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August 30, 2016 / 26 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

IBM Haifa Developing Real-Time Shopping App

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

IBM in Haifa is developing a a new augmented-reality mobile shopping app to enable retailers to personalize customers’ shopping experiences from their smart phones and tablets.

The new app will allow users to scan store shelves to receive personalized product information, coupons, and recommendations as they shop.

The app will also allow users to customize their profiles according to factors that matter to them most – such as the cost, inclusion of an allergenic or undesired ingredient, or biodegradable packaging, and will provide prices, review, discounts, and even reviews by friends accessed through the user’s social networking memberships.

Haifa’s IBM Research lab aims to give in-store shoppers the same amount of real-time product details online shoppers have.

The app will also provide retailers with information about consumers, enabling them to better stay in touch with their likes and dislikes, and will help them build brand loyalty by providing coupons and membership benefits.

Malkah Fleisher

Shopping with my Dog

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Young woman and her dog out shopping in the Florentin neighborhood in South Tel-Aviv.

The Florentine neighborhood in south Tel-Aviv was established years ago by the newcomers from Greece and Turkey. It was planned as a simple and pretty neighborhood, but it quickly sank into poverty and neglect.

Today the neighborhood attracts many foreign workers, legal and otherwise, as well as young students, all of whom like the low rents.  The city has been investing in the neighborhood’s infrastructure and in education, but the neighborhood remains rundown.

Despite this, during the day it is a busy and vibrant place where people flock to buy furniture and fabrics, or visit the Levinsky Market.

(From Tel-Aviv Guide)

Jewish Press Staff

Met Council and NYC Food Bank Launch Virtual Food Drive for Passover

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

This Passover season, more than 100,000 Jewish families in NYC will find themselves struggling to put food on the table, according to the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. Many households have lived through job loss, dwindling savings and maxed-out credit cards.

Met Council and the Food Bank For New York City, two of New York City’s major hunger-relief organizations, have partnered to fight hunger by launching an interactive Virtual Food Drive, which will remain live through April 14, 2012.

Unlike a traditional food drive, the Virtual Food Drive mirrors the experience of online grocery shopping.  Users will be able to choose staple Passover items to fill a shopping cart and then check out to make a secure donation.  Thanks to Met Council and the Food Bank’s wholesale purchasing power and efficient distribution models, dollars are stretched to ensure the maximum impact is made through each donation.

On the reverse side, some 15,000 Jewish homes will be issued pre-paid debit cards — from $50 to $300, depending on family size and needs — to help with the cost of Passover holiday preparations.

“There is a sense that Jewish poverty is an oxymoron, people don’t think that there are poor Jews out there,” said Met Council CEO Willie Rapfogel. “Passover is a time of year when people ask for help. Everything in the ‘fridge and pantry can’t be used. They need everything.”

 

Jacob Edelist

Believing In Hashem’s Packages

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Upon returning home from food shopping, I had to park my van a block and a half from where I live. It was difficult for me to carry the heavy food packages and my pocketbook, but I managed to get to the beginning of my block. I then decided to stop, put the packages down, and rearrange them so I’d make it home with heavy packages intact. But after a few more steps, I just couldn’t proceed further. I stopped again, put down my packages, and said in my mind, “Hashem, what am I going to do? I’m so close to home, and yet I can’t get there.” I felt like I couldn’t move on.

Suddenly, one of my son’s former teachers who saw me struggling gave me a nice warm welcome and asked if she could help me. She said her van was parked nearby and that she’d be happy to give me a ride down the block to my home. I was relieved and told her that I just asked Hashem to please help me, and she said, “You see, I was your shaliach to help you.” She told me that her family member writes a list of things that she requests Hashem to help her with, and slowly – with Hashem’s help and her bitachon – each item on the list gets crossed off.

What a powerful lesson this was to me. All of us, in our own way, have our own “package” or “packages” in life that we may feel we can’t handle. Indeed life presents us with daily and sudden unexpected challenges. We need to ask Hashem, our father who loves us, for help, and have bitachon that we will be successful in meeting the challenges. Hashem can send a sudden shaliach, can produce a sudden recovery from an illness, or provide something else one desires.

I happily made it home with all my packages intact, and with this powerful lesson: we need to have faith that Hashem will help us with our packages.

“Kavei el Hashem chazak veya’ametz libecha v’kavei el Hashem.”

Rachel Pattashnick

We Must Have Faith

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

I live at Scharf’s Ateret Avot, a residence for seniors. I get around via a motorized wheelchair. This gives me the independence to go where I choose.

On a recent sunny morning, I decided to ride and do a little shopping. Most important I took my small canvas tote bag, in which I put the things necessary to go shopping. Included among these things were my charge card, my purse with money, and my cell phone. As usual I slung the tote over the arm of my chair, did my shopping, and happily rode back to Ateret Avot. In the lobby I reached for my tote bag to get my keys. Calamity! The tote bag was gone.

