Sunday, 26 February 2012

How do you respond to someone or something NEW?

What are your thoughts of starting something new? What are your thoughts of someone who is new to the photography world. What are your thoughts of someone new to taking care of children or new to teaching a group of moms any skill related to being a mom. Or what is your idea of someone new to planting a tree, new to building a house. What skills will you support. Will you give someone a chance when they are new to a job, idea, book, publicaiton ...?

It's an interesting role being an Oleh Chadash or Olah Chadashah. Since you are a new immigrant, anything you do in Israel will be new. So how will you respond if someone says, "New? No come back when you have experience or multiple copies to show or years of ..."

Do you remember that once upon a time you were a little baby? How would you feel if the nurses, doctors, midwives etc said "New? Take it away, we will clean it, measure it, weigh it, take care of it when it is a year old and used to this world."

How about your first trip to the doctor or the Tipat Chalav. Does not matter if you are the new mom or the new baby. What would happen if the staff said "NEW? Bah, come back at your second or fourth or maybe your tenth visit."

How about yoru first day at kindergarten, pre-school, Chader or Gan. How would you respond as the new parent of this new child / toddller to the facility. How would you feel if the teacher or rebbe looked at the new parent and new young child and said "NEW? Bah, go away and come back when you are used to education."

How about the first day you: write a test, climb a tree, sing a song, write a poem, eat a sandwich, make a sandwich, go shopping or any other task. There is always a first time for everything.

What kind of person are you? Are you prepared to give the newbie a chance. After all, the tables can turn at any moment. Now you are a successful businessman being asked to advertise your company, what if tomorrow you end up in the hospital (G-d forbid) and the therapist selling you the adspace is the very one who is the first to greet you in your new role as patient. How will you feel if the therapist now says "NEW? Sorry, we don't treat new patients, why don't you wait till you have been a patient for 6 months or more and then, we will begin your rehabilitation process."

If a Jew comes knocking on your door and you have the ability to assist, don't wait. It does not matter if it is a new baby, new toddler, new child at school, new Bar Mitzvah boy, new Chatan or Kallah or new immigrant. Everyone is new sometime. So give your fellow Jew a chance and together let us build Eretz Yisrael. 

Launching a Publication - Great Prices for First Edition

We are launching a new Publication in the Jerusalem area. The publication is currently focused on items, services and themes that will assist Chatanim and Kallot.

If your product or service fits into this category, you will want to advertise in this FIRST edition, publication. We are offering Terrific low priced, introductory offers for those advertising in our LAUNCH edition.  The offer ends on Thursday 1 March 2011. All ads or text for ads must be booked and paid for in full by 1st March 2011.

For more information about options available and pricing, email Shoshanah

Lookng forward to hearing from you

Shoshanah Shear

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Mishloach Manos 2 for 5772

More images of our Mishloach Manos. Prices coming soon, so stay tuned.

 These two Mishloach Manos (i.e. above and directly below) are of the lower price range. Containers can be changed if you prefer a basket or other container.The above Mishloach Manos, packaged and ready to go sells at ₪ 80 plus delivery.

 This Mishloach Manos is "Something Fishy" It contains a glass dish in the shape of a fish, with two tins of Sardines (differing flavours), a packet of cracker biscuits, chocolate money as the bubbles and decorated with real sea shells, atop rafia, with folded paper as seaweed. This is placed on a clear plastic tray. Packaged and ready to go it sells for ₪ 80 excluding delivery.

 The above image is a Mishloach Manos is arranged on a stunning glass platter with golden roses. The food items include Jelly BonBons, a packet of nuts, a container of dried Paypaya, mini chocs and sprinkled with rose petals. An additional gift of two blue candles is a token of increasing light in your home.

The image below is of the same Mishloach Manos packaged and ready to go. Your message can be added on the reverse side of the handmade Purim Tag. Packaged and ready to go, this sells at ₪ 165 plus delivery

 The image above is of a beautiful square glass dish filled with mini rice cakes and 3 tubs of mini peanut butter, a container of dates, a packet of nuts sprinkled with potpouri. In the back you see two wooden fun percussion instruments, hand painted.

