Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Our Prayer Project - To Increase Unity and Successful Klita

This image is one of 4 stunning fridge magnets created by
Shear Success Photographers.
You can purchase or order one of these fridge magnets or the full set by sending a comment to this post or following the link on the word fridge magnets.

We read in the Chumash, that when the Spies came to check out the Land, two of them were protected from talking negatively or falling into believing falsely what their eyes saw, ie "that life in Eretz Yisrael would be impossible and it is better to remain outside of the land." One of these was Kalev ben Yefune and his key to protection while scouting out the Land was to go and daven at Maharas HaMachpela that the merit of the Avos and Imaos protect him. For Kalev it worked, as we read further in the Chumash.

If you are considering making aliya or have already made aliya but are living in an area of Eretz Yisrael that makes it difficult to get to Maharas HaMachpela, we are offering a special Prayer Project. Send us your Hebrew name together with a donation of US$ 18 per name submitted. In return we will say a personal tefillah and recite some Tehillim, in the merit of names submitted, at Maharas HaMachpela.

If you would like a personalized package of either a 40 day cycle of davening on your behalf carried out by a Torah scholar / rabbi and his wife together with visiting various Kivrei Tzaddikim on your behalf, please do send us an email.

Please note: No-one can ever guarantee the type of outcome or a visible response to the tefillos. Our Prayer Project is aimed at creating a positive partnership to increase goodness and kindness amongst all of the Jewish people. On our side we wish to increase in all of the projects we are involved in and to create opportunities for others to be able to live in Israel and earn an income doing what they enjoy and are skilled at, while still being attached to true Torah values and a Torah lifestyle. On your side, through your contribution to our projects, through increasing in your act of goodness and kindness, you bring yourself to be more meritorious and deserving of blessing. Together, this project of UNITY brings blessing to us all.

Maaser money can be used for this.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Dogs and the Law in Israel

When I was in Mercaz Klita, someone tried to persuade me to take their dog as there was a problem of jealousy with their new baby. Some months later when I moved out of Mercaz Klita once again I was asked to take care of a dog on two occasions. At the time I did not know nor had anyone told me the laws of owning or caring for a dog. The truth is that according to Torah, one is not permitted to own any dangerous creature, of which some dogs are included.

This post has been prepared for us by Tzvi Szajnbrum, Attorney at law

Since the subject of owning a dog in Israel is not well known to the public, I would like to provide some basic concepts about owning and maintaining a dog in Israel.

As you may already know, implementing these laws and regulations is not an easy task and in spite all the good will and efforts, many of the regulations are not well implemented.

The law and the practice:
The main problem is when a dog’s owner is sued. When sued he will be the one solely responsible to explain why he didn’t follow the rules (which are almost impossible to accomplish). The cases when the dog’s owner is not found guilty when his dog attacks another person are so rare I can’t even recall one case.

The law provides that every dog over three months old must have a valid license. License fee payment will be given after vaccination against rabies and marking the dog with a microchip under his skin.

The license is valid for one year. If a dog changes owners, it is mandatory to re-license the dog.

The law provides that the Secretary of Agriculture may demand that a dangerous dog be licensed for third party insurance against bodily injuries and property, but such an obligation is not set as a legal regulation. Municipal veterinarian doctors may refuse to give or renew a license at his discretion, for various reasons including offenses committed by the dog or the dog’s owner.
If the license was canceled, the dog’s owner must hand over the dog within 24 hours to one of those stipulated by law such as a protected facility determined by the local authority.

National Registration Center:
A National Registration Center was established by the Ministry of Agriculture, and it includes the dog’s details.

The Registration Center will have registered biting dogs and the registration of owners holding two or more biting dogs. The Municipal Veterinary doctor needs to report to the registry center dogs that have been marked by him, given or revoked licenses, and if an aggressive dog was brought to his attention.

Holding (owning) a dog:
A dog’s owner must keep the dog in his yard. The yard must be marked with a sign: “Watch out for the Dog”. The fine for ignoring this regulation is 3,000 shekels. When in a public place the dog must be held by a leash by a person who can control the dog. The maximum leash length for a “normal” dog, determined by regulations of 2005, is up to five meters. If a dog is defined as “dangerous” then the limit is two meters and they must be muzzled even at home if a child under the age of 16 years is present.

Taking possession of a dog – Detention by the authorities:
If the dog has no valid license or is being held because of non-compliance of the regulations, the municipal veterinarian doctor or inspector is allowed to catch the dog and move him to a municipal detention location. The owner can then turn to the authorities and ask to have the dog returned to him within ten days of receipt of notification of detention. According to the considerations of the municipal veterinarian doctor, he can issue a license or cancel or prescribe conditions for the dog that broke the regulations. If not contacted, the municipal veterinarian doctor may give the dog to the security forces or another organization. If this is not possible, then the doctor may order to have the dog put to sleep, with the expenses will falling on the dog’s owner.

