Tuesday, 18 December 2012

What to do if your salary is delayed?

In a previous post on finding work as an Occupational Therapist in Israel, we touched on a problem of not being paid on time. This is sadly a problem that arises in many facilities. For some OT's it might happen that when covering a therapist on maternity leave, the full 3 months they go without pay, or it could be that pay is suddenly withheld for 2-6 months some time down the line. Is this permitted? 

Please visit the lawyers info from the previous post. If you look at the previous post, we had invited OT's to make contact so as to develop a group to work on altering this problem. We had some response which was not what we thought we'd hear. The response was that sadly, many other professions also struggle with salary suddenly being withheld. 

In this post we have some invaluable information shared by another Olah. 

If your salary is withheld, you can go to an Employment Court to sue for what is called "Halanat Sachar" which is taken quite seriously.

There are 5 employment courts - Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beer Sheva, Nazareth and Jerusalem - here is their website - http://elyon1.court.gov.il/heb/avoda/AvodaHomePage.htm.

Even if you worked for half a day for someone and they decided not to take you on, you need to be paid for the hours worked.. There is no such thing in this country as taking someone on trial, meaning if someone works for a few hours for anyone, they need to be paid for the hours worked. No place of work can refuse to pay saying it was just a trial and now they decided to try someone else. 

It is important to make sure you have documentation to prove when you worked. In general you have one year to claim for "Halanat Sachar". It is actually a criminal offence not to pay salaries on time (sadly freelancers do not have the same protection) and you should find that mentioning to the person who owes you salary that they can go to prison for up to 6 months or have to pay a hefty fine might help them decide to pay you faster.

I have noticed many facilities that employ occupational therapists will offer either salaried pay at a slightly lower rate or you can work for a higher hourly rate but then not receive benefits. Many of these require that the OT provide Kabalot (receipts) from the Tax office to say they work as an Atzmai. Find out your rights, it could be that if you receive that slightly higher hourly rate, you also lose the right to make sure you are paid on time as by agreeing to give a receipt for your pay, you become a freelance worker. 

If you belong to a union - like the "Histadrut" - they will take on these battles for you. 

Before accepting any job an dbefore deciding what method of pay you prefer, whatever the profession might be, take the time to find out whether the agreement being proposed is legal and whether it is in your best interests. Afterall, most people work to earn a salary. If you are independently wealthy and looking to volunteer that is a different scenario. But when you are looking for work in order to receive a salary, you do have rights the first being to be paid correctly and on time.

Monday, 10 December 2012

How to Calculate the Cost of Electricity in Israel

Winter is upon us and heaters are coming out of the מחסנים - Machsanim - storage rooms! Yet for others who do not have heaters, buying a heater this winter will be at the top of their lists. Which one is best and which is most cost effective? Let's not forget, there may well be a little extra coffee every day, boiling kettles and putting on urns! If you'll be leaving your 10 litre (or more) urn on over the entire Shabbat for the sake of a few cups of coffee, do you know just how much this will add to your electricity bill?

The electricity department of Israel - חברת החשמל - Chevrat HaChashmal - tell us that the cheapest form of heat in one's home is nothing less than the famous מזגן - Mazgan - air conditioner. In fact, it will set you back roughly one shekel per hour. Of course if you choose to have it running throughout the night at let's say 12 hours each day/night, you'll be in for an additional 12 shekel per day making some 360 Shekel added to your bill each month! Because Israel electricity is billed every two months, you'll be seeing a hike of some 720 Shekel added to your bill - if of course you own the air conditioner in the first place! If you're earning the minimum wage salary of slightly less than 4000 Shekels per month, your air conditioner will be taking almost a quarter of your salary in one shot! Don't forget, there is much to learn about purchasing the right air conditioner for your needs too, otherwise you'll be purchasing something that will end up costing more than it's worth!

The bottom line of course is not the guess work of what the different electrical devices cost us. It's how we can go about calculating for ourselves so that we'll be better informed as to what devices / heaters etc. to choose in the future. 


For complete information about electricity in Israel, make sure to tune in to www.iec.co.il - the main site for all information pertaining to electricity in Israel! For current rates, see "Current Rates." To understand how your bill works, see "Cheshbon." To understand more about the actual costs for various appliances etc. see "Wise Consumage" and "How Much does it Cost?" (Note: Articles in Hebrew.) 


