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,

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


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