Dangerous dogs:
Which dogs are considered dangerous?
- A dog over the age of three months who bites and has caused bodily injury or damage;
- A breed that is considered dangerous;
- A breed that the Minister, with the approval of the Knesset Finance Committee, has stated is a dangerous breed;
- A cross breed of dangerous dogs;
- If there are physical attributes and behavior of a dangerous dog.
When preparing a list of dogs declared dangerous in Israel, two characteristics of dogs were taken into account: the degree of aggressiveness and extent of damage he might cause. Eight species of dogs are considered “dangerous” by law:
1. American Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Am staff)
2. Bull Terrier
3. Duguay Argentine (Dogo Argentino)
4. Japanese peafowl (Tosa)
5. Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Stapp English) (Staffordshire bull terrier) (Staffie)
6. Pitt Bull Terrier
7. Brazilian filet (Fila brasileiro)
8. Rottweiler

Holding a dog without a valid license and allowing the dog to go outside the yard - is liable to six months in prison. Holding a dangerous dog in violation of the regulations or gives false information on essential issues about the dog - is liable to one year in prison.

The law prohibits breeding dangerous dogs in Israel. One must spay or neuter a dangerous dog before the age of six months. If authorization is given not to spay or neuter due to life-threatening danger to the dog, the dog must be prevented from mating.

There are around a quarter of a million dogs signed up with the authorities and around five thousand of them are considered “dangerous dogs”.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

WARNING - Be Careful of Israeli Salesmen

Dear Olim Chadashim

If you are going to purchase ANYTHING, whether it is a cell phone or computer or home or anything else, make sure you receive a contract in your own home language and DO NOT sign anything on the spot. Take the contract, have a lawyer look it over and make sure you both agree with and agree to everything that is written prior to signing.

This could also be a job. If you are offered a job by an Israeli that sounds wonderful, make sure that you understand all the terms and conditions of your new job. If you are being asked to work x amount of hours, ask them how many additional hours unpaid you will be expected to work. Make sure on what date you will be paid. Make sure your contract states whether you will receive sick leave pay, holiday leave pay and any other benefits, including Bituach Leumi.

It could be a bank calling to talk you into a loan or other so called special. Make sure you know what all the terms and conditions are and what the percentage of interest is. If you don't need a loan or are not given the time to think it over, and don't receive something in writing, don't take it.

We have had difficulties with numerous situations of various kinds in which the sales person has insisted on speaking only in Hebrew and described how wonderful the machine or contract would be only to discover the reality is very very different once the contract is signed.

Be careful. Don't fall into the same trap we have. Don't believe any NICE sales talk. Check out the facts over and over. If you are otherwise occupied or your spouse is not available for you to check out if you agree with what is being offered, save yourself the time and headache and just end the call or the door to door salesman's visit. If they wont give you the time to check the contract then chances are there is a problem with the contract.

If you have any questions please send us a message, join the Israel consumer's yahoogroup and you are welcome to consult with the lawyer who posts our Legal Guest Posts.


Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Preventing Child Abduction from Israel by a Parent

Usually we like to post happy articles and positive information. The following post was prepared for us by Tzvi Szajnbrum, Attorney at Law. Knowledge is power and there are times this information needs to be known too. We hope and pray you, our readers wont have a need for such information.

For a couple with children under the age of 18, a nightmare scenario can occur when one of the parents decides to take the law into their own hands and to kidnap their children overseas. This is called Abduction.

The Hague Convention:
The Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980 is a multilateral treaty intended to trace and secure the prompt return of children under the age of 16 who have either been ‘wrongfully’ removed from one Contracting State to another or ‘wrongfully’ retained in another Contracting State, and organize or secure the effective exercise of access (visitation) rights. ‘Abduction’ means ‘wrongfully removing’ to another country or ‘wrongfully retaining’ a child in a country where he has not been ‘habitually resident’, i.e. living.

Under the Hague Convention Law (Return of Abducted Children) 1991, Israel joined the Hague Convention from 1st December 1991 and is bound by its provisions. Providing that the other country is also a party to the Hague Convention, most of the legal proceedings for the child's return under the Hague Convention will be made in the appropriate court of the country where the child has been abducted to.

First Rule:
Whatever legal steps are taken there is no guarantee that abduction can be prevented in practice. Be aware of that and keep in mind that you may find yourself in a long, costly and painful legal battle.

Suspicion and how you can try to prevent abduction:
If you suspect that the other parent may try and abduct your mutual child, there is not much you can do concerning the children’s passport (especially if the child has dual nationality and therefore two passports).