At the current time, electricity for homes costS 0.5947 aggarot / hour / kilowatt (one thousand watts) of electricity. Let's put that into perspective to understand what it means:


If you own an urn which you'll be using over Shabbat for a couple of cups of coffee, this is what will happen: Take a look at the box your urn came in or alternatively on the urn itself. You'll see a figure - usually something like 1800W. This tells us that this is the amount of electricity the urn consumes per hour of use. If you'd like to know what this translates to in terms of money, perform the following calculation:

1800 / 1000 * 0.5947. You'll see that you'll be paying 1.07046 Shekels per hour of use!!! Multiply this by some 26 hours worth of heating (over Shabbat), and you'll see that you'll be paying an extra 27.83 Shekel every week on your electricity bill. Multiply that by 4 weeks in the month and your bill will be hiked up another 111.33 Shekels per month or when it arrives after two months 222.26 Shekels over the billing period. If you'll be having just one or two cups of coffee over Shabbat (for example) remember that you'll be paying an additional 222 Shekels over the billing period for those 8-16 cups of coffee (or roughly speaking 28 / 14 Shekels per cup of coffee!!!) If money is no object - enjoy your expensive refreshment! If you're budgeting - keep these points in mind before setting up your urn.

Here's another one:


You've bought yourself a fancy 3 bar heater. The heater indicates that each bar is 400 Watts. This means that for every bar used every hour, you'll be paying 400 / 1000 * 0.5947, or 23.778 Aggarot per hour of use. If you use all three bars for an hour, you'll be in for 71.364 Aggarot per hour. 

With the above heater, consider the heat it will provide. Will it heat up just a small portion of the room? Or will it heat up the entire house?! Remember - going back to the Mazgan, you'll mostly find a considerable amount of the room heated for that one shekel. If the small heater even on full, heats up far less, you may need to consider the option of using a Mazgan (if of course you can afford the installation - and own your own home!!! Landlords will not be happy with one installing one's own Mazgan. In addition, if you do, you'll have a hard time taking it away with you when you leave!)

Hope these points help you to understand what the reality of electricity costs through the practical examples given!


Did you know? We provide an informative, attractive newsletter each month sharing practical tips about life in Israel, using one's money correctly, settling in, knowing what's really happening, and featuring the opportunity to network on a practical level with many people experiencing the exact same "growing pains." Our newsletter had begun for South Africans who have made Aliyah but is currently being upgraded for all those wishing to join!!! If you'd like to join, simply go to our South African page where you will find a subscription box for you to fill out. Please do indicate which country you are joining from as this will allow us to plan even better articles and networking opportunities for the future!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Mortgage in Israel

The following post is an excerpt of an article written for us by Avraham Mahler for our next issue of "Yibaneh Yerushalayim."

Purchasing a home in Israel can be a very expensive and complicated process. Naturally, everyone wants to keep buying costs to a minimum. One small mistake in your mortgage process, however, can cost tens of thousands of Shekels over the length of the loan. We at Mortgage Israel use our experience to match each customer with the mortgage that fits best for their specific financial circumstances. It is our primary concern that each customer receives the attention and service necessary to obtain the best terms possible and eliminate the stress involved with acquiring a new property. 

Please contact Avraham for your free consultation at 052 734 6327
or amahler@mortgageisrael.com.

We'd love to feature your advert too. Place an advert with us in our magazine and you stand to be featured in our blog and possibly our newsletter as well. If you have a service related to Jewish weddings in Israel, setting up a new home in Israel, real estate, travel, touring in Israel, please be in touch to advertise in our magazine. 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Support Group for Religious Divorced Women

Forming an empowerment/support group for English speaking religious women who are divorced, or are in the process of getting divorced.

The group will be co-facilitated by Lizzie Rubin & Esther Marcus both of whom are experienced certified family therapists.

The goals of the group are to build a stronger sense of self, to develop a more positive outlook on life, and to process the past with the goal of moving forward.

The group will be limited to 10 women and will meet weekly for three months on Wednesday evenings at 8PM at Bishvilaych- Women's Medical Center starting in November in Givat Shaul.
Fee is 200 shekels per month.

For more information, call Lizzie 054-523-1201 or Esther 052-224-7317
Lizzie Rubin is part of our the Professional Referral Service of Chessed Ve'Emet and is recommended by us as a family therapist. 
If you are a health professional or counsellor working privately in Israel, please do contact  
Chessed Ve'Emet to join our Professional Referal Service

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Kupat Cholim - Free Medical Aid in Israel

In Israel, there are currently four different Kupot (medical aids) available - Meuhedet, Klalit, Maccabi and Leumit. Every citizen of Israel is entitled to choose to be a part of any of these (and must!) It is your right - but be aware, it's not free. You'll be paying for it. As a start, your Bituach Leumi (National Insurance) is considered the start of its payment and at a current entry level amount of ₪160 per month for the unemployed and those earning less than around ₪2000 per month, it can already be a hefty amount to pay - especially if you're not actually in need of any medical treatment (a condition you should be most thankful for in any case!)

Beyond the initial Bituach Leumi amount and dealing with increasing Bituach Leumi payments depending on your monthly income / salary, you can be paying up to 40% of your earned income - ultimately for your rights to "free" medical insurance. 