The image opposite shows the same Mishloach Manos packaged and ready to go. The Purim tag is awaiting your message on the reverse side. Packaged and ready to go, this sells at ₪ 130
The above image is a small glass bowl with a mini wine, mini glass, packet of chocolate buttons, tea biscuits. It will come packaged as the others are.

Packaged and ready to go, the above Mishloach Manos sells for ₪ 70 plus delivery.

Please do be in touch with Shoshanah. Let us know which of the Mishloach Manos you prefer.

Proceeds go towards our Bayit Chadash Gemach.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

To Buy or to Rent - Guest Post

                           Networking in progress

A friend of ours, Raphi Bloch,  recently began a blog about the property market in Jerusalem. Here is one of his early posts, posted here as a guest post with his permission.

This post is on the topc of whether to buy / rent It is linked to his blog so do visit him too.

Many of those looking for a new home in Jerusalem approach me with the question “should I buy or should I rent ?”  Although there is no one answer to the question there are many considerations which help one come to the answer that is right for them.

Many economists claim that renting makes more economic sense in that once you have factored in finance costs, buying costs more over he long term. While this may be true in a market where property prices are unstable, Jerusalem property generally retains and even increases its value over the medium to long term (the current downturn not withstanding). Add to this the fact that rentals in Jerusalem are comparatively high due to the high demand by students, visitors on one year programs and young families who as yet do not own their own home and you will often find that the difference in the rent paid and the cost of servicing a mortgage is very small.

However not everyone has the luxury of being able to buy. Banks in Israel are very strict on the amount they will finance on a mortgage with the norm being only about 60% – 70% of the assessed value of the property which is normally quite a bit lower than the market price. This means that a potential buyer needs to have about 40% of the purchase price as a down payment . There are mortgage insurance companies who do enable one to take a higher mortgage but again not everyone can meet the requirements to qualify.

Buying does have many non financial advantages. When living in your own apartment you have the security of knowing that you will not be asked to move at the end of a lease as well as the luxury of renovating your home to meet your exact taste. The argument that one does not always know if in a few years you will need to move,for example changes of jobs or family size, is one that many pro – renters often quote. Two options exist for the homeowner – renting out the current apartment which as I mentioned above is an easy task in Jerusalem or selling and buying another home – again relatively easy over the medium to long term.

Many of my buyers tell me that one of the strongest reasons to buy as opposed to renting in Jerusalem is the emotional one – knowing that they own a property in the Holy City. While this is obviously subjective it does explain why many investors insist on buying in Jerusalem when on paper there are better investments elsewhere in Israel and indeed the world but this is a topic for another post at a later date ……….

Shalom from Jerusalem


Friday, 17 February 2012

Considering Working Privately in Israel?

The helping professions are wonderful in theory, but many think it is a golden opportunity to take advantage. If you are considering working privately in Israel, firstly know and understand that you deserve to be paid in full, on time and with no arguments.

Do yourselves a favour and make a policy from the outset that you will only provide a service or treatment once payment is made. Up front, in full. If the client wants extra time they need to agree and pay for additional time before a session goes over the time they have paid for.

Don't fall into the trap of providing an excellent service and then not getting paid.

For those of you considering providing TeleHealth (i.e. a consultation via telephone or Skype) check out the address and telephone number BEFORE you commence a session, especially if you have an agreement that payment will be made on receipt of a statement.

Don't fall into the trap I have. I have had clients maintain it is Pikuach Nefesh and I have to do a house call immediately, afterhours of course. Complete the session and then say, "Thanks that was worth 1000 Shekels or more and now I am not paying". I have had clients state they are embarrassed to come in person, can they work via the phone or Skype and pay on receipt of a statement. Only to discover the phone number they gave no longer works from 1 month ago and 144 does not have them listed at the address they provided.

So do yourself a favour, check out and verrify the information prior to giving a treatment. If the phone number does not work, don't treat them. If the situation is Pikuach Nefesh, someone has to pay for a private session up front. If the situation is that serious that they can not wait to make a payment then let them call the ambulance and go to hospital. 

Remember, every Jew is worth it. The first question you will be asked when you reach Shamayim is were you honest in business. Honesty means to you to. So protect yourself before you begin to work. If you work for another, make sure you have a written contract that is in keeping with labour law. If you work privately, make sure it is payment up front only and always. 