Different countries have different policies regarding the use of a passport. In Israel, a citizen must enter and leave the country only when using the Israeli passport. Please remember! There is no full guarantee that this is an unbreakable law. Even though a citizen is “supposed” to leave Israel on the Israeli passport, it is possible to do so using a foreign passport.
Keep a photocopy of the child's passport (or the other parent's passport where the child appears). Keep in your possession updated photos of the children, and personal details such as: height, weight, marks or any other distinctive features. It is advisable to keep a copy of the children's foreign passport or at least the details of such a passport.
The Israeli Ministry of Interior recognizes that parental guardianship under Israeli law includes the power of one parent to veto the issue of a passport to a child under 18; therefore, one parent can “stop” the other in advance and avoid the child’s abduction if he is sure the other parent is planning to do so.

Children of divorced parents may receive passports only if both parents attend in person to sign their consent or at least the absent parent signs the necessary consent in front of a Ministry clerk. There is a special procedure so both parents do not have to go together at the same time to renew their child’s passport.

Children's passports are given for five years (and not 10) and the minors themselves are required to appear in person at the Ministry when issuing or renewing an existing passport.

The above concerns a passport issued in Israel and not at a consulate abroad
It is possible under certain circumstances to get an Israeli passport for minors at short notice, claiming all manners of explanations, and of course without the knowledge or consent of the other parent.

How can you try to stop the other parent?

You can bring a legal request to the Family Court asking to legally issue a ‘stop order’ or a ‘stay of exit’ order, preventing the minor’s exit across any of the country’s borders. (In Hebrew it is a Tzav Ikuv Itsia Min Haaretz)

After hearing the response of the objecting parent and the Ministry of the Interior, the court will decide whether this is a justified request. These cases are not “short cases” and they are not decided in a rush.

Once an Israeli Family Court grants such an emergency or a “temporary” “stop order” (this can be done at off hours or even only by one side without the knowledge of the other parent) – it is immediately notified to the border police at airports and all crossing points.

Try to avoid the courtroom and to reach an agreement outside the court if possible. For this purpose we strongly advice using any tactics you can to bring the other side to some kind of agreement or mediation. This will cost you less, will be less painful and much faster.

Opening a Bank Account in Israel

Opening a Bank Account

When opening a private bank account in Israel you should know a few of the loopholes. A private bank account is called in Hebrew “cheshbon osh” (Over V’Shav).

What can you do using an “Over V’Shav” account?

In fact, you can do almost everything. For example: you can pay most of the bills you receive in the mail, draft personal checks (in Israel you are allowed to write a postdated check), make transactions with other banks or pay your credit card bills (in fact you must have a bank account to pay your credit card bills in Israel).

Where to open your account?

Every major bank has branches all over the country so it won’t be hard to find a branch nearby your house. It is always better to work with the closest branch to your house. You will find that in Israel you will have to go to your bank often.

The bank should not prevent you from opening an account:

Any citizen is allowed to open an account except when the new client behaves improperly or the person had a previous account in the same bank and had “problems”.

Even when the client is considered “mugbal” (which happens when ten of your checks are bounced) the bank cannot deny you the right to open an account, but in this case the account will not have any credit frame. You won’t be able to be in deficit (minus). In addition you won’t be able to use or to have personal checks from this account.

What questions should you ask when opening a new account?

The most important question is not what the bank has to offer you, but if the bank can offer you the services and conditions you require. If you always have a positive balance in your account (one of the few in Israel who actually live within his budget!), receiving low interest for your deficit is not an advantage for you. If you don’t make many transactions in your account, a low fee for those transactions is not enough of an incentive for you. Therefore, look for what will serve your banking needs and not what the bank particularly offers you.

You will be informed that all the bank fees are listed and you will even be shown a list of those fees. Don’t be fooled – you can bargain over the fees, especially over those that you most use.

It will be very difficult to change anything that you didn’t ask for or bargain for once your account is active.

Your Credit Line:

By law the bank does not have to give you any credit line. Credit lines are a result of your assets in the bank, your credibility with the bank, and even a bit of the impression that you make on the bank personnel. It is easier to receive a credit line for those who have a steady salary. The higher your salary and the more money have in savings in the bank, the more credit you will receive. Please remember that this is not a free credit; interest is very high here and very difficult to calculate in advance (read the small print!).


All the banks in Israel send you a regular statement by mail even though you can obtain all this information on the bank internet site. Please keep every piece of paper for seven years, as it is stipulated by law. You may never know when you may need them and in Israel you will certainly need them at some time.

Minimum Age for Opening an Account:

A minor can open a bank account after the age of 16. A minor over the age of 14 is also eligible to open an account on the condition that his parents (both parents) give and sign their permission in the bank.

From the age of 15, a minor who is working and receives a salary that is deposited in the bank can ask to open his own account in the bank, even without his parents signed agreement.

