Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Continuing to Search for Answers


Yesterday I posed a question and am gathering responses. You can see the issue in this post: Posing a problem and Searching for Solutions.

Here is the first response to come in:
Someone on my FB page says: "Get in touch with a lawyer. They have no right to do this" 

My answer: Thank you for pointing that out. That is exactly what the bank said and why the bank will not provide a loan. However, it is also why I was not able to work in Misrad HaChinuch, the Ministry of Education as I had no solution to this 4 month no pay stipulation for new Olim and had no-one to assist me. 

Do you have a solution to the problem? 

BTW, if you can tell me that this is no longer happening I will be delighted to hear and to share the happy news.

In the meantime, I would like to know why the OT supervisors do not see the problem here. Why are the principles of the profession not being advocated for? What about ensuring that OTs are able to live the kind of quality lives we assist our clients to. OT is about promoting health and well being not creating causes for OTs to end up in a state of poverty, which refusing to pay can create.

This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Posing a Problem, Searching for Solutions



In this post I will be sharing a problem, one that other Olim (immigrants) are bound to come up against too and I invite all readers to please post ideas for solutions to this problem. If anyone can share why this is happening and how we can change it that would be great too.

When I made Aliyah, yes, quite a few years ago now, one option for work was within the Ministry of Education as a School based Occupational Therapist. The OT supervisors and all that I met who knew of these positions all warned me that I would have to be prepared to wait 4 months before I start earning my salary. So here are my issues and questions.

  1. Why is there any delay to receiving ones salary? We live in a modern age where computers make organizing data fast and efficient, so why 4 months?
  2. What is an OT supposed to live on while working full time and waiting to earn anything? None of the OT supervisors had any suggestions for this. Oh, sorry, one did! She stated you live off your savings. I explained that I had not brought savings. My life situation did not permit it. She had no solution, she said you just have to wait 4 months to start getting your salary. She did add you might get some money back, but what does that help if you have nothing for 4 months.
  3. Working privately on the side might be one idea but that only works in a job situation where your private time is respected as being yours and you can then schedule clients without any pressure or difficulties. However, when the place of work demands that you be available for any meeting that they might spring at a moments notice and/or for all paperwork to be done at home after hours, unpaid of course, then how do you find time for those private clients?
  4. Taking a bank loan is not an option. I have not found a bank to be prepared to advance any funds while you wait to be paid.
  5. This leaves me with no ideas and I don't like situations that have no solution. 
Can anyone share ideas of how a new Olah who is an occupational therapist should best handle such a situation. If there are other professions affected in this way, please share too. What can we do to improve the job situation here in Israel?


This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"

Sunday, 25 December 2016

A Successful YardSale at AACI


We had a lot of fun at the AACI Yardsale on Friday. With the short days here, I got well organized and prepared everything for Shabbat ahead of time. I'm very impressed that I did and we were so grateful too as we returned home tired and hungry. But let's get back to the sale.

The images taken here were while we were still setting up. Many of the items are the last items of our attempt at a "Thrift Store /Op Shop", which for now, we are stopping and putting on hold. We are unsure if we will re-start it, that depends on how we progress and the potential for the appropriate space.


Here are some more items. It was not easy to capture the full table in one pic, hence 3 pics. Actually, as we unpacked we realized that we needed more space. Being right next to the stage, we decided to spill over.


In the last image you can see the start of our putting the books onto the stage. It worked really nicely. I should have taken another pic as we later added more items here behind.

I am very happy to say that we covered all of our expenses and even made some profit. It makes the sale worthwhile when there is profit. We made a few new contacts too, which is always appreciated.

We do have some items left over, so if you are in the Jerusalem area, do be in touch to come and purchase. By supporting our sales you help us to continue to develop our Torah healing centre. For those not in Israel, stay tuned for our new website which will feature our handmade / creative items available for sale.

Happy Chanukah to everyone. Stay dry and warm and enjoy this beautiful Chag.


Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Gaining Inspiration from Maharat HaMachpela

If you would like a little inspiration about being a Jew, connecting to our Avot and Immaot or living in Israel, this video should help. I do hope you enjoy it and post a comment to let us know what you loved about it.


Thursday, 15 December 2016

Making Aliyah with your Pet


A few years ago, we put up a guest post on Dogs and the Law in Israel. I am happy to see that we receive some comments to this post. Several of them ask questions related to making Aliyah with a dog. Since I do not have a dog and did not make Aliyah with a dog, I have not been sure what to answer. So, I did a little research and have some information to share. Actually, in this post you will find information related to making Aliyah with a pet, not only a dog.