What do you get for it? Basic medical services allow you to visit your GP for free (the reason everyone will say it's free!) but don't let that fool you! In addition to seeing the GP, if there is anything remotely requiring a specialist (in practically almost every case) you will be sent to a specialist usually with a Hafnayah - הפניה - a referral. Currently you must pay ₪22 for each time you see the specialist and ₪22 for each additional specialist you see during a period known as "quarterly" - or Rivon - רבעון. Be aware that any doctors or authorities indicating to you that medical treatment is free in Israel are sadly misinformed. The costs may escalate even further. 

While in many countries, a GP is entitled to perform numerous small procedures, Israel limits the activities of the GP - forcing them to refer you on to a specialist. An example would be having one's ears syringed. In the event that one's ears become filled with wax, a regular doctor will not be permitted to remove the wax, but will refer you to a specialist. In other countries, GP's are quite capable of the small procedure themselves! 

In addition, though the specialist may be knowledgeable in his area of expertise, he too is limited by Israeli law to the procedures he may perform. As an example - a dermatologist may check your skin noticing various blemishes that can be easily removed with liquid nitrogen, but his authority allows him to only diagnose; he may not correct the problem, in essence being required to refer you to a surgeon - for the relatively simple burning procedure! Ultimately one's "free" medical treatment can well lead to visiting numerous doctors and being required to pay the Kupah for each additional visit - amounts which in other countries would be avoided due to one doctor being quite capable of performing the smaller procedures himself!

Dental and Eye Costs:

Dental treatment is not covered for by the Kupah and can be rather expensive. Likewise, seeing an optometrist to have spectacles prescribed will require almost full payment with very little if any subsidy by the Kupah.

Costs of Medications:

Upon purchasing a medication under the list of "subsidized" medications, you will pay a minimum of ₪14 per medication (currently.) There are many medications that require  a higher price or full payment thereof. All the amounts listed in this post, increase each year as a general rule. 

The Free Fertility Treatment Fallacy!

For those looking into the "free" fertility treatments that are offered in Israel - be aware, that while much may be "subsidized," all tests and procedures are charged for just as the referral to a specialist or more. You will be charged for injections, drugs and other invasive procedures as well as your net loss from days off from work (no pay) and with the emotional stress added to this, the financial costs can be a lot more than ever bargained for. It is hard for anyone not in such a predicament to ever imagine anything close to the actual costs, as they still maintain that fertility treatment in Israel is absolutely free! Indeed, those not actually involved in these special treatments will again assume that all is free. (It almost sounds too good to be true - even exciting!)

Kupah Plans:

In addition to the basic "free" structured medical treatment provided in Israel, each Kupah will offer numerous "special" - must-have options which will entail paying even larger amounts to be a part of the more appropriate medical aid systems which allow for even more "free" things. 

Choosing a Doctor:

Do remember that because Israel works with a Rivon (quarter) period, the doctor you choose - whether you know them are not - will be your doctor for a period of 3 months. You will not be able to change doctors. Get advice from others who may have used a particular doctor, to know if they are the right doctor for you. Join us for our next article where we will discuss more about the practical aspects of "what can go wrong" or "what can be right!" when choosing a doctor in Israel.

Important Points to be Aware of:

  • Be aware of the actual costs. 
  • Don't be fooled by those indicating that medical treatment in Israel is free.
  • Choose the plan that is best for you after appropriate research.
  • Be aware of the doctor you choose. You will be stuck with them for a quarter period - 3 months, without the ability to change!
  • Be aware of the Kupah you choose. Though you can switch Kupot, it is not easy to work out which one will serve your needs better. 
  • Visiting a GP may only be the start of treatment - often requiring seeing at least two other specialists - all at an additional cost.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

A Mini Tornado destroys Sukkot

Sukot is a special time for Am Yisrael and a time we are tested as to whether we will be in the Sukkah in all weathers. Even during Elul Eretz Yisrael was busy, busy building their Sukkot.

We decided to wait until Friday, Erev Shabbat, to make sure no wind or other weather would affect our Sukkah. We were nearly ready and eager for the coming Chag.

But Hashem had other plans. He huffed and He puffed and sent a mini tornado through the area. Below you will see the damage to our Sukkah and some of our neighbours.

Thank G-d no-one was in any of the Sukkot when the wind tore through, but we have just hours before Sukkot begins and our Sukkah is irreparable. Our neighbours are busy re-building. For us, the metal frame is broken and dangerous to re-assemble. If anyone can assist towards obtaining a new Sukkah please it is urgent as Yom Tov is fast approaching.

If you can assist, a new Sukkah will probably cost NIS 2000.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

How our emotions affect our relationships

Our emotional state at any particular moment affects our actions, not only in the present but also in the immediate future. An external stimulus that makes us feel angry, disappointed, irritable or extremely frustrated, can give rise to a mood or state of mind that lasts for several hours, days, or even more.