Credit Cards, Checks and Credit Lines for Minors:

Banks may issue credit cards to a minor who is 15 and is employed, as stated above. But no minor will receive a checkbook before the age of 16. Between the ages of 16 to 18, the bank will stamp in the checkbook that account holder is either a minor or juvenile. In addition, the amount of withdrawal for every check is limited to 400 shekels.

Minors can receive a bank card with which he can withdraw cash. The limit is 400 shekels a day, on the condition that the account is not in deficit. It is not possible to have credit lines for minors without the parents consent. Under no circumstances can the bank allow a withdrawal over the minor’s credit line.

It is possible to have a very limited debit card (again for purchases of up to 400 shekels a day).

Changing one’s account to another bank:

Not only is this permissible, but you will find that banks are always looking to attract new customers, especially if they have assets. Therefore, when changing banks you can always improve your existing privileges.

In addition, banks cannot charge more than a small fee to transfer your account.

Unfortunately there are many inconveniences when changing bank accounts. Even though your new bank you are transferring to will help you to have a smooth transfer, it is not a short process, and sometimes it is even unpleasant.

Changing bank accounts involves changing credit cards, checkbooks, automatic payments (very popular in Israel), and much more. So make a well-informed decision before taking this step and don’t be tempted by promises.

-- This post has been written for us by Tzvi (Henrique) Szajnbrum

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Chanukah in Jerusalem!

Chanukah Somayach everyone. We were going to take photos of the chanukiot burning in the windows like we did for the Sukkot at Sukkos time. Needless to say, mostly we are in enjoying our own Chanukia and have not yet ventured out fat the right time for this. There are still a few days left, so maybe we still will.

In the meantime, we did have the good fortune to deliver raffle prizes in the Old City and hence, captured this photo. What better place to have a Chanukia than right next to the Kotel in Yerushalayim? Of course, we do yearn for the Beis HaMikdash to be re-built, in the meantime, may this image serve to remind us of what Chanukah represents.

May the light and miracles of Chanukah hasten the Redemption for all of Am Yisrael.

We are back - Sorry About the Delay!

We apologize for the week or so of not posting on this blog. Yes, we do have many more wonderful newsy articles ready to be edited and posted. One very necessary word to learn in coming to Israel is Savlanut סבלנות which means patience.

We ask you to be patient as we get back into the swing of our regular work.

Here are some images that might help to explain what kept us from blogging.

On the 8th December 2009, we held a women's event entitled "The Unique Role of Jewish Women in Hastening the Redemption." Thank G-d we did have a wonderful group of women.

Sara Yocheved Rigler was our first speaker. Sara lives in the Old City of Jerusalem and is a very inspiring person to get to know.

Michele Thaler very kindly shared her personal story of what lead to her being in a wheelchair and how she uses her experience to help others. Some of her work now is in working with the disabled population.
If you have questions related to being disabled in Israel, send them in, if we can not answer, we can try to direct you to Michele or through her to find someone who can assist you.

Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum of Azamra Institute. His shiur can be heard from his website
If you are interested in purchasing one or more of Rabbi Greenbaum's books, please visit our online bookstore

Rabbi Fishel Jacobs greeted us with a wonderful warm smile. He shared a bit about his latest book, Two Kings and how it relates to the strength of Jewish women in Hastening the Redemption.

For more information and other photographs of our event, please visit our main website.

Monday, 23 November 2009

How to Effectively Write a Complaint - Small Claims Court

How to Effectively Write a Complaint

This post was prepared for you by Tzvi Szajnbrum, Attorney at Law

An effective complaint is not necessarily a guarantee for winning the case you want to present, but a case well presented is a big advantage.

As a non- native Hebrew speaker, remember that you can present your case in Hebrew or Arabic only. If you cannot construct your case in Hebrew it is advised to ask for help from a lawyer.

As we wrote in our Complete Guide to Small Claims Court, there is a minimal amount of information about you and the defendant that you must present to the court in your complaint. It is advised to read our guide as well.

Please remember that in Israel you can only use NIS (shekels)and not dollars in your complaint, but if you have a specific problem or a specific need, it is permissible to use dollars on the condition that the total sum of your complaint is in NIS (shekels).

Describe the specific circumstances or details of your complaint and give all relevant facts concerning the case. Be exact as much as possible, especially when stating facts, names, location, and dates.

Include any relevant and necessary documentation in your complaint. Refer to any documents you are including with your complaint, including repair estimates, warranties, contracts, records, photos, receipts, etc. Try to use clear copies and keep the original documents with you to be presented in court if necessary.

Throughout the entire complaint, remain courteous and respectful, even if you feel you have been wronged. Courts in Israel will not accept under any circumstances vulgar language or behavior in court. Present yourself appropriately attired. Please remember to switch off your cell phone when in court.

