Monday, 30 November 2015

Private Occupational Therapists in Israel

I have posted about this before, and am excited to say it looks as though we finally have enough occupational therapists to get started. What is this about?

If you are an occupational therapist in Israel and are interested in working privately or have already begun to do so, please be in touch to join a network / support group for OT's in Israel working privately.

Please send me an email with your email address, area of O.T., whether you are licensed here and how often you would be interested in meeting. Meetings will take place virtually due to location of OT's. There is potential to meet in person too from time to time or as the need arises.

Stay tuned for information of our first meeting and / or feedback regarding the highlights.

If you are an occupational therapist, working privately is of interest to many and certainly has the potential to help you to be successful here in Israel. Come and join us and let us make this a very successful network group.

I look forward to hearing from you

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Welcome Home From Israel to ALL Jews

Yesterday I posted in a social network group asking if anyone had questions related to making Aliyah. I had little response. One person stated she had so many questions, too many to ask. The next person came up with a link to an article of 10 reasons why not to make Aliyah.

Having moved 42 times in my life so far, lived in 5 different countries, 9 different cities and a whole bunch of neighbourhoods, my response is, there is no place like home. Where is home? Well the video below gives a little insight, or a lot. 

If you are Jewish and considering making Aliyah, Israel is our home. Don't be put off my negative talk or problematic politics or any other issue that might be standing in your way.

We invite you to post your comment or question below. We'd love to hear from you and would be happy to address your issues, concerns, thoughts, ideas in future blog posts. If you have a valuable or inspiring story to share, do be in touch to submit a guest post. 

When it comes to Aliyah, we are all in this together. Together we CAN build up the country that Hashem gave to us! Together we can make it happen. 

Have a blessed day

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

5 Dangers of the Minimum Wage Mentality

When I was a student, I was aware of the concept of minimum wage from the point of view of human rights. It is important not to pay someone below a certain amount. That part I understand. However, after making Aliyah, a different angle was introduced to me which is actually very dangerous and rather troubling. The idea is that of pushing Olim into minimum wage work. Actually, I have seen it also with the orphan Chatanim and Kallot that we assist, even those who are born in Israel. Most troubling is the extent to which someone who comes to Israel with a profession or a skill and have a desire to strive towards earning a decent income will be encouraged or even pushed into minimum wage in general and very often this will be menial tasks such as cleaning houses.

This ideology is very damaging and I often wonder if this is what has contributed to the high percentage of unemployed and poverty in Israel. 

Let us take a look at some of the dangers:

1) A person who earns minimum wage will have a limit to his or her income. This means that if anything arises (which happens in life) that requires more than the very basic minimum, the earner is unlikely to have the means to pay for it. 

2) Many food items that are necessary for a healthy, balanced diet do not fit into the budget for a minimum wage worker which can result in health problems. This can lead to other expenses or loss of earning potential and a risk of becoming a strain on the community.

3) Someone who is earning a minimum wage is often unable to afford courses to be able to improve his or her situation in life. This then becomes limiting and has detrimental psychological or emotional consequences.

4) A person who earns a minimum wage will probably be unable to afford a down payment on an apartment. This forces the person to rent and can result in the person moving frequently. Moving is one of the highest stressors. Stress has a direct negative impact on health and can negatively impact many aspects of the persons daily functioning.

5) If someone remains in minimum wage work once they have children, the expense of providing for a child or children can become too much for their budget. As a result, a vicious cycle can and often does arise of poverty for the next generation. Items that low wage earners often begin to scrimp on are toys and educational materials, amongst other items, which can then lead to limitations on the learning potential of the child (children). 

These are the first five dangers that come to mind, it could be there are more. If you can think of others, please do share them in the comments below. Though there is a role of minimum wage to make sure that the general population is not taken advantage of, there are risks of forcing people into minimum wage. One of the biggest dangers is creating a society that believes that earning adequately to cover all of ones needs is anything from wrong, impossible, not accepted etc. The truth is that everyone has not only a right but an obligation to determine for themselves what their budget is to cover their daily expenses and to strive towards obtaining an income that will enable them to meet these goals and needs. 

If earning above a minimum wage is important to you, do be in touch for the occupational therapy services of Shoshanah Shear with a special interest in empowering widows and orphans.

Have a blessed day

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist, Freelance Writer
Author and Aliyah Coach

Friday, 20 November 2015

Yedid Nefesh with Dudu Fisher

I love to hear the Israeli accent especially when singing. This week we share a music video by Dudu Fisher. Yedid Nefesh always reminds me of Israeli dancing.