What’s worse is that emotional stress may escalate in intensity, without warning and so quickly that we may feel we are closing control – and sometimes so rapidly we may not even be aware of it. We sometimes refer to this as "the spiral effect". Perhaps an even more appropriate term would be the "one-thing-leads-to-another syndrome."

Before we know it, innocent people are caught in the cross fire. Paradoxically, those who suffer most are often those that are nearest and dearest to us!

Let's lift the veil on an hour in the life of Chaim and Esther, two young people married for all of six months who love each other very much.

One afternoon, Chaim calls Esther to tell her that he will be arriving home earlier than usual. Of course, Esther is pleased, and asks him if she could save her a trip by stopping off at the neighborhood supermarket on the way to pick up a few things. Although she might not be at home when he arrives, she’ll be back soon.

Chaim arrives home with the goods. Esther isn’t back yet. He was pleased to help because he figures Esther must be exhausted after an especially busy day. Then he has a brainwave: why not help even more by cooking some supper? So he takes some noodles and eggs and a few other small items from the bag he’s just brought and begins to cook up a dish he knows Esther is fond of.

The pot on the stove is almost ready when Esther walks through the front door. She ambles over to the stove, opens the pot nervously, and lets out a scream.

"Chaim! Have you gone out of your mind? I needed those noodles for the meal I promised to take to my sick friend tomorrow! And by the way, you know I always buy brown eggs, not white ones! Can't you think for once in your life, you bonehead!"

Chaim, who just two minutes ago was expecting to be showered with praise for his thoughtfulness, is overtaken with a numb feeling. The numbness quickly turns to bewilderment, which in turn converts to anger.

Unfortunately, anger breeds more anger.

Now, let's press the "pause button" for a minute. What would you say I asked you what you think happens next? Most likely, you'd respond that Chaim storms out of the kitchen, leaving a badly burned culinary creation to go up in smoke. And we would have a lovely young couple hardly speaking to each other for several days.

Well, with most couples, you would undoubtedly be right! But Chaim and Esther are very special people.

While his emotions are still reasonably under control, Chaim keeps reminding himself of what he sets out to achieve in the first place. If making things easier for his wife was his first priority, then by definition, that took preference over a wounded pride and a temporary feeling of disquiet! "Look, Esther," he says. "I'm sorry. Let's see what we can do.

What will we achieve by loosing our cool? I'll pop back to the store to get some more noodles, or we can borrow from a neighbor. Perhaps we could..."

And our Esther is a pretty quick thinker. "Chaim, I know you only wanted to help. I'm overtired, I guess. You know what -if we put you concoction in the freezer, I won't have to worry about tomorrow night's supper! And you know, there are some dishes that taster better with white eggs."

Remember: strong negative emotions, if left unchecked, generate still stronger negative emotions. Take a step back! Some folk insist on always being right. But isn't it better to be loved?

Azriel Winnett is the author of How to Build Relationships That Stick – a small book with a big impact!

For more information and to order visit http://RelationshipsThatStick.com, or contact Azriel at azriel@hodu.com

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Finding Occupational Therapy Work in Israel- 1

If you have made Aliyah or are considering doing so, finding suitable work is going to be one of the most important questions you will ask or consider. As an experienced Occupational Therapist, I decided to begin writing some articles of information as to what you might expect when searching for suitable work here.

This series is related to experiences Occupational Therapists might find when seeking gainful employment in a salaried job in Israel. Please note, not all of these experiences are my own, many are gleaned from networking with other OT's who are Olim.

The first scenario is taken from a recent conversation with a colleague. She had made Aliyah after having a number of working years experience in Occupational Therapy in an Anglo Speaking country. She was fortunate to have saved a little before coming and eager to begin working. After completing her ulpan and Staj', she obtained a job replacing a therapist on Maternity Leave, i.e. the position was for 3 months. During the full 3 months working in the facility she had not received one salary check or any attempt to pay her. Towards the end of her 3 months working at the facility, the secretary recommended that she talk to the manager and request her pay. 

Following this advice, the O.T. went to visit the manager and had to explain her need to be paid for her 3 months working to cover an O.T. away on maternity leave.

Is the above scenario legal?

If the therapist is employed and would receive a salary slip then the law states payment is due no later than 9 days after the month for which the employee worked – after that point, significant fines, penalties and late charges apply. An employee must receive no less than minimum, statutory wage (per hour, week or month – as applicable).  There are MANY other obligations on the employer if the relationship is one of employee-employer including the obligation to provide paystubs in statutory form, give vacation and sick pay, provide a pension in a minimum, statutory amount, pay overtime unless exempted, pay demai havraah, pay commuting expenses, etc. (This information is obtained from a Labour Lawyer who we hope to encourage to write for our blog)

As you might be able to ascertain from the information the lawyer provided, the fact someone managed to save prior to coming to Israel is not a reason for an employer to withhold your salary. What about those therapists who might not have saved prior to coming here? There should never be a situation where a salaried worker is expected to take a loan or Gemach in order to cover expenses while waiting to be paid. In fact, if you are working and turn to your bank manager for assistance through the days or months you are waiting for your salary, the bank manager is probably going to tell you it is illegal to withhold your salary and hence he will not advance you a loan. 