Clearly state what you hope to accomplish in your complaint and ask the court to include expenses you had to expend in gathering your case. Give valid reasons why your complaint should be accepted.

My best advice to you is to be as brief as possible. Type your complaint using 12 size font and limit your complaint to no more than one page. The judge will be able to better understand and remember your case.

Remember that you cannot be represented by a lawyer in small claims court. If you decide not to present your case on your own, do not use the small claims court. You can always file your complaint in a regular court and be represented by a lawyer.

If you do choose to represent yourself but have difficulty writing the complaint, please contact us and we will guide you through the process as much as possible.

Tzvi Szajnbrum, Attorney at Law

Sunday, 22 November 2009

The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Israel, Security and more

When coming to Israel, a major topic of conversation and consideration as to where to live concerns what you believe about the Land of Israel. Are we permitted to give parts of it away? If you chose to live on one or other side of a colored line (in this case green) is anyone permitted to regard you as being outside of the border?

When it comes to understanding about the Land of Israel and its connection to every Jew, the only place to learn is from the Torah. The Lubavitcher Rebbe - in the video below, speaks firmly of the importance every Jew has in acknowledging every part of the Land of Israel - as belonging to the Jews. Nothing may be given up - because each part belongs to every Jew. Therefore, no Jew has the right to give up something that belongs to another. In fact, by even considering the possibility of peace through the giving up of our Land, we actually bring ourselves to further problems of encouraging the rest of the world to feel that there is even the remotest possibility for negotiations.

There is not! In fact, just the opposite - we MUST admit that our Land is OUR land, and in our every behaviour towards it, we must show and acknowledge well that whether it's Jerusalem or Beitar Illit or any other part of Israel - this is all of our Land! There is no excuse for a Jew stating that what G-d gave us - He did not... When one is given a gift of such magnitude, one must learn to appreciate every part of it, rather than to drive around with Israeli flags on one's car expressing one's loyalty to the land - then going against every commandment of the Torah - and then furthering the problem by actually admitting to the world that it's not really our country! It sounds quite comical - and yet this is the attitude taken. Israel is ours. It is our gift, and we must treasure it by realizing that every part of it is absolutely filled with G-d's Presence. We show our appreciation towards it by means of doing all we can. Fulfilling the wishes of the King in His Palace! This means the complete humility in accepting all of the Torah - including appreciating that there are no negotiations when it comes to Israel. Israel belongs to the Jews - servants (and children of the King) in the Kings Palace.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Comprehensive Guide to Small Claims Court - The Defense

Comprehensive Guide to Small Claims Court

The Defense

This Guest Post has been prepared for you by Tzvi Szajnbrum, Attorney at law


This document is a technical guide to the small claims court. Here you will learn the main legal rules when submitting a defence to the small claims court.

In a separate document, I will guide you in writing an effective claim or defense.

Small claims court in Israel is not similar to those in the United States or Europe. In order to understand how the system works, this short guide will be divided into sub-categories to make it easier to navigate.

This court (Tribunal) is incorporated in the Magistrate’s Court (Inferior Court) and any decision, judgment or resolution can be appealed within 15 days of the final decision. The appeal takes place in a higher court (“Beit Mishpat Mechozi”). Please notice: Appealing in these kinds of cases is usually not worth it and will most likely cost you a large sum.

Anyone can be sued through the small claims court, but not everyone can sue through this court. Only private citizens can sue through the small claims court but not companies, municipalities, government ministries or any other kind of organizations.

Another issue concerns legal representation. In this court you cannot be represented (when being sued or suing) by a lawyer. You are on your own, except in cases when the plaintiff or the defendant has a specific problem, such as language. In this case, the judge may permit a relative to aid in the procedures (but you won’t know until the hearing itself starts in court).

Unfortunately, when suing a company, government or any other entity (not a private individual), you may find yourself conducting the case against a lawyer who represents the other side.

How come? If the company or the entity has in its employ a lawyer, this employee may represent the company, but you cannot do this.

The “bad news” for new immigrants is that you can present your case only in Hebrew or Arabic, but not in English or any other language. If you need an interpreter you have to ask the judge’s permission when filing your defense.

It is strongly advised to use the services of a lawyer to write an effective complaint but never to write a defense without a lawyer.

The first step:

After receiving the complaint by registered mail or delivered personally, (In both cases it doesn’t matter if you agree or not to sign or even receive the papers. By law you’ve just received them in a legal way), shock usually follows and then the “outrageous phase”. Don't worry and stay calm. You have 15 days (including weekends and holidays) to present your written defense. If you need more time you must ask the court for it before the 15 days expired.

Second Step - the answers:

Start with a simple draft for yourself. For every one of the plaintiff’s arguments, plea or charge; you must have a specific answer. NOTE: For any non-answered charges, the plaintiff won’t need to “prove” his case on that issue. You will be considered as agreeing with him on that unanswered charge.