Israel does acknowledge that for pet lovers, one's pet is regarded as part of the family and not all families are willing to leave their beloved pet behind when making Aliyah. Hence some, but not all pets are permitted to come to Israel. One of the readers asked, "who decides what kinds of dogs might be dangerous?"

I did not know the answer to that so I looked into the matter a little. The answer is that the laws regarding which animals are permitted to be brought into Israel and which would be safe or dangerous is decided by:
  • The Ministry of Agriculture known in Israel at Misrad Hachaklaut
  • The Nature Reserves Authority known as Reshut HaTeva V'HaGanim
  • ElAl
Each of the 3 determines which animals can fly to Israel and some other important information.

There is actually a list of animals that are regarded as pets and permitted to bring and which are illegal. This list I found on the Nefesh b'Nefesh website. You can take a look to find other information about Aliyah, Aliyah with pets and more. 

Animals that are forbidden to bring include those without appropriate documentation and those under 4 months old.

If your pet is in good health and fits into one of the following categories, you can apply to bring your pet with you. Permitted pets include: cats, household birds, rabbits, rodents and most dogs.

To answer the question of the reader as to which dogs are regarded as dangerous and therefore forbidden to bring, here is the list:
  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier (Amstaff)
  • Bull Terier
  • Fila Brazileiro, Staffordshire Bull Terrier (English Staff)
  •  Tosa Inu
  • Rottweiler
  • Argentinian Dogo
  • A cross with any of the above
The following animals are regarded as wildlife and therefore are not permitted: Reptiles, Amphibians, rare and exotic birds. Monkeys are illegal. The Nefesh b'Nefesh website states that monkeys do not generally live with humans. I find this interesting as I am aware of a study that was carried out in Israel to explore training monkeys as service animals e.g for those in a wheelchair. I am not sure what the outcome of the study was, but that is a side bit of information and does not alter the law.

If you are bringing your cat, I discovered that the process involves taking your cat to have certain shots including the rabies shot.  Having your cat evaluated to make sure s/he is in good health. A certificate / letter is required to verify this. One month after the rabies shot, you need to take the cat back to the vet to check the titer which shows if the rabies shot was effective (from what I understand.) The cat will require a chip for Israel.

If you are making Aliyah with a dog and have made sure that the type of dog you have is permitted to come to Israel then the procedure is to take your dog for the rabies vaccine. As for the cat, after a month the titer must be evaluated. You will require a health certificate which is valid for 10 days. This certificate must be faxed to the Ministry of Agriculture in advance of your coming to Israel.  If the certificate expires prior to your making Aliyah, you need to have it renewed. The dog will also require a chip for Israel which can be obtained in Israel.

An Olah from Holland shared that from Holland the process is: Do some paperwork with your vet, go to the Food and Warren Authority to get this signed. It is a process that costs but is easy to do. 

For any other questions, check with your vet and with your Shaliach or visit the website for the Ministry of Agriculture, http://www.ppis.moag.gov.il/agri/English


This Post was written by:
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Winter 2016


Today we can certainly feel that winter has arrived. Yes we had a little rain twice (I think) since Sukkot, but today one can really feel the cold. The skies are grey, the wind is great and we even had a little hail. 

The Kineret is in URGENT need of rain, so this is really very good news. 

For many, grey skies means the start of SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Are you affected by the seasons? Have you found anything to help you? Do make sure to exercise and to a eat warm, healthy diet. Make sure to drink sufficient fluids. Remember, a little lemon juice in hot water is a very refreshing drink that is healthy too. 

In Israel we are usually lucky in that the days of grey skies are usually interrupted by lovely blue sunny days. So it usually is not as long or as much of a problem as one would find in the UK for example. 

Stay warm, keep dry and remember, if you are in Jerusalem and other windy areas, your umbrella is most likely to be turned upside down to rather wear a good, waterproof raincoat. 

Have a wonderful winter and keep up those prayers for a good rainfall this winter. Our country needs it.


Thursday, 8 December 2016

Progress After the Fires





Almost a week ago, I noticed a discussion about the needs of those who were affected by the fires in Israel. I began to network to find out just exactly what the needs are. One question asked was what organisations are involved and assisting since some outside of Israel prefer to give to a recognised organisation only.


Surprisingly it has been difficult to find out specifics. I have offered a number of people to write a guest post to describe / outline the need but thus far nothing has come through. I have heard of about 4 families who lost their house, completely. However, to be told my friend's house burnt down. they have x number of children of y ages, does not explain their needs. It does not say my friend lost her house. They need x number of beds suitable for adults or children or whatever kind of beds are needed. Or we already have beds but are in need of linen. The more details are known, the more effective help can be.

