Sunday, 15 January 2017

Concerns of an Olah who is a Dietician

The previous two posts have focused on details related to types of salaries and working conditions for health professionals in Israel. These can be seen on the links here:

Following the second post, I received a message from a dietician who has given me permission to share her experience. 
"Hi! I saw your post on the FaceBook group "Keep Olim" about health professionals. I am a registered dietitian who made aliyah recently. In American hospitals, dietitian salaries are often much lower than other healthcare professionals (~$40,000 or so per year), even though we are managing tube feedings, ordering and evaluating labs, etc. the reasons given for the low salary tends to be that we are a female dominated profession, and that we don't make the hospital money -- joint commission requires all admitted patients be seen but we are not a "billable service" such as PT, etc. Anyway, apparently full time hospital dietitians in Israel only make 6000 NIS per month. I don't understand how people survive like this. I have my MS degree, had to do a year of clinicals, took a national exam to get my license, and have to get continuing education credits to maintain my license. I've heard many dietitians work multiple part time jobs. I read one post from a dietitian who said she is cleaning houses for money on top of her regular job. I still have to take the exam to get licensed here but I'm worried I will have to give up a career that I love and am passionate about in order to survive here.

I have five years experience, including being the cardiac dietitian and cardiac intensive care unit dietitian for a hospital, which is ranked #5 in America for cardiology! I have a concern as to how will I ever be able to pay back my American student loans with this salary? I can not begin working in Israel until I have my license and have to wait for the next date to write my exam."

This is a very understandable concern and one that many Olim face. Have you found a similar situation? How did you overcome it?  

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"

Monday, 9 January 2017

Further Information Regarding Health Professionals in Israel

Yesterday I posted an article in response to a message I had received from a registered nurse regarding low salary and conditions for nurses and other health professionals in Israel. I have had two responses to this. 

The first response in came from another nurse. She says:
   "Hi. I am a nurse with 30 years experience. I work in an NICU, and have a B.N., and an M.A. I have completed an ICU course.The work is challenging, and the pay is about half of what I'd receive if I were working abroad. The staffing sucks, as despite the fact that the Ministry of Health has agreed more nurses are required, the Kupot haven't found the money to increase the staffing. After almost 20 years of working here, and over a decade abroad, I make about 60 shekels an hour. On addition, due to the staffing situation, at times you are almost bullied to suck it up and come to work, even if you are under the weather. Yes, this happens, even if you are endangering the health of those around you. But this is the situation... Maybe before I retire things will improve, but I won't hold my breath."

Some hours later I received a message from a Physio who says:  "I am a Physio. When I first made Aliyah I worked in a hospital for about 24₪ an hour with a little   more for on calls and extra for Shabbatot. It is horrible pay. I left after 5 years and the pay had risen to about 29₪ and that was with 2 pay raises. 
I had 2 years experience when I began working and I started to work there about 10 years ago, left 5 years ago. I still work as a PT in a different facility." - The reader should note that this salary would go back to 2007 - 2011 or 2012. Have the salaries improved at all?

I am not sure and I wish I could say that they have. I do know that 2 years ago when I was asked to cover an occupational therapist on maternity leave therapist the facility wanted to pay me ₪23 an hour.

Salary scales such as these are low and depressing. How are high school students supposed to be motivated to spend time studying for a profession that will reimburse them for hard, responsible work at such a low salary. How do we expect to inspire those in the diaspora to Make Aliyah when their chances of earning within their profession will be met with low salaries?

What about the working conditions? It is not acceptable to expect health professionals to work in a state of health that will become a danger to the health and well being of those around them.  There has to be a solution to this.

If you are a health professional and have worked in Israel, please be in touch and let us know your experience. Also, if you have any suggestions as to how to improve conditions for health professionals in Israel, we'd love to hear them. 

Lastly, if you are an occupational therapist and interested in working privately, please be in touch to join our monthly privately practitioners meeting.

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, 8 January 2017

Possible Salary and Conditions for Health Professionals in Israel

I received a message from a nurse in Israel in response to my promoting my book about occupational therapy. Within the content of a long message was something that bothers me. She expressed that the job situation is Israel is generally bad and salaries are low across the board. She continued to share a few thoughts of nursing in Israel which were quite concerning. 

She asked if an OT earns more than ₪35 an hour continuing to say that a nurse working in a hospital will be treated like a slave. This is not only in terms of pay but denial of sick leave. I was particularly alarmed to hear that a nurse might be expected to come to work even with a raging temperature. How can that be? What about risk of infecting those around her especially the patients? Is this an isolated incident? I'd love to hear from other nurses, I hope this nurse was just having a bad day. Expecting a nurse to work when ill is a problem on many levels.

Some of the discussion came back to low salary and reminded me of a dietician stating that if an OT is offered work at ₪40 an hour, that would be more than what she receives with well over 25 years experience. 

Low salaries is the reason one OT shared as to why she gave up being an OT after 18 years in the profession. These facts are the reason that organizations for Olim tend to recommend cleaning houses which can bring in ₪40-60 an hour. Why are salaries so low for health professionals? 

What are your thoughts about professionals in Israel? Do you agree they deserve better salaries? What about working conditions? Have you experienced being expected to over work? I'd love to hear your experience. If you have a story you would like to share as a guest post, do be in touch.

Wishing you a blessed week.

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, 3 January 2017

Identifying the Best Experiences After Aliyah

There are times that participating in social networking groups for Olim can be difficult. It is hard to read how many have mostly complaints. I understand struggling, having difficulty adjusting to a new country, needing ideas, input or some guidance. But some spend most of their time complaining and that can be hard.