If you don’t present your defense the plaintiff will automatically “win” the case.

Third Step - the burden of proof:

The full burden of proof is always and only on the plaintiff’s shoulders and it is not on the defendant to prove these charges or claims. Be brief, clear, chronological and consistent in your answers.

Fourth Step:

It will be better if you present your defense personally to the court’s secretariat. There must be three complete copies. The secretariat hours are from 8:30 to 12:30 except Fridays, Saturdays or holidays. Keep a stamped copy.

Fifth Step - the audience day:

Your day in court has arrived. All sides must be present in the court room on time and it generally takes a long time to be heard.

It is advised to “visit” a court room before. Go to the nearest tribunal and “learn” how it works. All cases are open to the public and generally you can find a seat (don’t go before 9:30).

Forms used for plaintiffs and defendants:

You should use the form stipulated by the court; from these forms you can learn the outline of these documents. You are not obligated to type your legal documents but remember that the Judge is a human being and if you make the case clearer, you have a better chance of being understood.

In any case, if you decide to have your complaint or defense handwritten, it must be in clear handwriting, not very crowded and as short as possible (it should be brief in any case), but remember to answer any specific issue the plaintiff used in his complaint.

Below is a link for the forms for the defense: http://elyon1.court.gov.il/heb/forms/hagana1.htm.

Tzvi Szajnbrum, Attorney at law


Come and Meet Other Jewish Women

If you are coming to Eretz Yisrael on a Pilot Trip during the month of December or have recently made Aliya, come and join our Full Day Seminar for Women. At this event you will meet other women who already live in Israel. We have some wonderful speakers lined up.

Each of these speakers is very worth getting to know and each have guests for Shabbat.

So come and join us. One of the keys to settling in Israel successfully is increasing your network. What better way than through a full day that is geared to increasing Unity with Jewish Women.

If you can't make this event, please be in touch anyway. We are working on making this kind of event a regular happening. So come along another time.

Advert going into the RBS Views

"Wow, what a list of speakers
" Comment sent by friend on FaceBook

"Your event sounds fantastic" Comment sent by friend on twitter

Advert going into the Shechunaton in Har Nof

Our Upcoming Women's Event, scheduled to take place, G-d willing, on 8th Dec 2009 at the Dati Leumi Shul Hall, 22 Rehov Chai Taib, Har Nof.

"It looks like terrific program!" One of our presenters in response to confirming details of the time for her slot.

As you can see, responses coming in are positive. We have wonderful and inspiring speakers and a varied program.

Come and join us for a day of Torah, Tehillim, Tzeddakah, Simchah and Unity. Further details can be seen on our website

Prior Booking is essential. Payment to attend can be made either via PayPal or direct deposit to our Bank Account.

To book your places, please email Shoshanah
Book for a friend too and receive a free raffle ticket.

₪250 per person.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Questions and Answers - Obtaining Arnona Rights

Dear Shoshanah:



Thank you for sending in your question related to Aliya.

To obtain your rights for Arnona as an Olah / Oleh, check with the Jewish Agency as the rights change. You have either a year or two years, depending if they have altered the rights.

You need your Teudat Oleh (your booklet for claiming rights that you obtain at the airport), Teudat Zehut (your identification document) and your rental contract which must be in the name of the Oleh claiming.

You need to go into the Iria (municipality) in the city where you live. For Jerusalem this is opposite the Central Post Office, Rehov Jaffo.

You also need lots and lots and lots of prayers and often someone who knows someone to obtain your rights.

I lost mine, as did my husband for no reason in particular. After lots of fighting, turning to a few organizations and many, many, many prayers, we got 6 months back.

Although you are deserving of your rights, be prepared to know that there are situations where time slips by and you might lose your rights either due to time or no understandable reason. Olim now should all have Aliya counselors with the Ministry of Absorption, if you are not obtaining your rights, you can try talking to them.

If you still struggle, please email us and we will endeavor to put you in touch with someone who might help.

I wish you much hatzlachah (success - הצלחה)


Friday, 13 November 2009


Great news to everyone in Israel. If you are looking to do business with overseas clients, whether through a web page, blog or any other means, Paypal – as of this afternoon 13 November 2009– is fully compatible with Israeli banks!

For the past year or so, Paypal have allowed Israelis to be able to receive funds via their credit card with a steep 22 NIS fee. As of today, if you withdraw 1000 shekels at a time directly into your bank account, there is absolutely no fee at all!

What does this mean practically? For one thing, if you are interested in using the Internet as a means to reach out to the world in order to increase your income, you can do so easily by setting up items to sell on your web page or blog with an "Add to Cart" button (or the like.) Those clicking on it will be able to purchase directly from you via credit card or a direct transfer from their own Paypal funds.
For another thing, if you are struggling in Israel and are in need of having someone transfer funds to you directly via a donate option, you can simply set up a donate button on your web page or blog. Those clicking on it will be able to make a donation and you'll be able to transfer this to your bank account directly to reach you from between 3-5 business days – at absolutely no cost at all (so long as you withdraw the minimum 1000 shekel, otherwise there is an 8 shekel fee.)