Rain, Kineret and Weather in Jerusalem

It has been a few weeks since we posted about the weather in Israel and Jerusalem in particular. We are happy to say there has been much rain. Windy days too. At this moment on Friday morning the rain has subsided and the wind is still active. There are predictions for rain to continue this afternoon and for snow for Jerusalem tonight and tomorrow, ie over Shabbos.

So if you are visiting Jerusalem and walking to friends, family or kind and caring hosts for your Shabbos meals do make sure to bundle up. If you live in Jerusalem, you can bundele up too, :). You just may be walking in the snow either to or from Shul or your meals. If it falls later on, take care when going to Shul in the morning. 

There are a few Hallachos for snow on Shabbos. If snow falls on your clothing, you can gently shake off unmolten snow. If it falls on a waterproof raincoat, you can shake off the snow more vigorously. It is not permitted to make snow balls or a snow man if the snow settles sufficiently. Snow itself is not Muktze, however we can not mould it into any shape on Shabbos. Remember, no photographing on Shabbos either, even if the snow flakes are beautiful or fun or the white on the roof tops or at the Kotel is impressive and a picture. The snow comes from Hashem and He requests us to observe the Shabbat.

So if there is snow fall this Shabbos, enjoy the beauty and the clean white snowflakes, but remember to follow the laws for Shabbos. 

The last few weeks of rain has had a positive effect on the level of the Kinert. In the last few days there has been a rise of 5 cm. The level of the Kineret is currently -212.83m and 82cm above what it was this time last year. 

Keep up the davening and good deeds. We want the Kineret to be full to the appropriate level that there is no flooding but we have the quanitiy of water required to take us out of danger zone.

Shabbat Shalom, Good Shabbos, Gut Shabbos - all acceptable ways to greet your fellow Jew for Shabbat


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Mishloach Manos 5772


A selection of our latest Mishloach Manos. More images to follow soon. The first image is of a stunning white cake stand is packaged into a fun gift for Purim.

 The gift contains tea biscuits, a jar of Nescafe cofee, tea bags, chocolate buttons and sprinkled with pink petals. A wooden doll adds a bit of fun.

Packaged below in Celophane with ribbon. The note tag will be attached once we have wording from the one who wishes to give this stunning gift.

This gift is ₪ 140 plus delivery to Jerusalem and surrounding areas.

We bless you that your home is filled with the light and Kedushah of Shabbos all week long. May this bring Hatzlachah and Brachah in all your Spiritual and Physical matters.

This gift contains two Shabbos glasses and candles, a mini red wine and mini Kiddush glass, 6 new L'Chaim glasses, tea biscuits and sprinkled with petals. The gift is presented on a new plastic tray.

Packaged with celophane and a bow. This gift is ₪ 95 plus delivery.

Find its partner, a little Purim fun!!
This gift is presented on a stunning glass oval dish that is divided into 4 compartments. It contains tea biscuits, mini chocs and is sprinked with Pot Pouri. This gift is still to be packaged with Celophane and Bow. A small fun gift can be added on request. Price to follow

This gift is a Tea Tray almost ready for tea / cofee time. Presented on a white tray with 6 coffee / tea cups and saucers, tea biscuits, 2 Halvas and mini chocs. It is packaged with celophane and tied with two bows. 
The gift above is a round ceramic dish with green design and a flower in the centre. It contains a bottle of Ninveh white wine surrounded by tea biscuits and mini chocs and sprinkled with pot pouri. The gift is packaged in celophane, tied with a bow and decorated with little butterflies. 
This gift is ₪ 165 plus delivery

The above gift has its partner further up the post. Did you notice it? Did you like it? This is a stunning glass dish with blue and green design within. It has a mini bottle of wine, mini kiddush cup, jelly sweets and mini chocs, packaged on the box that the dish comes in, covered in celophane and tied with an attractive blue and silver ribbon. This gift is 
₪ 110 plus delivery.


This stunning gift is packaged within a large glass bowl. The stem is decorated with pearl beads and rose petals. It is filled with mini bottle of wine and mini kiddush cup, tea biscuits, chololate buttons, Jelly sweets and sesame snacks. The image on the right depict this gift packed in celophane and tied with a silver bow. This gift is ₪ 135 plus delivery.