Panic set in. Where can it be? Moses Scharf saw my agitation and asked what was wrong. I told him, and said I would retrace my steps. His response was, “Don’t panic. Put a dollar in the pushka and say a prayer to Rabbi Meir Baal Haness.”

Mr. Scharf had to give me a dollar because my money was in the missing tote bag. I recited the prayer for lost articles. I wasn’t sure that this would work, but figured that prayer never hurts.

I left the lobby and saw that Mr. Scharf left right after me. I later found out that he walked into every store on my route to inquire if anyone had found the bag.

I returned to Ateret Avot feeling dejected. I took mental inventory. I would have to notify my cell phone company, my charge card company, etc. All my IDs were gone. I entered the lobby with tears rolling down my cheeks. Iris, the receptionist, greeted me. “Phyllis, smile.” I answered, “I have nothing to smile about.”

Then I saw this young man holding my tote bag. I could not believe my eyes. This wonderful yeshiva bachur, Dovid Lipschutz, had found my bag. It was in the middle of the street and a car had just run over it. He picked it up and ingeniously called a number listed in my cell phone. My son answered and gave him my address.

Also amazing is the fact that the only damage was to a plastic pillbox. My purse, cell phone, etc. were the way I left them. Mr. Scharf smiled as he said to me, “I told you Rabbi Meir Baal Haness would help you find it.” There is no question in my mind that Mr. Scharf had advised me properly.

We must have faith.

Phyllis Schindler

‘Mancation’ In Cincinnati

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

            Two months ago I told you about my “Mancation” (men only, we visit different cities, check out a ballgame and the shuls, etc.).

 

Two months ago it was Pittsburgh. This time it was Cincinnati. Both cities are a five-and-a-half hour drive from my dugout in suburban Detroit. Pittsburgh is east, Cincy west. The two cities have similar populations, well under a half million, and both boast thriving downtowns and beautiful riverfront ballparks.

 

Pittsburgh, however, had one big advantage over Cincinnati: its kosher eateries, kosher shopping, and shuls are all pretty much within walking distance of each other. While Cincinnati’s few shuls are fairly close to one another, its kosher shopping and eateries are spread out and a car is a definite must.

 

Rabbi A.D. Motzen, who reps for Agudah in the Midwest covering several states,
is based in Cincinnati. Rabbi Motzen says the Cincy area has 27,000 Jews and approximately 250 Orthodox families. I was lucky enough to be in town the same time as Rabbi Motzen’s father, the internationally known cantor Yaakov Motzen. The chazzan‘s wife is from Philadelphia and a loyal Phillies fan; the family took in a Reds-Phillies game while in town.

 

Losantville Road houses Cincinnati’s tiny kollel building and adjoining day schools for boys and girls across the street. One big Orthodox shul is a couple of houses south of Losantville and the beautiful, relatively new, building of Knesseth Israel/Zichron Yaakov on Section Road is about a half mile north.

 

Great American Ballpark on the banks of the Ohio River, facing the Kentucky cities of Newport and Covington, is a beautiful baseball venue employing mainly two colors – the red and white of the Cincinnati Reds. A bright white exterior with strikingly white light towers gives all sides of the ballpark’s exterior a different look from other major league parks.

 

The interior of all-red seats for the Reds gives the stadium a bright look and is quite a departure from the dark green or blue seats most ballparks employ. Most fans wear their Reds jerseys, something that adds greatly to the vibrant red color scheme.

 

 


Great American Ballpark in beautiful downtown Cincinnati.

(Photo Credit: Irwin Cohen)


 

Great American Ballpark also has one of the most entertaining scoreboards in the big leagues. Between innings the giant board features fans in attendance and their reactions when they discover themselves on the screen. Camera people are constantly roaming different areas of the stands and concourses for unsuspecting fans, and, of course, many dance around hoping to be featured on the board.

 

Because of the scoreboard’s location, many boaters congregate on the Ohio River at night beyond the right field bleachers, open their coolers and set anchor while watching the game’s (and other) highlights on the scoreboard.

 

So, if you like a mid-sized city with a small town atmosphere and a beautiful, busy downtown – and don’t mind driving a bit for kosher shopping and eating – give Cincinnati a try.


 

* * * * *

 

As you can imagine, the talk around my town (Detroit) has been all about the Tigers. There’s nothing tougher for the baseball fan than to have your team in the postseason playoffs and not know what’s going on as the yomim tovim run into Shabbos. After giving the traditional Yom Tov or Shabbos greeting, everyone asks, “Did you find out anything about the game?”

 

I’ll tell you more about it next month along with some of the biggest surprises of the season and some free-agent predictions for next season.

