Things We Did Not Learn in Ulpana

religious Jewish woman with prayer book at Western Wall

On Facebook, Tiferet Shaham wrote an open letter about sexuality for graduates of religious high schools in Israel. She hopes it will be beneficial to both men and women, secular and religious. Below is my summary in English. Open Letter to Young Girls and Women on Positive Sexuality, or How to … [Read more...]

Israeli Baby Name Help, February 2014

twin blue-eyed baby boys on bed

Several readers asked recently for baby name advice and suggestions: Anonymous #1: We don't know the sex yet, but trying to at least come up with a few choices for each so we're not scrambling... Opinions/popularity (and among which 'group') for: Eden Alma, or Alma Eden? Our last name is … [Read more...]

Book Giveaway: Retirement GPS

My brother-in-law, Aaron Katsman, published a book called Retirement GPS: How to Navigate a Secure Financial Future with Global Investing. He is offering a giveaway to a lucky reader. I asked him why the book would be relevant to Israeli readers. He replied that the suggestions in Retirement GPS … [Read more...]

Ex-Lev Tahor Members Tell of Abuse, Expulsion, Teen Marriage

Canadian Embassy Tel Aviv Embassy protest

The extremist Jewish group Lev Tahor has made it back into the news. The group is led by Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, who was convicted for kidnapping in New York in 1994 and jailed for two years. Nathan Helbrans, son of Shlomo, left the group last year after reporting that his resistance to orders … [Read more...]

20 Top Israeli Baby Boy Names for 2012

baby boy in mother's arms

The Central Bureau for Statistics recently published the top Israeli names in each sector for 2013. Today I'll review the top boys' names. See yesterday's post for the most popular Israeli girls' names. The list is similar to the list for 2010, except that Nehorai and Guy have been replaced by … [Read more...]

20 Top Israeli Baby Girl Names for 2012

baby girl in pink jumper

At long last, the Israeli Central Bureau for Statistics announced popular names for 2012.  Today I'll review the top twenty names for Jewish girls. First, a word about trends. Remember how just a few years ago single-syllable names were all the rage? We had Lee, Shai, Or, Tal, Gal, and so on. … [Read more...]

Israelis Protest Breastfeeding Harassment

Maya Norton breastfeeding in a restaurant her baby

Check out my interview with Tel Aviv Radio by host Amir Mizroch, starting at 30 minutes.  You can see the picture by Amir Schiby that I mention in the interview. Last month, a mother visited a Petach Tikva mall with her two small children. The baby got hungry. While the mother knew of a nursing … [Read more...]

Israeli Baby Girl Name Help November 2013

Baby sitting up with short reddish hair

Two readers just sent inquiries about Israeli baby names. Can you help? Thanks for a great site!  I am having quite a hard time with a baby name to be named after my grandmother Hedwig (Tzirel).  I am comfortable using an H or I suppose a Z for the tzadi.  We can't use Hannah... Do you know of … [Read more...]

Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Laam: Politics and Money

Lake Yeroham in southern Israel

In March, 2009, I wrote about Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Center in Petach Tikva, Is Bnei Baruch a Cult?. In January, 2011, I posted a first-hand account of a former member. Since then, the post has shot up in Google rankings and gets about 400 visitors a month. In August 2012, Haaretz published an … [Read more...]

Gas Mask Distribution Information

boxes with gas masks

This post was originally published in 2011 but has been completely updated. With the threat of war, the home front command has a new phone number for gas mask distribution information: 104. There may be a long wait. You can also order home delivery, via the post office. Phone: *2237 or leave a … [Read more...]