sadness

I haven’t posted to this blog in a very long time, and someday I may find the time to fill you in on all the happenings of the previous year that have caused me to take a “time out” from writing.  When I saw this video this morning, I felt strongly that it needs to be shared with an additional message:  the tears of sadness are completely unnecessary if families would throw off the chains that bind them to the galut. Continue reading End the Tears of Sadness


Please Come Home!

I haven’t written in awhile for several reasons; 1) I am really busy LIVING a happy life in Israel despite what you might see in the twisted media and 2) I honestly became discouraged that my pleas have fallen on deaf ears.  When I saw the latest Maccabeats video today it made me think of all of you who remain in the old country – I miss you – and so I’ll leave it to these beautiful voices to share what I pray is stirring in your hearts.


Moshe Feiglin: Time to Change Direction

Moshe Feiglin has a plan that will ring familiar to followers of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s vision. Perhaps the time is right? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

This video is in Hebrew with English captions – to turn them on, click the YouTube logo to open this in a YouTube window and then click the captions icon at the bottom of the YouTube screen and select your native language.


Good Advice: Get Out!

Yisrael with cotton candy at the Jerusalem Music FestivalWe’ve been living in The Land now for almost 6 years, which I think makes us veterans (or “vatikim”) by olim standards. In addition to an overall life-changing experience, making Aliyah can be a career changer for some. My reaction to the first year of work famine was to work doubly hard in the following years in an attempt to catch up financially. Even under the best of circumstances I have workaholic tendencies and I’ve only recently realized that it isn’t healthy to work 16-hour days indefinitely; I need to slow down and give my family some quality time as well. And that is what prompted me to take my 13-year-old to the Jerusalem Sounds of the Old City Music Festival last Thursday.

WARNING! It’s been a long time since I’ve posted and this is going to be a long post!

Continue reading Good Advice: Get Out!


The Cost of Jewish Education

nbn-cost-of-educationThis chart, put out by Nefesh B’Nefesh is pretty accurate from our 5 year experience here with public religious elementary school.  Our son has entered 7th grade in a private yeshiva and the cost is comparable to what the chart displays for high school.

Find out more about the educational benefits of Aliyah at the NBN site.

Costs may vary based on location and other factors (like private vs. public education).


Aliyah Planning: Finances

financial-guide-aliyahI made my semi-annual trip to my accountant’s office yesterday and, as usual, it was not a pleasant experience. This is in no way my accountant’s fault!  Rivki at Don Shrensky & Company is one of the nicest and kindest people I’ve ever met (i.e., she always tries to soften the blow) and she has the patience of a saint!  The main reasons that these visits have been so painful (financially and emotionally) is my pathetic Hebrew reading skills and lack of understanding of the differences between the American and Israeli tax systems for self-employed people. This is not Rivki’s fault as I just recently moved my business to their office from a different accounting firm.

As we reviewed the many red notices I received in the mail while she was on maternity leave, Rivki pulled up my accounts online and explained the thousands of shekels in penalties lodged against me by the various tax offices for a combination of errors and my lack of response to their overwhelming (due to my lack of Hebrew mastery) paper in the mail notices.  Rivki patiently and thoroughly explained every field on all the monthly & bi-monthly forms I am required to submit to Mas Hachnasa (similar to the US IRS), Bituach Leumi (national insurance – similar to Social Security + more) and Ma’am (the evil VAT – value added tax – people who have been making my life hell), as well as how I am supposed to calculate each and make the payments. Continue reading Aliyah Planning: Finances


Israel Independence Day – How Independent Do YOU Feel?

takebackamericaIgnorance is DANGEROUS.

Yesterday I noticed this image in my Facebook stream – a friend had “Liked” it. I agree with the concept so I clicked through to the group that had posted it; a group named We, the People, will be heard.

Scrolling down their page I saw a lot of American Patriotic conversations and felt good until I came upon this one that infuriated me.

wtp-magen-david wtp-israel

Continue reading Israel Independence Day – How Independent Do YOU Feel?


Gates Are Open But Maybe YOU Shouldn’t Come!

Due to recent conversations with potential olim I was going to write a detailed post regarding Israeli government benefits for new olim – myth vs. fact, but this morning I found a comprehensive listing at NBN that includes links to government agencies and even a handy Sal Klita (absorption basket) calculator!

I’m disappointed (and yes, a tad bit disturbed) when I meet people contemplating Aliyah whose decision seems dependent on just how many freebies the Israeli government will be handing out. One man recently decided not to make Aliyah after learning that healthcare is not completely free here!

Where do such expectations come from? I don’t know because they’re so foreign to how I was raised. From where do these people think the government gets this money to give away?  Continue reading Gates Are Open But Maybe YOU Shouldn’t Come!