Monday, 24 August 2015

Healthcare and the Toshav Chozer - Returning Oleh

Healthcare / medical issues for a returning immigrant Toshav Chozer.

Yesterday it came to my attention that someone who had returned to Israel had run out of important meds for a chronic health condition. His neighbour put out a request asking if anyone has that type of medication to spare. This bothered me for various reasons, so I decided to find out the situation for someone who had made Aliyah and returns after a period of time. In particular I was interested in their rights for healthcare.

From asking in two social networking groups I discovered the following.

- Those who are returning Olim are usually notified prior to returning of the delay in their Kupat Cholim being reactivated.
- It takes anything from 5-8 months for the Kupat Cholim to be reactivated and hence returning Olim need to be prepared, the following solutions were offered if someone has a chronic illness and will be in need of medication.

  - Bring enough meds to carry you through for about 6 - 8 months
  - Bring your prescription with you with sufficient funds to purchase meds from a pharmacy such as   Superfarm in the event that you run out of your chronic medication. 
  - Pay ₪10 000 and your Kupat Cholim will be automatically reactivated. Some of this money might be reimbursed to you at the end of the year.
 - Take out travel insurance to last for 6 months or private health insurance to cover you until your Kupat Cholim is reactivated. It is up to you to figure out whether taking private health insurance or paying the ₪10 000 is more cost effective for you. 
 - There are some Gemachim for medication that might assist but will require a prescription. Meds obtained from them will have to be returned once you obtain your own medication.
 - Remember your health is important and you are the one responsible to take care of your health, especially if you have a chronic health problem. Make sure you find out all the facts and details before moving countries so that you are prepared. 

I hope this post has been helpful for you. If you have a chronic health condition do what is necessary to make sure you have access to the medication you require. 

This post is prepared for you by 
Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist and Healing Facilitator

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Progress on the Hebrew Version of our Book


A few months ago, we brought out our first children's book, "Tuvia Finds His Freedom". With all the excitement about our bridal gowns I have almost forgotten the book. Thank goodness my husband has been hard at work behind the scenes. 

Our good friend Dana Baum has done a superb job of translating the book from English into Hebrew. Then came a challenge as to how to add the vowels or Nikud. We looked into many options and purchased a program only to find it did not work quite as advertised. After lots of hard work, many many hours of laboriously adding in the vowels, it is complete.

After adding all the vowels, next came formatting the manuscript to look just like the English one. The cover has been quite a challenge. Since the cover design was done using a template on CreateSpace, we spent time figuring out if it could be reversed at all. Our only solution was to design a new cover which my husband has done using Photoshop.

We are not yet sure if the book will print in the direction we intend it to as required for a Hebrew book. We are waiting for the CreateSpace team to review the manuscript and cover. If it passes their checks we move on to ordering our proof copy.

WOW!! We are much, much closer to having both an English and Hebrew version of the same book. This means that for those of you who would like to help your children improve Hebrew or maintain their English or ensure the level of both languages is on a par, you will have a fun way to do so. Stay tuned for how to purchase a copy of our English "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" AND a copy of the Hebrew "טוביה יוצה לחפשי"

Thank you to Dana Baum and to my husband, Rabbi Eliyahu Shear for an outstanding job in turning this book into a Hebrew equivalent of the English book. I am so looking forward to seeing it in print, hope you will enjoy too.

Shoshanah Shear
Co-Author of Tuvia Finds His Freedom

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Integrating into Life in Israel

I have probably mentioned this in another blog post, but one of the best things I have done to help in feeling a part of the community where I live, is to start a Gemach. It does not matter what Gemach you begin, but giving to others and taking the time to interact with Hebrew speakers is a wonderful way to get to know the system, your neighbours, to improve your Hebrew and much, much more. 

Our latest two Kallot, both orphaned from their mother, were born in Israel to Israeli parents. Needless to say, in order to interact with them we have to speak in Hebrew. As I SMS'd the step-mother of one, in Hebrew, and prepared an email to the other, in Hebrew, I had to stop myself.

I have been Israel for over 12 years and I came here knowing the Alef Beit and a few simple phrases to say or ask in Hebrew. More than that, I was stuck. I could not really read and could not write at all. But I forced myself to speak whenever the situation arose and to keep working on reading, writing, typing, speaking. 

I am not yet completely fluent, but every day I notice something more that I have accomplished. Yes, I do still need to check my spelling and then have my husband proof read what I have typed or written. I do still make mistakes when speaking but I am not afraid to ask a Hebrew speaker to describe a word so that I can understand or how to say x and to give a description of the word or tense I need. 

For those looking for a way to integrate into life in Israel, the best thing I can suggest is to help others. Volunteer, start a Gemach, go to shiurim or events and make an effort to learn the language. By giving to others you will benefit in ways you never expected possible.

Enjoy the blessing of being in Eretz Yisrael. It is the most special place to be.

Have a very blessed day

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Low Cost Vision Testing Available in Israel

           This image has been provided by Prof. Ariela Gordon-Shaag and
is copyrighted to the Department of Optometry.

We recently had the opportunity to benefit from the thorough eye / vision examinations offered by the Department of Optometry at the Hadassah Academic College in Jerusalem. We were so impressed with our experience that we decided to find out a little more information and to share our findings in a blog post for our readers and fellow or potential Olim.

The Department of Optometry has several services that are offered to the community as a service as part of the clinical training that their students undergo. The Head of Department is Professor Ariela Gordon-Shaag who oversees this special program. Students are supervised by the best instructors available in Israel.

The services available to the community are part of an NGO and as such, costs are very low and prices for spectacles or contact lenses are at almost cost price.

The first step is a general intake which is a very thorough examination including obtaining a history and testing both vision and the ability of the persons eyes to work effectively. After this intake, clients are referred to any of the following:

Low Vision Clinic

Vision Therapy

Contact Lenses

Optical Store

Those who are aware they require vision therapy can bring a letter of referral and book an appointment.

Costs involved include:

30 for the family per year for testing
100 for the series of 8-10 sessions of Vision Therapy, per person requiring the vision therapy.
Contact Lenses and Glasses at virtually cost price

There are currently 200 students in the Optometry program. Hadassah Academic College recently added a special program for Observant Jewish women which has increased their numbers.

These services are currently offered in the following languages:

Hebrew, English, French, Russian and Arabic. Please note: Requests for languages  other than Hebrew need to be made at the time of making the appointment.

Should you be in need of a vision test, spectacles, contact lenses, vision therapy or low vision clinic, I highly recommend making an appointment with the Department of  Optometry. They are easily located in Down - Town Jerusalem an easy bus ride via the number 1 bus from Tachena Mercazit, Geulah or the Old City, or the light rail, get off at Jaffa Centre.

To make an appointment simply call the secretary, Gali - 02-6291968. Do make sure to block out 1-2 hours for your evaluation, as the test is very thorough. Your eyes and vision are very important for healthy, daily functioning. If money is an issue, make an appointment with the Department of Optometry and receive the very best of care. Thanks to the kindness of the Hadassah Academic College, cost is no longer an issue when caring for your eyes and the functioning of your eyes.

This post is prepared by
Occupational Therapist
Please Note: This blog post has been proof read and approved by the Head of Department. 


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