For those who assist others, one can simply put a post on your website or blog, explaining the cause withe a donate button for them to have an easy means of sending money to the cause of their choice.
This is a HUGE milestone in Israeli business and banking, and we can really appreciate the value that Paypal have now added to all of us by allowing us this very easy way of allowing for the possibility of bringing in income from overseas – quickly!

Those wishing to set up their Paypal accounts and don't know what to do can contact Eliyahu directly for more information.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

A1 and other Visas in Israel

In a previous post we mentioned the A1 visa. Someone then asked what type of visa this is.

The A1 visa is a Visa for a Temporary Resident which is valid for 3 years. After the 3 years one has to make Aliya.

Other visa types include:

A2 - Student Visa

A4- A dependant of a person who has either an A1 or A2 visa

B1 - A tourist who is permitted to work. This visa is usually valid for 6 months.

B2 - A tourist valid for 3 months

M-R Accompanies another visa, and allows multiple entries and exits (to and from) Israel. If you do not have the M-R, the visa you hold will be voided each time you exit or return to Israel.

I hope this clarifies. If you have further questions, please post a comment or send an email.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

To all Olim and A-1 Visa holders

Effective 15 October 2009, two changes have been put in place by Ministry of Finance (Meches) regarding tax rights:

1 – An Oleh Hadash can now sell a car imported or bought with rights after four years (instead of five) without owing the difference in taxes. The procedure for "releasing" the car from Meches is the same.

2 – A holder of an A-1 Visa no longer has rights for tax-free import or purchases.

3 – An Oleh Hadash who was an A-1 Visa Holder in the past and used rights can not use them again. If partial rights were used, Meches can be petitioned for the use of rights not used. If no rights were used, rights will be applied as Oleh Hadash from the date of becoming Oleh Hadash.

Please note the Meches website is not yet updated. For more information, you can call Meches directly.

Tzvi (Henrique) Szajnbrum can be found at:

Monday, 9 November 2009

The Klausenberger Rebbe and Israel

The Klaussenberger Rebbe, Rav Yekusiel Yehudah Halberstam was married with children at the time of the start of WW2. His journey during the wartime, was an incredible one on many levels.

Amongst some of his torment, was a certain amount of time spent in labour camps, including Auschwitz. To begin to gain an insight into what he went through and his enormous strength of character and belief in Hashem really requires reading the two books written about him.

For this post we will summarize that the Klaussenberger was a tremendous source of inspiration in a Jews ability to carry out the Will of Hashem against enormous and inconceivable odds. At a certain stage in his journey and suffering, the Klaussenberger Rebbe made a vow to Hashem that if he survived WW2, he would move to Eretz Yisrael.

When liberation came, the Klaussenberger Rebbe was not only alive, but saw to it that Jewish bodies were found and burried by developing a Chevra Kadisha. He then proceeded to develop a Kosher Kitchen and Shul, right there in the liberation camp.

Sadly the Klaussenberger Rebbe lost his wife and 11 children. He moved from Europe to USA for some time and then eventually did come to Eretz Yisrael. He married once more and built a new family.

The Klaussenberger Rebbe did not stop there though. Despite all his personal loss, he dedicated his time to building a hospital to help Jews. His hospital, Liniado Hopsital in Netanya still stands to this day.

In the video clip below, you can learn more about this hospital and the incredible devotion of a Jew to Hashem, his fellow Jew and Eretz Yisrael.

Bituach Leumi - How do we obtain this help?

A number of readers are searching with how to obtain Bituach Leumi. I am afraid I dont have a direct answer.

I have been told that you have to become a Nudnik. Have all your paperwork in order and lots of patience and just keep going back to the Bituach Leumi offices.

Some say with a fight you do get assistance.

Our personal experience has been to put our trust in Hashem and be open to other forms of parnassa or help.

If anyone else has had some success with obtaining Bituach Leumi, please do post a comment. We would love to hear positive words that will help another Jew.

Lessons in Kashrut from Arranging an Event

We are in the process of organizing a full day women's event and through this, certain difficulties with Kashrut are being highlighted.

Some hotels, when one asks what the Heksher is, will provide a certificate and the telephone number for the Mashgiach to ask any questions one may have. This is true Kashrut.

Some hotels, when one asks what the Heksher is, will say, "We write Kosher on the receipt". Saying on the receipt that the food was Kosher is not enough. There must be a Kosher certificate that is valid from a reputable Kashrut Organization. We also recommend that you speak to the mashgiach or at the very least have the ability to in the event you have Kashrut questions.