So I decided to inspire some positive responses and posted a question:
 "What is the best event, thing or experience since you made Aliyah"

Answers are a little slow to come in but it is so wonderful to hear what people love about living in Israel.

Some respond with everything. Everything that has occurred for them since moving to Israel has been the best. A few have said getting married or having their children here. One shared that the sunsets are the best in Israel. One inspiring answer came from someone who said that becoming an Officer in the IDF was the best thing to happen to him. When asked if he is still in the IDF he responded that was in 1978 and I was delighted to hear that he is still here. 

One beautiful response was "Being able to live a full Jewish life in a Jewish country with Jews all around." I certainly agree with that one!

For one, getting off the plane was the best thing to happen. For another, hearing the siren at the time of Yom HaAtzmaut shortly after they made Aliyah was the best and most memorable.

One of the best responses was a lady who shared that after 48 years it is not possible to select any one best thing / event. That is certainly encouraging to know that some Olim manage to live here for 48 years. Having a successful absorption into life in Israel certainly is possible. 

These are just a few of the comments shared. I'd like to turn the question to the readers of this blog. What about you? Have you made Aliyah? Do you have a story to share or a best or special experience or moment since making Aliyah? We'd love to hear from you. If your experience was short, do post it in the comments below. If it is longer, please send it in to be posted as a guest post.

I look forward to hearing more special moments after Making Aliyah

Shoshanah Shear

Monday, 2 January 2017


I am amused in the last few days to be receiving emails wishing me well for 2017. How is that amusing? Well, the 1st January is a regular work day in Israel! It is not a public holiday, neither is it really a significant start to the year. Our year begins at Rosh HaShanah. This point is something that is quite an adjustment for many who move to Israel. In fact, if you go into a stationary store and search for a diary or calendar you will find that the new year or the new diary begins always at the end of Elul leading up to Rosh HaShanah. 

Having said that, it is an important date for accounting purposes and so we look to setting business and accounting goals for the new secular year. At Chessed Ve'Emet we have some exciting developments for the new year. Before we consider our plans for the future, I would like to thank you, our readers and followers for your support over the past number of years. This blog was one of the early developments that we began. It has been up and running for 8 years now and we are happy to say that we have gained 33 followers and regular readers. From time to time we do have readers commenting on a post which is always exciting for us, and to all those who do comment we say a very big thank you. 

We have some interviews that have taken place and been shared on this blog, and plans in place for further interviews. Thus far the interviews have all been in a Q&A format. We do hope to develop to also having interviews either via podcast or video.

We have had some Olim share their story through this blog and we welcome further Olim to be in touch and send in your story. If your story involves preparing for Aliyah, making Aliyah, a success story or a word of encouragement, we want to hear about it and to share it. So please do be in touch.

We have had some other services for Olim specifically. For quite some time we tried to focus on increasing a network among South African Olim. We ran a Ning for quite a number of months before the Ning required that those hosting a forum on the Ning pay a monthly fee. This we covered for the first couple of years but sadly when we requested for members to contribute a nominal monthly membership in order to cover expenses, none of the members were prepared to. Sadly, our Ning came to an end but our blog has continued.

In addition to regular posts on this blog, we have Torah shiurim happening online and in person with our wonderful Torah teacher Rabbi Eliyahu Shear. At this time, shiurim include: 

- Shulchan Aruch HaRav focusing at present on Shabbat, twice a week
- Mishna Brerura happening currently weekly
- Otzrot Haim happening currently twice a week. 

We'd love to add some other online Shiurim, so if you have any questions related to Torah or a book or area of Torah that you would like to learn on a regular basis, do visit our website and sign up for online Torah learning. 

We have tried a number of avenues of selling products online. These products have been both of our own creative skills and items that we had received in order to sell at low cost. Our online selling has been a tremendous learning curve and we are excited to say that we are preparing to launch our own website selling items that we have created online as one of our various avenues to generate funds for our Torah centre. We have tried in the past pricing our items at low cost however, this has not been an effective path for us. Our online creative items are therefore now being created for those who are searching for a unique, hand crafted item or gift and values the fact that it comes from Israel and that their purchase assists Jews in Israel. If you are looking for a unique, hand crafted gift, stay in touch and watch this blog for updates of when we launch our new website.

My occupational therapy services can be viewed on my website. These services form the women's division of Chessed Ve'Emet and are focused on assisting Jewish women in the role of wife and mother. 

Other exciting developments on the creative front have been the publishing of our books. We currently have the following books available for sale:
Our books are available on a number of online bookstores and through us for those who are in Israel.

Our last two developments include:
  • Our Torah Lending Library. We currently have about 400 books mostly in English though some are in Hebrew. Due to limited space these books are forming double rows on the shelves of two tall bookshelves. 
  • Some time ago we ran a crowd fundraiser in order to obtain and set up our Bridal Gown Gemach. We are happy to say that we have 59 beautiful bridal gowns all set up waiting for a Kallah to come and visit our Bridal Gowns. We have had some Kallot coming to search for and try on gowns in preparation for their big day. On my other blog you will see some posts offering tips to assist the Brides with common issues being raised. 
All in all there has been consistent growth, revision, progress, adjustment, further growth, improvement and we are very happy to say that we are steadily progressing towards the full vision that we have of a Torah Healing Centre.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this exciting journey so far. Do be in touch and let us know both which of our services you enjoy and which services you are in need of for the secular year ahead. We look forward to sharing further developments and our plans as they develop and are ready for sharing.

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"



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