Enjoy. If you know the Israeli dance to this, why not get up and dance. Dancing is always good to lift the spirits and get one into the Shabbos mood.

I hope you enjoyed. Have a very blessed Shabbat.

Shoshanah Shear

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Re-focusing Through the Beauty of Israel!

After some frustration I needed to re-focus and looking at the beauty of Israel is always something that helps. 

Here are just four photographs, but they each tell a powerful story and certain have the potential to touch the heart of any Jew. 

What helps to keep you focused? What is your focus?

Frustrations of Getting a Cellphone Repaired

I do not remember if we posted a blog about our difficulty in upgrading our phones. We had quite a few issues we had no expected. Bottom line is don't believe the salesman. Well, months later, the cell phone slid out of the expensive cover that is supposed to grip it and prevent falls and fell only 10 cm or less. The lovely, expensive shatterproof protective shield did not shatter. It was amazing, not a scratch. Yes, it is shatterproof. Problem is it does not protect the screen underneath and hence the screen on the phone itself did crack. What did we waste money for on something that did not do the job the only time we needed it to?

Oh well, so the screen cracked and needed repair. Next began a few day hunt for the best way to repair that is affordable, reliable and honest. First we tried in our neighbourhood. A day and a half later we find no-one here can do it. One place charges for a quote and then will take 2 weeks to repair. They presume a repair of around a certain amount but the time it will take and the difficulty to get the phone to them is not easy and we decided to look elsewhere first. Next we find out about a few places in town who can do repairs. We went from place to place. In two days we found places that alter prices amazingly. One place gave a nice initial quote which doubled within a few hours. Another charged something reasonable only to up the price shortly after. On top of this was the frustration of so many who were just not interested in talking to their customers or potential customers. I guess business is so good in sales that they don't need to worry about repairs. 

Finally we were tired and frustrated and left the phone with someone who promised to repair for x price and to call if there was anything found prior to repairing. 

Well no call happened and though he did replace an expensive part the final result is the crack on the screen is still there.

So now we ask, where are the honest stores? Where are the honest repair places? Has technology made us slaves? Or is there still some honest good business?

If you have a good business experience to share, we'd love to post it as a guest post or to here it in the comments below. No SPAM will be accepted but if you can share a good recommendation we need some positive leads to give us hope that there are still good service providers and sales people.

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Sunday, 15 November 2015

How to Purchase Cell Phone Accessories in Israel

Technology is a reality and often a necessity for work, communication and safety. So how do you know where and what to purchase? We have a few tips for you when purchasing cell phone accessories, cell phones / mobile phones too.

1) Do your research. Go online and look up whether a model, brand or accessory is popular and why. If it is not popular in Israel, the reason for this is very important and will help you to decide whether the purchase will be in your best interest or not. Regarding cell phone accessories, in addition to popularity, look into whether the item will meet your needs. 

2) Shop around for best prices. If a store says "this is the best price in town and you will really need it," shop around to find out whether the information they give you is true. 

Here is an example. We were told in a certain store that the covers they were selling for the mobile phone was the best available and the best price. Was it? We took a few hours and wandered around in downtown Jerusalem and found covers that did a better job at more than half the price.

What is the lesson? Do your homework. It might be that you find a better item at a better price. Remember, when it comes to the cover for the mobile phone, selecting the right one can mean the difference between your phone sliding out and dropping, causing you the additional cost of repairs too, to being safely held in place so that dropping or falling is very unlikely.

So make it a habit to do your research and shop around. Once you have all the correct information, you can make an informed decision and the most appropriate purchase for YOUR needs.

Have a blessed week

Shoshanah Shear

Friday, 13 November 2015

Shalom Aleichem Music Video and Shabbat Shalom

A few weeks ago someone requested that I share Shalom Aleichem as our Shabbat Song video, to be played obviously before Shabbat. I immediately sat down and began to look for a suitable video with the traditional well known Shalom Aleichem. Surprisingly it is not so easy to find. So if any Jewish men out there have a beautiful singing voice and are able to make a music video, please make a video with the classic Shalom Aleichem that many are used to hearing in their home on Friday night after returning home from Shul.

One issue I had was the amount of videos made by women. Yes, women can have beautiful singing voices and musical talent, however, Shalom Aleichem to me is traditionally sung by the men in the house or the father of the house and I was looking for a male voice.

Next, many were made by all kinds of versions of Judaism. I am not prepared to be promoting distortions of truth so those videos were ruled out.