What has your experience been in finding suitable work in Israel? If you are struggling with the process, please book an appointment for an evaluation and services to assist you to set goals and action plans to help you to find the work that is suitable to your interest, skills, health, family circumstances etc.

If you are an Occupational Therapist and have had difficulty being paid correctly or on time, please do email us as we are looking into forming a group to look into how to improve the situation.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Professional Referral Service

After receiving many requests for referrals to all manner of therapists, we have added a new service to the work that we provide through Chessed Ve'Emet. Our new service is a Professional Referral Service. 

Our most recent professional to sign up is Lizzy Rubin who is a Registered Nurse, Certified Kallah Teacher, Clinical Sociologist and Sexologist. One of Lizzy's areas of expertise is working with Jewish women who are in an abusive marriage. Lizzy has been married for many years and is a mother and grandmother. She brings wonderful life experience to her professional work, assisting Jewish women to enjoy a healthy marriage. 

If you are a health professional working privately in Israel and would like to join our Professional Referral Network, please email us to schedule and appointment. 

If you are Jewish, living in Israel and are in need of professional services to improve any area related to the Jewish home, marriage and parenting, please be in touch for an interview so that we can refer you to the appropriate therapist or other professional. 

We look forward to hearing from you.

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Light-Rail Nightmare - A Tip for Moms with Babies in Strollers

Yesterday there was a light-rail disaster / nightmare (סיוט - "Siyut"). The purpose of this post is not to highlight the disaster, but to concentrate on what we - the public - need to do to take better care of ourselves in being prepared for... anything!

A mom with her 18 month old baby in stroller boarded the light-rail. Only thing is that the mother pushed the stroller with baby inside it onto the light-rail before ascending herself. The driver was "doing his job" (sic) and apparently did not have time to wait for the mother to get on, and closed the doors just a moment after the stroller (with baby inside) was "safely" on-board! Though passengers began shouting at the driver to open the doors and let the mother on, he replied that it was not his concern and that he could not wait any longer - he had a job to do and was doing it by continuing the journey of the light-rail.

One can only imagine the devastation the mother was experiencing at the moment as she wondered what would be with her child. Though the driver refused to give his name, people did photograph him and we can assume those on the rail would report the incident with photographs in hand! 

The seriousness of this story should awaken us all to further possible measures we must take in safeguarding our children and our possessions. Perhaps it would be a good idea for all moms to stitch in to their strollers an identity tag with at least a phone number on it, should her stroller (with baby in it) go missing. Just imagine this for a moment - passengers on the light-rail had no way of tracking down the mom to get the baby back to her again. Remember for a moment, an 18 month old baby does not know his phone number, address or even names of his parents other than Abba and Imma. Advertising in the papers or the like, that the baby had been found may not work either as it is also possible that many people could claim the child as theirs. It would take identifying marks etc. to prove who the real mother is - as the baby would be unable (via ordinary speech) to let others know who it's mother is. I have no doubt that with enough time they would succeed in putting it all together, but the frustration for the mother would be unbearable. 

Moms: Consider either stitching or at least attaching an identifying label with a contact number onto the stroller and a bracelet on baby's arm with contact info, rather like a medic-alert bracelet. It may not necessarily have to include your name, address or any other personal details (which may lead to further problems!) But a contact number will at least offer a minimum aid for others to be able to return the child easily should something like this ever happen.

Remember: Public transport in Israel has its advantages! It does not mean that drivers will not be closing doors on you (often causing injury!) or refusing to let you on, or simply not stopping the bus when they should. Unfortunately it has become the responsibility of the passenger to look out for themselves in all these matters. 

Take care! When boarding a bus or other public transport, watch carefully as you board to see if the door is closing on you. Be at the bus stop a few minutes before to make sure you have the best chance of boarding without missing your bus or being caught in the doors. Be prepared to disembark when the bus stops rather than have to deal with shouting at the driver - and again possibly having the doors closed on you or separating from others you are traveling with.

The bus company and probably light rail company will usually favour the side of the driver in almost every instance! When using a bus ticket that is to be punched, check the driver as he punches it. He will often punch the wrong side (when using combination tickets) or click more than once thinking you have boarded with someone else etc. It is the passengers duty to check all these things and be responsible for himself. Don't leave your ticket in your shirt pocket before doing the laundry! Bus companies have no sympathy and even if the ticket looks only slightly marred, drivers will refuse to accept them! The bus company will not reimburse you or offer another ticket for the now-unusable ticket!