These are just a few of this years Mishloach Manos. If you want something different, please stay tuned for the next gifts to be uploaded, or place an order for a custom made Mishloach Manos. For further details or to purchase your Mishloach Manos, please email Shoshanah 

The proceeds goes to assist our needy and Orphan Chatanim and Kallot to set up their new home at the time of getting married. By purchasing from us, you do a Mitzvah of Hachnasat Kallah and bringing Simchah to Orphans. 

Please note, the images above are copyrighted and not for use by others.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Mishloach Manos

9 Mishloach Manos ready to go, photos to follow. Whose ready to order? Proceeds goes to our Bayit Chadash Gemach
The Mishloach Manos will be delivered on Purim in Jerusalem and surrounding area, OK Shushan Purim in Jerusalem. You can purchase for a friend or family or treat a needy family. 
Orders welcome too.
This years Mishloach manos are fun, fun, fun. Been a lot of fun putting them together. We have several still to go.
Here's the first one. Anyone for Tea?
The image above shows 6 cream coloured cups and saucers with 2 Halvas, and a number of tea biscutis and mini chocs scattered in between. The cups are presented on a lovely white tea tray and coverd in celophane. The card or tag is waiting for your wording before being added.
 These are from a previous year. Just some ideas for those wanting to order specially rather than purchasing one of the ready made Mishloach Manos.
 Please come back to visit or email for further details. More images to be added as they are ready, prices coming too

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Maternity Allowance in Israel

Guest Post by Jessica from

The amount of maternity allowance is determined by the amount of months the woman was working prior to giving birth. If you work between 6-10 months you are entitled to 7 weeks of paid maternity leave. For more than 10 months you can have 14 weeks off. The pay you receive will be the same as you would receive if you were working during this time (up to 1,412.50 NIS per day as of 01.01.12) and is subject to the same deductions.  It is paid in the middle of maternity leave.

If the mother gave birth to multiple children (in one birth) she may receive an additional 3 weeks per child � for mothers who are entitled to 14 weeks � and 2 weeks for each child for those entitled to 7 weeks.

Up to half of paid leave can be taken by the mother prior to giving birth (if she worked more than 10 months, 49 days can be taken � if 6-10 months were worked, she can take 24 days prior to birth) and the rest after the birth.

Learn more about this topic, and others, at

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

My Experience Visiting Israel for the First Time.

Guest Post by Julie Abrahams, posted with permission of Julie Abrahams.

In February 2010, my husband, youngest daughter, and I packed our bags and set out on our Pilot Trip to Israel. We had already made the decision to make Aliyah (move up) to the Holy Land of our ancestors. My husband had lived in Israel in 1967, 1973, and in the 1980's. However, for my daughter and me, this was our first trip to Israel. Our excitement could not begin to prepare us for our arrival. 

The emotion one experiences when entering The Land is beyond words or explanation. The tears in our eyes said it all. We heaved a communal sigh as we stepped onto the soil where generations of Jews had walked before us. 

Our excitement was soon matched by a flurry of activity, the renting of a car, driving up to Jerusalem, and traveling through a maze of road construction to finally register in our hotel. 

During our first week we visited the Wailing Wall (the Kotel), the Shuk (outdoor marketplace) in the Old City, and walked the ancient streets. 

The second week, we headed North to a cottage my husband had rented, just outside of Tzfat, Israel. Each day we ventured forth, visiting potential homes, the Golan, and the ancient ruins of Jewish settlements. 

It was the trip of a lifetime. Each visit left us in awe, more certain than ever that this was the Land we were meant to settle, this was our true Home. 

We returned to the United States just two weeks later. We felt as though we were in mourning, yearning to return to Israel with unmatched resolve. 

In the months that followed, every step, every task, every carton was filled with the determination to make Israel our permanent home.

Almost two years later we are living in northern Israel, in the city of Tzfat. My husband and I are very grateful to be able to call Israel Home. We walk on the ancient cobblestones determined not to take any step for granted, reveling in the beauty and splendor that surrounds us. 

And we wait for our sons, daughters, and grandchildren to join us in this vision. We wait for countless thousands of our brothers and sisters to, not only visit Israel for the first time, we wait for our Jewish family to come HOME!