Someone sent me an article that told of a Holocaust survivor who had lost her house. The story is written up on Arutz Sheva.  It is a little unnerving to hear her say, even losing her house is not nearly as much as what she went through in the Shoar. She has a powerful message to give over at the end, she says the items lost are just things, what is important is to keep strong relationships.

I heard of a number of private crowd fundraisers being set up. They are not by recognised organisations, they seem to be either Jews needing to re-build their homes or other caring Jews trying to raise the money to help in some way. I heard of an appeal being made by JNF, exactly what they will be doing with the funds collected I am not 100% sure of, I just heard of the collection taking place.

I heard of an appeal that had been made for second hand clothes and shoes that received so much they had to stop donations coming in. It was amazing also to hear of Neve Tzuf that had received enough items to begin the homes of 20 families once more, now all they need is monetary donations to re-build the actual homes.

One fact that is clear is that the economy has been hit quite severely. For now, I leave the invitation that if anyone has specific details of what needs have not yet been met, please send in a guest post or make a comment on the end of this blog. In the meantime, I am busily setting up another website. This one will be to sell all kinds of handmade items. These items will be exclusive, unique items with care given to quality service. This is one of several channels we are developing to earn what we need to build our Torah centre. Stay tuned for news as it happens and please support our sales and services. Be a part of building an exciting Torah centre, at the end of the day, increasing in Torah and acts of kindness is the most important activity to be involved in so as to re-build Israel.

This post was written by:
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"

Friday, 2 December 2016

Fact Finding After the Fires





We are doing a little fact finding here, please help as much as you can.
 

Last week I posted about the real need in Israel for help on many levels. My article: Israel Needs You spoke about the need for prayers, Teshuvah, Tzeddakah to appeal to Hashem for rain and end the fires. Thank G-d a few days later the fires were completely put out and yesterday the rains began. But the needs in Israel continue.

75 000 Residents in Haifa were evacuated from their homes. But Haifa was not the only city affected. The entire town of Beit Meir was evacuated. 15 Homes in Neve Tzuf were destroyed. The list continues. 

Yesterday, I noticed a discussion or debate. Among the concerns was whether second hand clothing would assist and what a country with a weak currency could possibly do to help. I put something out on my FB group and a few other groups asking if anyone know real facts. We'd like to hear actual facts. If you know anyone in Israel who was affected by the fire, please email to let me know what is actually needed. If you know of any organizations who are legitimately helping, please be in touch. We are putting together a list to send to those debating what the need is. Let's put the questions to good and re-build Eretz Yisrael even better than it was before the fire.

We look forward to hearing from you

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Preparing for a Sale - the Stress Free Way


I love being creative in all kinds of ways. It's been a tough week here in Israel and what better way to de-stress and gather fresh ideas than spending an hour creating. My Mom and I had a wonderful time preparing greeting cards for our next sale. You can see just a few in the image above.

We now have:
- 34 greeting cards of various different shapes and sizes with more still to come. Prices for these range from ₪10 - ₪20.
- We have a set of stunning fridge magnets with scenes of Holy Sites in Israel and suitable verses going for ₪10 each or ₪40 for the set.
- We have a range of art: - hand painted cushion covers, hand painted T-shirts (only a few in stock), drawings in pen and ink, spiritual drawings. Prices for these art / craft items are ₪100 - ₪200
- Still in the area of art we have a number of original paintings selling from ₪500 - ₪10 000 depending on the size and complexity.
- 4 albums for kids photo's selling for ₪20 each
- Books, we have both second hand and new, original as follows: 
Second hand books selling from ₪10 - 40
In the range of new books we are very excited to have:
- "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" by Eliyahu and Shoshanah Shear selling for ₪45. We have both English and Hebrew copies.
- "Why Unicorns Eat Lavender" by Rosemary Kahn selling for ₪40
- "Relationships" by R.A. Kahn selling for ₪50

We are waiting for our copies of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story" by Shoshanah Shear. I really look forward to selling this one.  

We will probably have more items on sale, this is the start. So do be in touch to come and purchase, or to place a custom order for a gift or gift voucher. Remember, a percentage of the proceeds goes to assist in building our Torah-Healing centre. Very, very exciting goal. Come and be a part of making wonderful things happen.

Sales are currently by appointment, do be in touch to schedule your appointment, you will be so glad you did!

We look forward to hearing from you.

Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"



Friday, 25 November 2016

Israel Needs You

The video below was produced a year or more ago. The words are very appropriate to what we are currently facing.



It is impossible to put into words what I am feeling right now. Not for the first time I say, there are no words! How can one express the feelings that stir knowing that thousands and thousands of Jews are homeless. We go about our activities, preparing for the Holy Shabbat knowing there are many without homes. Not due to a natural disaster but due to fires set alight by people. 

