Lunch with the Plaskows

Saturday, July 12th:

Michael trekked back to the shul he had been at last night and then we had lunch with the Plaskow family on Herodian. Baruch, Yael, and their family (originally from South Africa and made Aliyah to Israel via Toronto) made us feel at home. We had a wonderful time (and meal!) with them and Yisrael had a great time playing with their boys.

Jetlag and Shabbat with the Casdens

Friday, July 11th:

Jetlag caused the day to be a blur! I do remember that we were expecting Bezeq (the phone company) to turn on our phone and ADSL Internet connection and having phone conversations with them and Reuven Grossman of BroadFone (an oleh located in Ramat Beit Shemesh). Reuven set us up with VoIP (Voice over Internet) last November so that we could have an Israeli phone line to make calls on from the States – saved us lots of money! They provide customer service in English (a big plus for us) – here’s his contact info in case you’re in the market:

Reuven Grossman (NBN 04 Oleh to Jerusalem)
052-579-0958 in Israel
877-223-2290 US Toll-Free

Friday night Michael went to the Mussar Avicha shul with Fred Casden and when they returned we enjoyed a wonderful Shabbat meal with Fred, Barbara and Natania (they live at #33 down the street from us). Continue reading Jetlag and Shabbat with the Casdens

JPost: Aliya Dream Come True

I received an honorable mention in the July 11th edition of the Jerusalem Post after a 10 minute interview at the airport the previous day…

Tehila Hessler, who plans to move to Ma’aleh Adumim with her husband and son, said “We know it won’t be smooth going, but we are prepared to expect the worst, so that we’ll then be relieved when it gets easier.”

The article was titled 15,000th Nefesh B’Nefesh olah says being in Israel is ‘a dream come true’, I saved a PDF of full version in case you’d like to read it.


Wednesday, July 9th:

Breakfast consisted of Nature Valley granola bars and water since the complimentary “continental” breakfast wasn’t kosher and our room didn’t have a fridge.

Michael went down to the lobby to obtain a luggage cart and assistance, but was told that the guy wasn’t on duty yet. So he dragged all 9 pieces + our carry-on’s down a little at a time and we closed up the room. The next challenge was getting it all back out to the curb (UP the ramp). Fortunately a larger van arrived to take us (and the other hotel guests) to the airport. The driver was a very strong Russian young man who lifted our heavy boxes as though they contained feathers – we were thankful and tipped him well. I felt bad for the other passengers because we just managed to squeeze everything in and they were cramped, but at least it was a short ride (less than 10 minutes).

You have to see our Luggage to appreciate this adventure! 9 – 20″ x 20″ x 20″ double wall cardboard boxes inside Balikbayan Gear Box Covers (refer to ) + 3 laptop backpacks fully loaded + tallit/tefillin bag with Holy books + 1 insulated cooler bag full of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications + 1 wheeled laptop bag bursting at the seams with our documentation (everything from birth certificates to marriage/divorce records, medical records, etc.) Continue reading JFK DEPARTURE!

Heading to NYC

July 8, 2008
After a wonderfully relaxing weekend (well it would have been if Mom hadn’t been hospitalized for losing sight in her left eye) at Vincent & Valerie’s house in Gloversville, we drove down to Queens (5 hours/ 210 miles) where we checked into the Comfort Inn near JFK airportNEVER stay there! It was awful. Imagine arriving with 9 huge pieces of luggage (20” x 20” x 20” boxes weighing 70 lbs each) + 6 smaller (and heavy) carry-on pieces to discover that the entrance to the hotel is below street level and you have to drag a small and cheaply made cart that will only hold 2 of the larger pieces at a time on a narrow and winding ramp (with 180 degree turns) to get into the hotel and then cross a small lobby into a tiny elevator up to the top level of the hotel because they couldn’t possibly give us a room on the first floor! I wish I had taken pictures because you couldn’t possibly imagine how terrible it was.
Continue reading Heading to NYC

Mom’s Hospital Stay

As I mentioned in my last post, Mom lost vision in her left eye a few hours before Shabbat ended. The emergency room “care” she received (in my opinion) was awful. One doctor after another contradicted each other and a few even lied to her. Having worked for an eye surgeon for almost 15 years, she knew that if the problem wasn’t diagnosed and treated within the first hour she would not regain her sight. She was put through all sorts of unnecessary tests and treated like a guinea pig at the big teaching hospital.

By 4:30 in the morning – 8 hours after she showed up at Nathan Littauer Hospital – the staff at Albany Medical Center were running around like chickens without heads, they had no idea what was wrong with her but they were ordering drugs and tests. Every time a test was performed, multiple “doctors” put her through it again so they could each experience what they were supposed to be seeing.

At one point I heard (in my exhausted head) Bill Cosby yelling “Hey! You! Almost a doctor!” But it wasn’t funny, it was scary and I had to aggressively protect Mom’s dignity and rights. Continue reading Mom’s Hospital Stay

Visiting Family in NY

July 4th Weekend

Friday: We left University Heights around 7 AM and drove to Gloversville, NY (8.5 hours/439 miles). We stopped at Yisrael’s favorite NYS Thruway rest stop – Angola… he likes it because we have to cross a bridge over the highway to get to the restrooms.
Angola Rest Stop
Along the way we picked up some food to complete our Shabbat meal and dragged a few pieces of luggage into Vincent and Valerie’s house. Since they were camping, we spent a quiet Shabbat alone enjoying our fish and Peter Baum’s chicken wings.

Saturday: We had a quiet morning with the exception of Yisrael constantly asking when Grandma would arrive. Mom showed up an hour or so before suedat shlishit, we had a nice visit and then enjoyed a meal of broiled salmon and salads, along with Georgia Gancz’s homemade challah (thanks Georgia!)

Mom left around 8 pm because she didn’t want to drive in the dark. About 15 minutes later I heard her voice coming through Vincent’s answering machine telling us that she had lost sight in her left eye while driving home. Of course she told me not to worry (right!) because Philip was coming to take her to the ER.
Continue reading Visiting Family in NY

Finally Moving!

Thursday, July 3rd – Today we:

  • Slaved away doing the final cleaning out of the house.
  • Packed and inventoried the checked luggage.
  • Sold our 2 Honda Elements back to Motorcars Honda (a great place to buy and service vehicles – excellent customer service) and cashed the checks.
    Pair of Honda Elements
  • Picked up Michael’s new progressive lens glasses (after 3 times of them trying to get the prescription right)
  • Picked up and loaded our 22 ft Penske rental truck.

Continue reading Finally Moving!