Tu B'Shvat 5772

Tu B'Shvat, the 15th of the Hebrew month of Shvat has arrived and with it comes to festival of the birthday of trees. It is a special time in Israel. Today happens to be raining but we are not always so blessed.

Enjoy two short video clips of this special time of year.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Finding the Right Accountant

If you consider working for yourself in Israel, you will have to find a good accountant. How do you do that? What will you look for? 

Here is some info we are finding, and questions we are gathering. 

First question is what structure do you need for your business?
If you work privatley and earn under 75 000 Shekels a year, you will need to register as an Osek Patur, which requires an anual report compiled by an accountant. What does that mean? What does it cost?

It seems the fee is pretty standard. If you can prepare your books during the year and just have the report written, then the fee will be quoted as around 700  - 800 Shekels. Actually, it is 700 Shekels plus VAT but the accountants won't quote the final figure only the amount before VAT.

If you require a letter written for Bituach Leumi or the Iria or other assistance for either or both, the accountants will charge about 250 Shekels to prepare the letter or an amount per hour of working related to Bituach Leumi and the Iria. If you need a letter written to both Bituach Leumi and the Iria, then the cost will be an extra approximately 100 Shekels. Add on VAT to all figures quoted, the accountant won't do that unless you ask.

There are accountants who will quote for the report plus help with Bituach Leumi as anything from 1000 Shekels to 1800 Shekels. If you do the math, you will discover in the end, it works out the same. One accountant mentioned that any accountant who won't assist with Bituach Leumi, probably did not charge enough to cover the time required to offer this service. i.e. enough more than the amount of 700 - 800 for compiling the anual report.

Watch out for those accountants who charge 2000 Shekels or more and still don't help with Bituach Leumi. Yes they do exist and it is easy to run up bills leading to debts before you realise what happened. 

Now let us do a little math here. If you earn under 75 000 per year, that means 6000 Shekels or less per month. If an average rental around Jerusalem is close to 3000 Shekels and it is more if you are in Jerusalem, then you will quickly begin to realise you won't have much left for other expenses. Keep in mind, if your bank balance shows 2000 Shekels you have to pay full Arnona. That could be 300 - 400 or more per month.
Bituach Leumi will want 10 percent or more on what you earn per month. That means if you earn 6 000 Shekels a month, Bituach Leumi will want 605 Shekels per month if you are an Osek Patur.

That means let's say 350 for Arnona plus 605 for Bituach Leumi plus 3000 on rent plus 50 Shekels for Vaad Bayit, so far we are at 4005 Shekels already gone from your 6 000 Shekels earning. You have not yet paid your Mas Hachnasa (Tax). You have not yet paid the accountant. You still need to add on food, transport, phone, cell phone and other basic expenses. 

How do you get that 605 charge for Bituach Leumi reduced? We really don't know. We are told an accountant can help, but the accountants say it is a Bituach (Insurance) and you just have to pay. Bituach on what? Well we don't have the answer for that either. 

We have had one other area of questioning for accountants. More and more, modern work happens online and payment is via PayPal. Have you ever heard of that? Well ask most accountants and they have NO CLUE what PayPal is. They do seem to undestand there is a service fee taken off at the source, but now how does one convince MasHachnasa and Bituach Leumi and even the Iria that the amount written on a receipt is not the amount received as PayPal took a percentage for their fee at the outset, before you even see the money. That question we have not yet found a satisfactory answer to. Yes, deduct expenses but the accountants get nervous to deduct all the correct expenses lest the outcome is that you can't actually live on only 6000 Shekels a month.
What happens after that, ie if you earn more than 6 000 Shekels a month? Well you have to register for Osek Me'ushar (I think that it the correct term). That means you have to begin to charge VAT. Which means you enter the game of "if you mention the full fee, ie your fee plus the VAT, many will say it is too expensive and not pay or book your service". If you just mention your fee and ignore the VAT cost, well, the client will think your fee is acceptable and then get angry when they hear the VAT added on. The answer? We don't know, do you?

The only thing we do know is we are supposed to be honest. So how do you bring in an honest parnassa in Israel and earn enough to live? And, how do you select the correct account?

This is how far our research is going. If you have more info or insight, please let us know, we'd love to hear and judging from letters from some readers, they would love to know too.


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