This reminds me of the very, very harsh reality I saw as a student working in the burns unit. It reminds me of the horrors I saw working in physical rehabilitation. Over the past 12 years, there has been an increase in natural disasters, globally and so, a new role has developed for occupational therapists in the area of disaster relief. You can find out more about this one of the chapters of my new book, "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story". However, much of what is discussed is for natural disasters, being homeless due to a fire that was set alight intentionally is a different dimension and requires totally different intervention.

For any Jew who reads this, please take on a Mitzvah, learn some Torah, do Tehillim, learn Hallachah to know how to live in this world as Hashem wants us to. The land of Israel needs your Torah, Tefillah and Maasim Tovim or Tzeddakah. For anyone who wishes to learn Torah or to set up a learning schedule, we invite you to sign up to learn with Rabbi Eliyahu Shear. We have learning online and in person. Be in touch to find out what other ways you can assist.

As we prepare for Shabbat of Parshat Chaya Sarah, remember our Patriarch and Matriarchs. Remember the promise made to Avraham our Father. Remember a little closer to today, the Shabbat Project and increase your observance of Shabbat, even though there will not be anyone to organize a large event. Make sure you light Shabbat candles on time and have your home ready to begin Shabbat. If you are not sure of how to keep the laws of Shabbat, you can learn these laws with Rabbi Shear. 

Stay focused on what we need to do as a Jewish nation. When you pray, remember to pray for rain, Israel needs rain URGENTLY.

Shabbat Shalom

Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Occupational Therapy, Private Practitioners Group Begins


We have exciting news! In a recent post, I invited OTs working in Israel to join a network group for OTs interested in working privately or already doing so. OT stands for Occupational Therapy. I have tried for a few years now to get a group together, I am happy to say we had our first meeting this morning. Our first session was spent getting to know each other and discussing our needs and goals for the group. We shared some experiences of becoming licensed as an OT in Israel and some areas of interest in terms of OT practice.

I am very excited that our first meeting has happened. The next meeting is scheduled for 21 December at 9h30. The meeting lasts an hour and takes place virtually. Currently we are using Skype with webcam. If we reach more than 9-10 members we can explore other online conference options.

If you are an occupational therapist working in Israel and are interested in joining our group, please do send me an email. We'd love to have more OTs join us.

I'm looking forward to the next meeting. Hope you will too and link in too.

Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"



Sunday, 20 November 2016

Enjoying the Beauty of Autumn

Autumn is most definitely here. We feel the cool evenings and the cold mornings. Or is it the other way around? Many of the trees in the area are either ever green or the leaves change colour and drop off almost too quickly for the tree to really be noticed as changing colour. However, there are a few trees that are just glorious to look at.

I love the light streaming through onto our autumn trees in the image above.

This one reminds me so much of a painting I did on silk some years ago of falling autumn leaves. The painting is available for sale if anyone is interested.


The three trees looked so beautiful just a few days ago. This morning when we walked past, the leaves were almost completely gone and the trees? Well just a few twigs really.

It is amazing how the seasons change and so important to take some time out from your busy day to enjoy the beauty of nature. It helps to keep us focused on what life in this land is all about.

Have a wonderful week


Friday, 18 November 2016

Calling Occupational Therapists in Israel






Are you an occupational therapist working in Israel? Are you interested in working privately? Our Private Practitioners Group is finally starting. Our first meeting will be on Wednesday, 23 November 2016 at 9h30 sharp. The meeting will take place virtually so you will need to have Skype with webcam.


We aim to have a meeting once a month, on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 9h30. The meeting will be 45 minutes with potential to be an hour if we prefer.

In this meeting we will be getting to know one another and sharing our goals for being successful working privately in Israel. 

If you are interested in joining the group, please be in touch via my website. You can also sign up for the newsletter, when signing up please indicate that you wish to join the newsletter for OTs working privately in Israel.

Looking forward to hearing from you

 


Thursday, 17 November 2016

Finding a Solution to a Frustrating Problem


Yesterday I had an experience that reminded me why I wrote my book that has just come out. I thought I was being so productive in going into a library that specializes in large print and audio books for the visually impaired. I mentioned that I had just brought out a book to promote my profession of occupational therapy and asked if I were to convert the book to audio or bring out the book with large print if they would be interested in a copy. The question turned into at least 5 min and probably more like 10 minutes of questions being asked about what the book was about and what I do. I was asked if I had even worked in the profession. My answer, "yes, the largest section of my book draws on my work experience to illustrate the wonderful profession of OT."