 

* * * * *

 

Irwin Cohen headed a national baseball publication for five years and earned a
World Series ring while working in a major league front office
. To read his
illustrated autobiography on how he made it to the baseball field, send a check for $19.95, payable to Irwin Cohen, to 25921 Stratford Place, Oak Park, Michigan, 48237
. Cohen, the president of the Detroit area’s Agudah shul, may be reached in his dugout at irdav@sbcglobal.net.

Irwin Cohen

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 8/5/11

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

The Leiby Initiative

 

Dear Rachel,

I’ve been meaning to write to you for weeks now about some selfish anti-chessed behavior I have repeatedly been exposed to here in Flatbush, the Brooklyn neighborhood where I’ve lived for some time.

Originally, I intended to be harshly critical. But the tragic loss of Leiby Kletsky, z”l, which highlighted the chessed and achdus that can and does exist in our community, made me rethink the tone I had meant to address this in.

So, in the dear memory of little Leiby, I suggest we ponder some of the offensive habits that you, the reader, may be guilty of. Hopefully, this will lead to an understanding on your part of how you inconvenience others and will motivate you to alter your conduct. Allow me to call it the “Leiby Initiative.”

As many are aware, New York, specifically the communities of Boro Park and Flatbush, are congested with crowds of people and numerous vehicles. As you go about your busy day, please reconsider the following actions:

1.  Double Parking: Unless it’s an emergency, do not double park. I cannot count the number of times I have had to painfully squeeze by a double parked car or van — an even bigger irritant when the offending driver could easily have pulled into an empty spot nearby. Regrettably, this thoughtless act is more prevalent in frum neighborhoods.

2.  Driving While On The Cell: Talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving is ILLEGAL, regardless of how many drivers may be disregarding the law. While I was walking from the train station on my way home from work one evening, two frum women in separate cars almost mowed me down — so distracted were they by their conversations on their hand-held phones.

3.  Texting: We all know not to text and drive. But lately I am increasingly impeded as I walk behind frum texters. (You can always tell what activity they are immersed in by their slow gait.) It never seems to cross their minds that they slow pedestrians down behind them. Or, that they are about to walk into one coming their way who must make a beeline around the texter to avoid a collision. In addition, train commuters have the addictive chutzpah to whip out their smart phones as they walk up subway stairs toward the exit – during rush hour no less – in their impatience to check on their e-mail, demonstrating a complete disregard for those who are climbing the stairs behind them, eager to be on their way.

4.  Return Your Shopping Carts! You know how you teach your kids to put their toys away and clean up their rooms? Well then, why – after you’re done with your supermarket shopping – are you unable to return the shopping cart? And, by the way, it does not belong behind you in the checkout area where you inconsiderately push it and rudely obstruct another shopper’s access to the checkout!

As we mourn the loss of young Leiby Kletsky, z”l, and reflect upon the achdus this tragedy engendered, how relevant that we find ourselves in a time-period (the Three Weeks) when the tikkun (repair) for combating sinas chinam (baseless hatred) is ahavas chinam (baseless love). By striving to correct our disagreeable behaviors, we will make our communities better – and safer – neighborhoods to reside in.

Concerned in Brooklyn

 

Dear Concerned,

Rest assured you are far from alone in your frustration, and are right to be concerned. But those who inconvenience you with their unthinking ways have perhaps much more to be concerned about, for in the end they may be causing themselves the bigger headache.

The benefit of instant communication by way of incessant finger tapping on the sophisticated cell’s mini keyboard may come at a hefty price. For one, conveying messages back and forth leaves one with little time to concentrate on much else. But aside from wondering where the day went, we may not be as adept at multitasking as we believe ourselves to be.

In fact, we are far from it. The human brain can only fully concentrate on one thing at a time; the more we attempt to do at once, the less efficient we become at each task — which ultimately will take us twice as long to achieve, our error rate increasing twofold.

Just ask the guy who considers himself a careful, conscientious driver, yet couldn’t help turning his head to glance at his blackberry that was signaling an incoming text. His SUV suddenly collided with a lamppost that “appeared” out of nowhere.

It’s one thing to be home and to discover, to our chagrin, that we neglected to add the most important ingredient to the cake batter we were preparing while on the phone. But when we enter a public domain, our role becomes multidimensional.

Whether walking outdoors or driving, we have a duty to be respectful, responsible and restrained (in our “cell” tendencies and in keeping our emotions in check).

The only way we can hope to have our children do us and our Creator proud (and to increase our chances of being around to shep nachas from them in person) is to teach by example. “Do as I say…” is worthless; on the other hand, “Do as I do…” is difficult to argue with.

Thank you for being an alert driver and pedestrian and for maintaining “old-fashioned” values. “The Leiby Initiative” is a great way to promote harmony and goodwill among people of all faiths and in all neighborhoods.

May we merit seeing the day of mourning become a day of rejoicing.

* * * * *

We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to  rachel@jewishpress.com  or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.

Rachel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-514/2011/08/03/

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