Yom Hazikaron: A Mother Mourns for Her Son

Today marks the observance of Yom Hazikaron. Sirens went off last night and will sound again this morning,  with memorial services taking place around the country. Ynet interviewed Harriet Levin, an American whose son Michael was killed in the Second Lebanon War: "Since his birth, I knew he … [Read more...]

New Jewish Book for Pre-Teens: Review and Interview

An interview with the author appears below. Chaya Rosen is a young woman living in Israel. She recently published Backstage with CBC: The Chaverim Boys Choir Live (Targum Press), a book for religious preteens. Each chapter of Chaverim describes a member of the fictional choir, the boy's family … [Read more...]

Hug Your Community Moderator Today

They have been around so long we take them for granted. They are where we go to find a ride, recommend a babysitter, and ask about electricians. I am talking about the English email lists that exist for every community with a reasonable number of English speakers. Janglo (short for Jerusalem Anglo) … [Read more...]

Cultural Differences

The responses to my post about the unfriendly woman in shul ranged from "She's shy" to "She's a snot." I think the answer lies elsewhere. First let me give an update.One day in September while I waited for the gan to let out, she did come and sit next to me. She asked how I was, and I asked her what … [Read more...]

Lag Baomer

We celebrated Lag Baomer on Thursday night. In America, people treat fire with caution.But here, practically every holiday becomes a festival for pyromaniacs. They shoot caps on Purim and burn chametz on every corner erev Pesach. On Chanukah they let kids play with fire at gan parties. And Lag … [Read more...]

Navigating an Israeli Supermarket

I once read a blog post by an American on an extended visit to Israel, raving about how much easier it is to keep kosher in Israel than in the US. True, a variety of kosher food is available just about everywhere in Israel. But keeping kosher in Israel is far from simple.Lately we have been shopping … [Read more...]

We don’t even remember. . .

West Bank Mama wrote about her favorite parts of Pesach. I think mine might be the end of the first day, after Yom Tov is over and I realize I don't have to make another seder.After I wrote my last post it occurred to me that we must have had two sedarim the year my son was born in New York, so I … [Read more...]

Our English Story Hour

My town doesn't attract a large number of new English-speaking olim, having been eclipsed by Raanana, distant Beit Shemesh and Modiin. But we now have a new attraction--an English story hour.Our group consists of six or seven families. Some I knew before, and the rest met through our community's … [Read more...]

Adjusting to New Norms as an Israeli Parent

New immigrant Rachel is undergoing culture shock on behalf of her children. A friend once told me that I do my children a grave disservice by delaying their attendance in gan until they are 3, 4 or 5. She claimed that they need the gan experience in order to develop that tough exterior so useful … [Read more...]

How to Raise Kids When Neglect is “Normal”

In response to my recent post about neglectful parents, Rachel writes: I just moved to Israel and I'm shocked that what I consider neglect and benign abuse is considered normal. And not doing it puts you in the category of "freier" [sucker] (which I consider a compliment because it is the type of … [Read more...]