"Why did I include so much of my work history?"
My answer: "Well one reason was to prove that I most certainly have worked in OT and yes, even here in Israel."

"Really, well then why do you need a book? Why aren't you just working in the profession?" they asked.

That's an interesting way to receive an author. To answer her question, " in order to work with our clients, they need to know what we offer and why they might need OT intervention. Writing a book that is now in print offers the opportunity for potential clients to understand what OT is and this empowers them to request a referral in the event that their doctor has not referred when necessary."

The conversation continued a bit, going off track and becoming frustrating but the last question blew me away. One of the librarians asked: "Did you study anything dear?"

Oh dear! Even with showing the cover of my book and letting them know I have written a book to promote my profession and that I have 25 years working experience, the whole conversation came down to did I study anything. I realized that the time given and questions answered had not made much of a difference. The one major lesson I learned was that yes, there is need for the general public to gain understanding, appreciation and recognition. I also learned how invaluable the teaching from OT is that a person can not be healthy in the absence of meaningful occupational therapy. 

It never ceases to amaze me how many encounters I have in Israel where I am told to do something other than what I do. As the image above shows, "Do what you love."

I wrote a book about occupational therapy because I love the profession and I want others to find out why that is."


The book is available online on:

CreateSpace eStore: https://www.createspace.com/6406489

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Healing-Your-Life-Through-Activity/dp/1535161604
                      
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Healing-Your-Life-Through-Activity/dp/1535161604
                                          
and will be available on other online stores shortly! Contact me for orders or further information.


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Introducing Our Super Moon

Over the past few days there has been talk of a super moon that would be visible the night before last. Yes, yes, I really should have posted this yesterday, but I was busy with my new book, so better late than never, right?

Well, to get back to this moon that was supposed to be super. I do not understand what the fuss was about. In the image above, the street light was more impressive than the moon. What did intrigue me though was the mini moon evident above and to the right of the moon / star.


In this next image, the mini moon seems to have shifted and is now almost right above the so called super moon. I'd love to know more about this mini moon.

As for the super moon. Well I have seen the moon in the night sky that looked much larger than this one did. In any event, here are my two efforts at photographing what was visible. 

Did you take a look at the moon? Was it large? Was it any different? What made it so super?

Have a very blessed day


Wednesday, 9 November 2016

A Visit to our Bridal Gown Gemach by an IDF Soldier


Yesterday we received a phone call from someone interested in our bridal gowns. After a few minutes of our talking in English, she asked if I speak Hebrew, answering yes the only Hebrew I heard was "Hevanti"  - I understand. With her clear American accent and sweet voice, I presumed she must be an Olah Chadashah. The conversation continued ending with our arranging a time for her to come to view the bridal gowns.

To my surprise when I opened the door, the sweet voice was of a young female Israeli in the IDF. Could still be an Olah I suppose. I took an interest in the fact that she is in the army only to learn that the service she has been assigned to is to teach Hebrew. Now that had me really interested! I did not know that our soldiers teach Hebrew. I wanted to find out more but we had a goal here and off we went to view the bridal gowns.

I had a great time with our IDF soldier who teaches Hebrew. To my amusement we spoke only in English and it was special to have another Kallah take interest in the bridal gowns that we have available. As she was leaving I discovered that her parents made Aliyah, her father is American hence her strong American accent, but she was very proud to state that she was born and raised in Israel.

The experience left quite an impression. Firstly, it was good to see that some who are born in Israel are able to speak a fluent English just from speaking English in the home. Secondly, I learned something new about the IDF. Perhaps the ulpan is for those who come into the army without enough Hebrew. Thirdly, it was nice to hear that our Bridal Gown Gemach was once gain top of the list for viewing bridal gowns. Lastly, it was an honour to have one of our soldiers in our Bridal Gown Gemach. It felt really good to be able to give back to someone who spends her time giving to our country.


Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Appreciating Jerusalem, Rain and All!

As the rain begins to fall with the changing seasons from summer to autumn, I look out at the view and the beauty of Jerusalem. It does not matter what the weather, Jerusalem is such a magical and special place.Take a look at the video below for some ideas of just how special Jerusalem is




Have you visited Jerusalem? Did you gain anything from watching the video?

Let us know your thoughts and impressions in the comments below.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Upgrading our Websites


We have been working really hard behind the scenes and totally altered our websites. We hope you will enjoy the new, revised / upgraded websites. Sadly we have had to take down many images that we had up as well as our slideshows due to complexity of providing subtitles and details to all images.

