Yet Another Lockdown

Despite the chaos, it's clear that the government is committed to trying to keep us safe while allowing life to continue as much as possible.

We Had 90 Seconds To Reach Our Safe Room

While we were cleared to leave the mamad 10 minutes after the siren ended, we continued to sit there long after, trying to process what had just occurred.

Back To Normal?

My husband and I debated what was best for the kids. We wanted to do whatever we could to keep them safe, but we also wanted to give them their best opportunities to grow, learn, and have fun.

Buying English Books In Israel

Generally, orders arrive in a matter of weeks. Little did I realize that due to coronavirus-related postal delays, our lift would arrive weeks before the books I ordered from this site!

Hebrew Lingo

Think that despite it all, things are going fine? Perhaps you “chai b’seret,” live in a movie – i.e. not in reality. (Someone who is a drama queen is referred to oddly as “l’echol sratim,” someone who “eats movies.”)

Customer Service & School Dress Codes

Here in Modi’in we have a wonderful Absorption Department, with olim coordinators that go above and beyond to help.

Entertaining The Kids Under Lockdown

While I certainly don’t love giving my Adi too much screen time, I must admit that I found myself easily caving whenever he begged me to allow him to “review” the videos just one more time.

Olim Cholim

Unfamiliar with other parents in my daughter’s gan, we also didn’t have anyone to commiserate with during the long sleepless nights of my daughter’s illness.

Shopping In Israel

At a loss, I thrust my American credit card into her gloved hands and explained that we were new olim and did not understand. Could she please just charge us for the shoes?

It’s My Flag Now

I was so much indebted to these heroes; what more could I do to keep their memories alive?

New Questions

Perhaps the hardest questions have related to the political issues here in Israel.

Celebrating Shushan Purim On Masada

While the chag was still nice, it just wasn’t the Adar excitement we had expected. Reflecting on this over Shabbat, my husband and I decided we still had time to make this holiday special.

Sukkot – Sun Or Snow?

With Sukkot evenings as delightful as this, I no longer understand the age-old dvar Torah about why Sukkot is celebrated in the autumn instead of the spring.

First Grade!

As I approached the school along with tens of other children and parents, the excitement was palpable. The principal stood at the gate of the school, greeting each child with an elbow bump and a smile.

Job Hunting In Israel

Interviews in Israel are run more casually, and an interviewer may ask some pretty personal questions.

Voting For The First Time

While sometimes the letters spell out the party name or represent the party leader’s name or platform, there isn’t always a clear connection between the two.

Speech Therapy And Scary Masked Men

From our first appointment, which was with a social worker, I realized that we were going to be facing a challenging experience.

Israelis’ Amazing Spirit

I know I will probably be processing this experience for a while to come, but one lesson that is already apparent to me is that Israelis are amazingly tough and resilient people.

Electronics In Israel

In New York, you can walk into a showroom and examine a range of models; here, most stores carry a few show pieces and otherwise direct you to look through their catalogue to see if you like anything.

Our First ‘Yom Kef’

As I watched my family devouring their ice cream cones on the walk back to the car, one thing was clear. My family was really enjoying their time in Israel.

Choosing A Gan For My Daughter

Her eyes, however, were wide open, taking it all in. She was fascinated by the surrounding babies after our long indoor confinement.

Opening A Bank Account

I wish I could say it has been smooth sailing since then, but the banking system here is more complicated than I can do justice to here.

Tu B’Shevat – A Whole New Holiday

In the late 19th century, when the first aliyah arrived in Palestine, the land was a barren desert. Through hard work, sacrifice, and belief (not to mention a whole lot of hashgacha pratis), the land was transformed into the lush beautiful country we all enjoy today.

Thanksgiving In Israel

Growing up, I read Israeli papers to keep up on the matzav (situation) in Israel. These days, I find myself starting each day reading through the New York papers to keep up to date on what the matzav is there.

Taking Out The Trash

Before calling the municipality to arrange a special pickup of furniture or large appliances, residents often post pictures of these items on Facebook or WhatsApp groups with the simple message of "limisira b'ahava" (for donation with love).

Doughnuts Galore

Every gift came with a personalized note, letting the recipient know that her Secret Maccabee was thinking of her.

In Search Of A Teudat Zehut

In an apparent effort to ensure both employee and public safety, only a limited number of people were being allowed into the building at a time.

The Ins And Outs Of Ulpan

While I generally had a lot of fun on these interviews, I still am embarrassed when I recall our first in-Hebrew television interview.

A Belated Birthday

Indeed, I could not believe how grown up she looked at her party. Sitting on her birthday throne, crowned in a wreath of flowers, bedecked in her best party dress, she looked like such a little lady!

Celebrating Rain?

Not a day goes by here in Israel that we don't think about water.

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