If you arrange a function or have relatives that come in from out of town, make sure that the hotel or venue is in fact Kosher. This might be Israel, but don't presume the food is all Kosher or a good standard of Kashrut.

As with everything in Israel, ask, ask and ask again.

If you are interested in our 1 day event for women, please take a look at our other blog.

The Technician’s Law

For many years services given by technicians in Israel were more like a no-man’s zone, with no laws or regulations. The situation was so bad that we, the consumers, were many times “held hostage” to the technician’s good will.

Finally, on June 2008, a new law came into effect in Israel. The problem, as usual in Israel, was that when a law favoring consumers, and not providers, comes into effect, very few know of the law. In this short article, I will try to summarize the rights and obligations of those providing services.

A short clarification is in order: when speaking of technicians, this includes any one providing a service in your home (we are talking about a service done only in your home or workplace, and not when you receive a service at a store, etc.).

Technicians are those working for or sent by importers or manufacturers. The fields included in the technician list are: electronics, gas, electricity, furniture, services provided by cable companies such as “YES” and “HOT”, any kind of mechanical device, such as a door lock and many other types.

The range of the law is mainly for the time of the warranty and depends on the level of maintenance during the time of the warranty, meaning if the product was misused or abused, the warranty will be generally void.

The rules below are applicable to any contract within the warranty-stipulated time. There are other rules and laws pertaining to the obligations of the providers beyond the warranty-stipulated time.

The rules to provide services to fix an appliance, to change the product, in its entirety or partially, are as follows:

1. The provider must stipulate a day and an hour the service will be given.

2. The waiting time for a technician cannot be longer than two hours more than the given time. The grace period is two hours only.

3. The provider is entitled to offer the consumer to wait for a phone call in place of giving a specific time, on condition that the waiting time of the consumer in his home will not be longer than 2 hours. The provider must also clarify to the consumer that this method is only a suggestion, and the consumer is not obligated to accept this.

4. The providers are entitled to notify the consumer until 8 pm the day before the specified day of arrival of any change of time of services or a cancellation.

5. The above-mentioned rule was not made to infringe on the rights of the consumer. Any existing rule concerning the rights of the consumer before this new law came into effect will not be affected. As an example: the law stipulates that from the moment the consumer asks for a technician to repair a washing machine, the provider has 3 working days to provide this service. For a freezer or a refrigerator, it is one day. So let’s say on Sunday the consumer asks for service to repair a washing machine. The date is settled for Wednesday morning. In this case, the provider cannot call on Tuesday until 8 pm to cancel the visit for Wednesday, because this will clash with the consumer’s rights to receive this service within 3 days.

In breeching the above rules, the consequences for the providers are:

6. The consumer is entitled to compensation without having to prove any damages. To clarify this point, let’s say the consumer has two refrigerators. One breaks down and the consumer calls for a technician, who does not appear within the specified time. Even though there were no damages to the consumer, because he could easily use the second refrigerator, he is still entitled to the compensation stipulated by law.

7. The consumer will be entitled to more compensation if he had actual unlimited damages of any kind. In this case, the consumer is obligated to give proof of the damages. As an example, the consumer did not have a refrigerator in working condition and the technician did not arrive in the stipulated time, and as a result there was an actual loss (the food spoiled, etc.). In this case, the consumer can sue the provider by the Law of Damages for unlimited damages, if he can prove it.

8. A delay of more than 2 hours of the stipulated time of arrival (4 waiting hours in total), entitles the consumer to compensation of 300 shekels.

9. A delay of more than 3 hours of the stipulated time of arrival (5 waiting hours in total), entitles the consumer to compensation of 600 shekels.

10. If the time specified was according to what was said in clause 3 above (waiting for a phone call) and there was a delay for more than 2 hours, or the provider did not explain to the consumer that he has the right to refuse this proposition, entitles the consumer to 300 shekels compensation.

11. The provider is entitled to offer monetary compensation, products or any kind of coupon, etc., for the same amount, but only with the agreement of the consumer. The burden of proof that the consumer agreed to anything other than monetary compensation is on the provider.

12. In the case that the provider could not anticipate any delay in providing the service, or could not know in advance (for example, if the technician had a bad car accident on the way to the consumer’s home or extreme and severe weather conditions that prevented the technician from arriving) then the provider is exempt from providing compensation.

How do you actually receive your compensation?

When claiming compensation (and not the damages stipulated in paragraph 7), contact the provider by phone or fax. Always keep a record of all paperwork, phone calls, etc.! If the provider refuses to pay, the consumer can either contact our organization and we will write a letter or you can sue using the Small Claims Court.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Tzvi Szajnbrum, Attorney at Law

Tzvi (Henrique) Szajnbrum can be found at:


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