Please visit our websites for Chessed Ve'Emet and for BeAHappyMom and send us a message via the contact page with your thoughts / impressions. We'd like to hear what you like about the websites, any questions you might have. Most importantly do you find them easy to navigate and to understand. Also, we'd like to make sure that the contact page is working, so please do us a favour and send a message via the contact page on either website or both.

Thank you for your patience and for your help. Now we can begin to move along to other tasks and projects. Upgrading our websites took up most of our time for a month or more.

Shoshanah Shear

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Searching for Answers


Recently I met someone who has just completed her Shiur Leumi or National Service in place of going into the Army / IDF. I asked her in what kind of facility she did her National Service, to which she responded to a special type of boarding school for children who have been taken away from their families due to abuse, neglect or other major problems in the home. She asked if I knew of such places. I said that I had as I am an occupational therapist (OT). I mentioned that as a student I had a clinical placement in a place of safety and said it sounded very much like the kind of place she was describing. I then asked her if she knew what OT is and whether any of the students had received OT. The response was very sad for me to hear.

This young lady said she had an idea what OT is. She said that some of the children received either art therapy, music therapy or pet therapy but those who received therapy were permitted one type only. None of them received OT due to budget restraints. I asked if the art therapy, music therapy and pet therapy helped. She responded that she did see a benefit but that it was not enough and not to all the children were able to go for therapy due to limitations of funding. 

I asked what she thought the best situation would be and how it compared to what they currently received. Sadly, she shared that she truly felt that most of the children if not all could benefit from OT intervention. She said that what she sees happening is that instead of providing necessary therapeutic intervention the children are heavily medicated in order to control their behaviour. This makes me realize once again the need for the book that I am preparing to launch. However, aside from educating on the benefits of occupational therapy I wonder what else can help this kind of situation. Is the issue lack of awareness of what OT can offer or is it purely a funding issue. If funding is the problem, will educating philanthropists or government organizations help?

What are your thoughts? What can be done to enable those who could benefit from necessary therapeutic intervention to be able to receive these services instead of resorting to medication with all the unhealthy side-effects that goes with most if not all meds? Of course, I am not talking of those who require medication as well as therapeutic intervention, I am talking of the problem or using medication instead of offering services that could alleviate the problems that the children are facing.

If you have a constructive thought to share please comment below. If you are willing to share a post about my book that is about to come out to help to spread the word and promote occupational therapy, please do be in touch.

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Gaining Inspiration from Colmobil


It is so exciting working on developing a centre. I never know what each day will bring, who I will meet, who I will interact with and what I will learn about the development of Israel as the country that it is today. Every day therefore brings new adventures and new surprises.

I am working on a specific project and through a phone call was recommended to take a look at the website of Colmobil to find some information that I need. I have just read the story of Colmobil and all I can say is WOW! What an inspiring company. What a love for Israel and our people. I could write a summary here and for those interested, I have not yet looked up the information I was researching. But before I do so, please go and take a look at the story of Colmobil. You will learn something about the Yom Kippur war and details of action that took place behind the scenes. If you are looking for inspiration and a reminder of dedication to Israel and the Jewish people, this story will surely inspire you.

Enjoy your reading and let us know in the comments below what inspiration you gained from reading the story.

Shoshanah Shear

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Our Progress in Becoming Web Accessible.


Next step in the process to become web accessible.

In the last post we shared about the law that is about to come into effect regarding web accessibility in Israel. The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is aimed at enabling those who have any of the following disabilities to be able to interact or use the web too. These disabilities include: visual, auditory, physical, speech cognitive, neurological and also the elderly or aging. 

Our two websites have been created on Weebly mostly because it is a free platform. We have, for the most part, been happy with Weebly and wondered why people would consistently recommend that we move to WordPress.

With each step in developing our websites, we kept finding that most of what we need can be carried out on Weebly. So we have stayed.

Now, however, in reading up on the various requirements to an accessible website, we are coming up against some difficulties.We have turned a few times to weebly for support but they are unable to help us. Hence, it looks like the time has finally come for us to make the move to WordPress. In order to complete this we are busily learning about how to build a WordPress website and also all the details involved in Web Accessibility.

A few details learned so far include the need to describe photographs / images using Alt Text; providing a transcription of podcasts (perhaps it is good that we have not begun doing pod casts) and making sure that your content is easy to read and to navigate. There really is a huge amount to read, to learn, to master and not a whole lot of time to do so. 

Do you have a website? Are you up to date on the Web Accessibility Guidelines? Have you begun to improve your website? If not, you can head on over to the Web Accessibility Initiative website. They have a wealth of information to work through. 

Enjoy your progress in ensuring that your website is web accessible.

Have a blessed day

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Are You Up To Date on Web Accessibility?