Be prepared for anything - and most of all, take care of your own health and security, and the health and security of your family - and all those around you!

נסיעה טובה - "Nesiah Tova" - Have a Great Journey - as they say!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Word for the Day - CHUTZPAH!

If you're living in Israel or even if not - if you're Jewish (and even if not!) there's one word you really do need to know. It's CHUTZPAH! In Hebrew it's written "חוצפה" but you can write it just as well in English because everyone really does know it already! It seems to have just the right sound to it and if you say it with enough energy and enthusiasm, you're sure to know what it means. You might find the purists who will translate the word as "impudence" or "insolence" - but don't let any of those words fool you. Chutzpah is so much more! It seems to have its own meaning whenever it's said. Is it really worthwhile to look for a translation for this extremely expressive almost onomatopoeic word?!

We'll let you think about it on your own. But meanwhile, we found just the right picture that exemplifies this most unique word. Hopefully it's not your pram. Hopefully they're not your bicycles. They can't be! You're too good to ever let anyone call you "Chutzpadic!" You're too caring to realise the dangers of others navigating through large items to get to their destination safely without tripping over your property! 

For those not yet familiar with the variety of taxes in Israel, you'll come across one called "Vaad Bayit" - "ועד בית". It's not really a tax as such though you'll have to pay it whether you like it or not. In fact whatever it costs - whether 50 Shekel a month or 250 Shekel a month or even more - whatever the administrator of the fund demands is a new liability for you each month! It's true, someone must take care of the building expenses, but what about when you're always doing your best to keep things clean. In that case, you'll find yourself constantly bombarded with bills of others to pay (with those in the wrong constantly let off the hook!) - those who prefer to hire real help to keep things clean, rather than do it themselves. It's the Vaad Bayit who puts up the signs you'll see plastered all over your building - notably like the one in the picture below (click image for full size) which clearly indicates, "Dear Neighbours: Please do not leave prams in the passage-way". Of course, if you do know about Chutzpah - you may want to use it - and be Davka -דוקא - another word that's just so hard to translate. It means something similar to - "just because you said no... I'm all for it!" though literally it means "exactly!"

So here it is. If you were to look up the word Chutzpah in a dictionary, you'd be sure to see this image and maybe even the one below it. For those striving to make their apartment building clean and tidy - don't be surprised when you're hit with large Vaad Bayit bills. They are really there - especially for you - so that you can pay the bills for the Davka type of neighbour who knows not much more than what real Chutzpah really means!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Fun Way to Promote Your Business

We have decided to extend our INCREIBLE special for the 9 days too.

We have a terrific magazine with quality articles that we are eager to share. We are working on increasing the number of pages and quantity of distribution. We would love to include more small businesses in our next edition. Our magazine is focused on weddings, new Jewish homes, anythng needed for a Torah life in Israel.

The 9 days is a time for unity, co-operation and increased kindness. There is a teaching that it pays to advertise your business by enabling more Yidden to know of what you do. We invite you to join us. You let us know how much you are willing to pay and we will let you know what what the largest size advert is that we can give you. Payment MUST be received before Tisha B'Av so do hurry along to bid on your adspace.

The magazine is in full colour and on quality paper. 

We are really looking forward to hearing from you. 
If you are ready to advertise, contact us with how much you are willing to pay. Lets make this happen in a very special way. Together may we Hasten the Geulah

Email us now at chessedveemet@gmail.com

Shoshanah Shear

REGA!!! It's Not Just a Moment!

Like it... or not... this is one of the standard symbols you'll need to get used to when you live in Israel! For the native Israeli it comes naturally by simply lifting up the four fingers towards the thumb as it itself is lifted upwards. The fingers eventually touch and can be held in that position for as much time as you need to make the sign fulfill its purpose.

And if you yourself are really good with your hands, you might even find yourself turning your fingers into this position quite a lot when in Israel - all completely naturally! But if you're new to living in Israel, you'll need to know more about this "industry standard" of Israeli sign language - the "symbol" and what exactly it means.

The word used to express the symbol is at the heart of the modern Hebrew language when it comes to colloquial expressions. The word רגע - "Rega" literally means "moment". Though that be the case, "moment" is usually the least of what the word really means - as does its hand symbol to express it. 