Did you know that there is a move to make sure that the disabled population can access websites? It is not enough for them to be able to enter buildings and services that they might require physically. In today's time, when so much information is on the internet, there is a Web Accessibility Initiative WAI to make sure that websites are also accessible. A part of this means that your website is transferable to different devices. This can be PC or laptop or smart phone or tablet. However, the device used to access your website is not the only factor that is important. The type of content you write, how easy it is to understand and various details related to the layout, use of colour and even the template all have a part to play in making sure that your website is accessible to disabled or special needs persons. 

What does this mean? Someone with a visual deficit might have difficulty with identifying colours effectively or in reading print in one colour on the background of another. Colour combination is very important and can make the difference between being able to read and being unable to. Colour is not the only problem, for those who are blind, altering the size of the font or the colour combination will not make any difference. For the blind population special software is required that can turn the written word into audio. For another person, vision might be fine but s/he lacks mobility of his or her arms to be able to use a computer in a normal manner. For someone with motor deficit the method used to use a computer or other device, is also different. This can require use of switches or the mouse in an altered manner through assistive technology. As a result, those of us who have a website need to make sure that it is easy to navigate a website using arrow keys with ease.

There are a number of countries that are working towards web accessibility. The USA is one of them and closer to home, Israel also has some laws in place. In Israel, the laws came into being in 2013 and web owners have been given until October 2016. There are certain leniencies for small business owners. I read an article that stated that small businesses can apply for exemption but in the same breath did not recommend doing so as it can draw attention to your website. To me that was rather confusing. If anyone has an answer on that point, I'd love to hear it. 

On our side, our website is currently built on weebly. I sent a question to weebly's support who was not able to assist with web accessibility. They did suggest doing a google search for any widget that can assist. So far I have not found one. If anyone reading this post knows of a suitable widget, please can you share in the comments below. Otherwise, it might be time to move on from weebly to another platform. We have researching options. So if any readers know of a website building platform that is cost effective and sensitive to website accessibility, please share the information. 

In the meantime, I am busy wading through the Web Accessibility Guidelines. There is a fortune to learn and then to put into practice. Don't be left behind. If you have a website, start now to learn what is required to make sure that your website is accessible.

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist

Monday, 22 August 2016

Beautifying Jerusalem

 
I was going for a walk in a beautiful park in Jerusalem and noticed over time some of the park benches gradually being beautifies. It's quite a bit of work. Someone has been out and about doing some tapestry type work on the metal park bench. Every one is different and really a lot of fun. 
They look so very happy and lovely to see!

 A few days later, we were out doing errands and took a second look at the sidewalk. There are usually these black metal items that look rather like a row of pawns from a chess set. This row is not the usual black, they have been dressed up. Each with a different hat or head gear.

 Someone has a sense of humour and some time on their hands. 
Either way, it's rather fun to look at and certainly brightens one's day.

 Have you noticed any form of beautifying Yerushalayim in your area? Do let us know or share a pic.


These photographs have been taken by Shoshanah Shear of Shear Success Photographers

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Why I Want to Live in Israel - Guest Post


Those who already live in Israel, know well the Brachah (blessing) of being able to be here. There's just something about it. Well of course... this is the Land that was promised to our forefathers Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov. It entailed an entire story of Bnei Yisrael (the Children of Israel) having to be taken down to Egypt, then redeemed by Moshe and finally brought through the Wilderness over a 40 year journey until they were taken into the Land itself by Yehoshua the son of Nun. It's where every Jew should be. That was the plan! After hundreds of years of living in the Land, having gone through two Temples lasting 410 and 420 years, we were exiled - and so the history of the Jewish people continued in the diaspora. Our focus must be on getting back into the Land again! It's special - because such has the Creator made it so - and wanted us to be a part of it.

For some, the desire to live here remains a dream. They may lack the financial resources to make it a reality or other reasons may apply. Financial considerations should not have to take away from the opportunity to live here. The world is filled with wealth. Not all organisations who offer assistance are prepared to back those who lack the means, however, to be able to make their wish of living here a reality.

"Welcoming Olim" has shared posts on how to make a success of some of the practical details of living in Israel. In addition, our team are also here for you for the practical day to day activities when you come here. If it's setting up your bank account, your telephone or Internet services, your Bitauch Leumi (national insurance) or Kupat Cholim (medical aid) or any of the other daunting tasks - were happy to assist you practically in getting through these giant hurdles - to begin to be settled here! It's a private service and it's not associated with any of the main organisations. We just believe that we have to do whatever we can to make your wish a reality.

Recently, Benjamin contacted us sharing with us his own dream of coming to live here. His story in his own words is below and we ask you to listen with care and see if you have any ideas of how to help. He has a lot to offer, but it's not always easy to just arrive and get work - if you don't already have something planned from before you arrive. It's also not easy once you're getting on in age - and practically, anything above 30 is already considered a stumbling block if you don't have something planned or someone you know to help make it happen for you.

Benjamin wants to make a success, come to Israel, contribute and live in the Holy Land. He's looking for anyone can help him to obtain work or assist in any financial capacity to allow him the ability to arrive and settle in while looking for work.

If you can help Benjamin or know anybody who can assist, please be in touch with us directly at chessedveemet@gmail.com and we will forward your email on to Benjamin. In short, Benjamin is involved in teaching and writing. He'd like to contribute here in any way he can - so whatever other alternatives may be available will also do just fine!

~ Eliyahu
Co-Director Chessed Ve'Emet

Here's what Benjamin has to say about living in Israel:

Living in Israel will enable me to express myself fully as a Jew. Finding work while also keeping shabbos will be easier. I would work very hard to contribute to the Israeli economy and society. Living in Israel would give me pleasure knowing that I am fulfilling a mitzvah. 

I would like to contribute my knowledge of health to help people overcome maladies. I was a teacher. I love to teach English as a second language.
  
My integration into Israeli society would be smooth since I am a happy-go-lucky person. 

I would be very proud to be a citizen of the Jewish state. I would be eager and optimistic to wake up every day there. My integration into Israeli society would be smooth because I adapt well to different surroundings.

Rabbi Riskin of Efrat said on YouTube, I forgot it was X-mas. No one was in the office when I called the U.S. Isn't that great? Where else can you wake up in the morning and on the opening broadcast of the day hear Shema Yisroel? 

All of me yearns to live, work and breath the air of Israel. I am a hard worker. I feel I can be an asset to Israel simply by working hard and giving my all to better myself and the state because I learned enough Torah to realize it is my home. 

Living in Israel will be a challenge which I am ready for. I don't expect Israel to be a picnic, but Hashem isn't always easy. When I hear Hatikvah, every word resonates with my fiber. I attended Hebrew school as a child in Jersey Cty, N.J. I learned Torah and only spoke Hebrew for six and a half hours a week. I had a great teacher who was a holocaust survivor. I had only one classmate. Those years implanted in me a great appreciation for Israel. I know enough Torah and history along with experience in life to know Israel is where I belong. 
  
Israeli culture is different than American culture. That's great! I tend to be eclectic in my desire for socialization. I get along with people from all walks of life. The U.S.A. is a great country for opportunity and freedom; but Israel is where I feel energized and I will contribute energy to support the state.

~ Benjamin

Monday, 18 July 2016

Sharing, Planning and Listening to Our Readers


We have been so busy with our move, unpacking, trying to get sorted, dealing with the consequences of a dreadful move, getting to know the new neighbourhood etc, that I am totally out of ideas of what to blog about. So here it is, another post. This one doesn't have a tip or guidance. This post shares what we have been up to and provides an offer for you. 

Firstly, what's happening on our end. Well, as you might know if you have visited this blog before, we moved. We are very blessed to have returned to Yerushalayim. However, aside from the challenges of the move, coming to an area we have not lived in before, it's almost like making Aliyah all over again. It takes work and networking to figure out the most suitable Shul and community. Discover the necessities such as healthcare, post office, stores most suitable for us and of course finding out how to get to know others in our area. All of this is the type of effort one has to go through when coming to Israel to begin with. All I can say is it helps so much that we already know Hebrew. It helps so much that we know some basics. It helps a HUGE amount that we have learned to fight for what we need.

Just the other day we received a phone call from the post office to let us know that our few months of having our mail re-directed is up and if we would like an extension it's time to start paying. This was just one of our many challenges. Since they had not re-directed anything in the few months, I did not see any purpose in paying. A few days of phoning and negotiating later and we managed to discover where the error was and to obtain a few months free re-directing of our mail. Of course, we wait to see what will transpire next, but persevering and going after your needs is the name of the game in Israel. A good dose of Tefillah helps a lot too.

So we've been doing our networking and our sorting and getting organized. We tried to do some moving sales and now some post moving sales. We have a few items still to sell from the post moving sale. Then begins the fun stuff. Moving on to some creativity, a few books coming out and quite a bit of planning happening.

So now that you know what we have been up to, we invite you to post a comment below to let us know what your needs are. What would you like to read about? Would you like to receive a regular newsletter? If so, what topics related to Making Aliyah and Having a Successful Klita are of interest to YOU? We'd love to hear from you. It will help us a great deal to plan our next few blog posts and to find out how to serve our readers better.

We look forward to hearing what your needs are.

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