Here are some real translations of the word Rega - and its associated symbol. You can feel free to use the word and hand-symbol under any of these conditions (everyone in Israel will appreciate your using it) - and if you're creative, you'll probably find another dozen or so uses of it all on your own. So get started, get into it... get "Rega'in"
  • Just a moment (or Just a moment!)
  • Wait a sec... (or even waiiiit aaa seccc...!) It's really important to drag out the word for as long as you feel you need the other to wait. Don't let go of holding your  fingers in this position - whatever you do!
  • Wait!!! (Or Waaaiiiit!)
  • Without the symbol when on a bus (unless the driver sees you too): "STOP!!!!" (Incidentally, if you do have time, you can also shout out נהג "Nehag" - "Driver" to attract the driver's attention and let him know that your shouting was clearly directed at him. Please do not use this word if time is too critical!)
  • Without the symbol (i.e. just the word) on a bus (unless the driver sees you too):"DON'T CLOSE THE DOOR YET!!!" This can be said when getting ON the bus as much when getting OFF it! If you're lucky, the door will seem to open of its own accord almost immediately!
  • When getting off the bus, you don't need to feel it must mean "DON'T CLOSE THE DOOR YET!!!" It could also mean - simply - "I'M STILL GETTING OFF THE BUS - CAN'T YOU SEE!!!" Make sure to shake your head from side to side for a few moments as you alight and walk the next 100 or so meters, in the hope that the driver is paying you some attention NOW! You could turn to others and announce מוזר! - "Muzar" -"Strange!" just to show your displeasure at it all!
  • Just a minute (notice the time difference between this and the first two options.)
  • Just a minute!!! (Again, notice the difference between the third listed item which is actually an immediate time delay - a strong interruption! A minute might be too long!
  • Used when you are praying and the Shaliach Tzibbur is going too fast or is looking around (for no apparent reason) wondering if he can continue at any point in time: Show him the sign as your way of telling him others are actually still busy!!! He should understand to WAIT! There's no need to shout anything - the symbol will do it's job well!
  • When talking to another who seems to never give you a chance to "butt in", use the sign. If it doesn't work, use the word too as you move your hand up and down. A good idea is to also frown or show displeasure on your face. In fact, you can do this with any of the other points on the list too. These additional techniques work wonders!
  • When 3 seconds late for the bus, forget the sign (you won't have time and nobody will see you.) Just shout the word! When you're on the bus, if you feel you've missed out on using the sign, you can still use it - but nobody will know what you are going on about!
  • When someone is speaking too fast - use the sign with the word. It helps get the other's attention. You can then say your own peace and let the other know how much you would have appreciated if they had only spoken a little more slowly to begin with!
  • By the way, you can also use the word שניה - "Shniah" - "a second" which has a similar connotation when used in many of the examples above. It just doesn't have the same power behind it though! You'll understand when you actually become more involved in using the different words.

When ready to use the symbol:
  1. Take in a deep breath!
  2. Frown and get your face ready to express what it is you're really feeling inside you
  3. Position your fingers into "that shape"
  4. You can choose to keep your hand close to your body, or thrust it out towards the person you're "Rega'in". It all depends on how strongly (or gently) you'd like to get your message across
  5. Begin waving your hand up and down (for as long as needed)
  6. Say/shout/scream the word - "רגע" but make sure the tone in your voice and volume of your voice clearly say the message you're interested in broadcasting
  7. Watch, and take note, how everyone is prepared to hear you out and to take care of whatever it is you need - then and there!
And remember, it's not offensive to show others this sign. It's simply a part of every day communication!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Job Offer: Freelance Sale / Telesales

We are looking for dynamic sales people to join a dynamic, creative, Torah based team.

Successful candidates must have:

Must enjoy selling and have good people skills
At least 3 years experience in direct sales
Proven successful track record of generating revenue and closing business
English mother tongue, good Hebrew skills beneficial
Persistent and organized
Self-motivated and focused
B2B sales experience
Excellent phone and email communication skills
Good follow through
Be prepared to do cold calling
Ability to provide Israeli tax receipt
Must dress smart, elegant and modest
Must have minimum level of Torah observance and appreciation for a Torah publication
Must have a love of Torah and Torah values

Compensation is productivity and commission based only

Please send CV, contact details and contactable references through for possible appointment.

Only those complying with above list of criteria and willing to work FREELANCE, should apply.

We look forward to hearing from you

Shoshanah Shear

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Amazing Marketing Special for the Three Weeks

Do you have a business (service or products) related to Kosher weddings or to anything related to setting up a new home in Israel? Anything that can be used in a Jewish home is perfect!

Advertising is important. The more others see your advert in a variety of publications, the more likelihood of you getting clients.

We are working on the 3rd edition of our magazine – Yibaneh Yerushalayim - and planning to include some quality articles too. Our magazine is A5 in size, full colour printed on quality paper. We aim to have 24 – 32 pages and to distribute 10 000 to English speakers in and around Jerusalem.

We have decided to make an amazing offer during the 3 weeks. You let us know how much you are able to spend for an advert in our next edition and we will let you know what size advert we can give you.

Terms and Conditions apply: Advertisers must email us by no later than 18th July 2012.

We look forward to hearing from you

Shoshanah Shear

Monday, 9 July 2012

Five Tips for Preparing Your Move

Guest post by Galit Mador

If you are moving to Israel soon, you may want to prepare in advance … here are 5 tips for you: 

As one who experienced the move back to Israel after 8 years in the US, even as an Israeli family, it is a challenging process in many ways. Beyond the technical tasks that need to be taken care of, there are few critical factors to consider:

1. Plan for at least two years of acclimation. It actually takes more time…

2. Where to live: look for a community with a similar background, ages etc. to yours. This community will likely offer services that you and your family need, such as English Speaker class at school, English library and such. Above and beyond, you will find a common language with them which will make you feel at home.

3. Where to work: look for a local job in Israel as soon as possible, avoid working remotely. Again, belong…

4. Become an active part of the community: for example: sign up for sport club, volunteer to some group that you care for (at school, safety related or such). This will greatly help you connect with your new community, to make new friends.

5. Consider professional assistance throughout your moving process. It can be related to a specific need that you have identified such as finding a suitable job or taking language lessons etc. However, if you feel confused or unhappy, get a professional coach or an advisor to consult with. Sometimes only few personal meetings may guide and motivate you in moving forward towards your goals.

I wish you a smooth and soft landing!

Galit Mador

Professional Certified Coach

Learn to Type in Hebrew (FREE!)

If you're living in Israel, you're bound to need to know how to type at least the barest amount of Hebrew at some time or another! It can be most frustrating to get into learning a new keyboard just when you've got so used to typing in English! It can - however - be done! There are a variety of professional software programs available - but if you can't afford it and looking for something that's great, easy to use and will get you up to standard - don't wait another moment, head out straight to: Hebrew Keyboard Tutor Plus. It's a delightful program presented in a fun way!

Here is another easy to use typing tutor though for the more serious student: Blindtype

Looking forward to hearing that you've got the Hebrew keyboard mastered!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Changes to the Bus Routes

 If you have been to Israel and especially to Jerusalem in the past and think you know your way around, you are in for a big surprise. The latest bus changes will raise your eye brows and bring question marks to the fore.

Many buses are being discontinued and being replaced by others. New numbers, new routes, its all about change. 

Don't find yourself confused or waiting for a bus that no longer runs. You can go into the Central Bus Station (Tachane Mercazit) and obtain your new bus schedule. Be sure to find out too which roads are as they were and which roads are being uplifted to make way for yet another train line.

Local Advertising

We have a special place in our next edition of "Yibaneh Yerushalayim" that is waiting just for you.

Are you looking to increase your advertising and marketing? Are you looking for some excellent local advertising? How about some marketing ideas of ways to increase your sales?

Well, if you answer yes to any or all of these and have a business related to Kosher Jewish weddings in Israel or setting up a new home here, then you have come to the right place.

How about including a discount voucher or restaurant discount voucher (that is if your business is a restaurant - Kosher of course). How about including some discount deal or special offer?

We are happy to include car advertising, best holiday deals for those coming to Israel on holidy or honeymoon. 

What business do you have and what are you looking to promote or advertise?

If beautiful adverts are important to you and being a part of a quality publication matters, then hurry along and be a part of our new and exciting magazine. 

For those purchasing a full page or half page advert before mid-day on Thursday of this week that means 
5 July 2012, we will give you a special bonus. Contact us Today, join the fun and help to promote your business.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Work from Home

Some years ago I read an article of how home industries or working from home helps to improve the ecconomy of developing countries. When one makes Aliyah, many will tell you that all you can do is work in a 9 - 5 job earning a salary and preferably (or at least for the one giving the info) a minimum wage salary at that.

Do you prefer to work from home than be tied to a job with little room for progress? Are you a mom who works from home or would like to work from home. Are you interested in part-time work from home?

Have you considered part-time work in telesales? Work can develop to be from home once we see your progress and productivitiy.

We are looking for:

- Olim who are interested in telesales or students, new Chatanim / Kallot or new mothers interested in telesales. Must be able to give a tax receipt and work free-lance. Must be prepared to begin earning commission only, however there is much scope for progress for those who are motivated, persistant and want to succeed.

- Any English Speakers in Israel who have a small business from home that is related to a Kosher wedding or setting up a new home in Eretz Yisrael. It could be ceramic items to give as gifts, linnen, curtains or table cloths, it could be wedding dresses, catering or video. If you have a small business working from home, we'd like to offer for you to advertise in our new magazine. Our prices are terrific and will help to give you the exposure you require to increase clients while at the same time doing the added chessed of helping needy orphan Chatanim and Kallot as a percentage of the proceeds goes to our Bayit Chadash Gemach.

Remember, we can only give to the Chatanim and Kallot once there are proceeds, so how about you helping us reach our target and you can increase opportunity for blessings and clients. Sounds like a good deal to me. What do you think?

Come and join us and have fun with the latest developments in our new magazine "Yibaneh Yerushalayim"

If you fit either of the above descriptions, please be in touch, we'd like to add you to our team.

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Artist, Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Project Manager for "Yibaneh Yerushalayim"


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