Next came all kinds of musical variations on the tune of Shalom Aleichem. The first video here is very lively and beautiful. It is a little different to one's usual or traditional Shalom Aleichem but it is sung by a choir of Jewish boys and is very enjoyable to help you to get into the mood of Shabbat.

For those who prefer the real traditional tune, here is a video with this for you.It took a lot of searching to find, but here you are. I hope you enjoy it.

Whatever your ideal version of Shalom Aleichem is, the song is sung when one returns home from Shul and is ready to begin Kiddush, HaMotzi and then the Shabbat meal. I hope you enjoyed one or both of the videos shared above and with that, I have Shabbat preparations calling me and needless to say you will too.

Have a very blessed and joyous Shabbat

Shoshanah Shear

Thursday, 12 November 2015

The Little Things That Matter

We had to take care of some banking issues this morning. On the one hand there was some frustration, we had to travel to our bank in order to take care of something that could have been taken care of via the telephone. With all the frustration, we had to admit that this business gave us a reason to travel through central Jerusalem and to walk the streets of one of the Holiest cities in the world. As a result, it was certainly not a wasted trip. Every time one walks four Amot in Israel is a Mitzvah. Breathing the air in Jerusalem makes us wise. So we gained from our trip even though the reason for going in was frustrating.

After dealing with the bankers, completing the business at hand, we had an experience that ONLY happens in Israel. The assistant asked if we had managed to receive the help we needed and everything was taken care of. Nice to hear such concern and yes that can happen anywhere, but then he continued with a hearty "Chodesh Tov!" Only in Israel can the bank assistants or the taxi driver, the bus driver, the cashier and others too of course, wish you Chodesh Tov. Where else will you get that? 

So it was that our frustration was abated by the wonder and honour to be in this most special city. To wish a fellow Jew Chodesh Tov in return and then go on to meet a friend, make a delivery. Life in Israel is certainly special and the mundane business gets transformed into merits in wondrous ways. 

When last did you visit Jerusalem? Are you already in Israel or still planning on coming? If you are not yet here, what is holding you back? Come! Where else can your footsteps, your breathing and even doing banking be a blessed and meaningful experience?

Have a blessed day

Shoshanah Shear

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

One of those Days!

There are some days when the challenges in Israel make one wonder, "What was I thinking in coming here?" The last few hours have lead us to start asking "What the...! What happened to basic honesty?"

On those days, once I calm myself down, the best thing that helps is to remember that Israel is a holy land and we are here to do some repair work to get it to the stage ready for the final Redemption. It is the only thing to help keep us sane.  

What is the answer? Ask questions. Join groups for Olim. Search for solutions and do what you can to improve what is possible to be improved. Spend some time doing some Tehillim and praying to Hashem for assistance. Give some Tzeddakah, do some Torah learning and stay focused in your role as a Jew in Israel. Remember, there is the right way to do things and when it comes to Israel that can only be the Torah way. If it means asking and asking and asking, lots of prayer, learning patience, lots of work, then do so. Remember, your effort can help in some way to repair something that needs repairing.

Remember also, we are all Olim here, the question is just whether it is you who is the Oleh / Olah or your parents or grandparents. Only a few Jews remained in Israel after the fall of the Beis HaMikdash and the exile of Am Yisrael. For the rest of us, we are all Olim so there is much to be fixed up.

We really urgently need Moshiach and Redemption.

What do you do to give you strength when things become challenging? We'd love to hear, so please post a comment at the end of this post.

Have a blessed day! Stay warm, stay dry and stay safe. 

Shoshanah Shear

Monday, 9 November 2015

Flooding in Ashkelon

Winter has certainly arrived in Israel. In some parts of the South, the weather seems to be rather heavy to say the least. Having had flooding in Tel Aviv area about a week ago, today we have been alarmed to see photographs and video footage coming onto Social Networking of flooding in Ashkelon. Can you imagine cars with rain up to the roof? Can you imagine being inside your apartment with water gushing in through the open window or around the closed door?

It's not easy to imagine, so take a look at these videos

In the next video you can get to learn a little Hebrew.

We read in the Chumash about the great flood. These images given one a glimpse of what it might have been like. We pray for rain but perhaps there is more that we need to pray for.

Have a blessed day. Stay safe and keep dry.

Shoshanah Shear

Friday, 6 November 2015

Recommending a Computer Expert

A few days ago, I posted a question asking for helping regarding our website and particularly our online sales. I posted the question in a network group for freelancers in Israel. For a few days I had no response and then one person did, he posted a positive comment with an invitation for me to ask more questions. I took him up on the offer and enjoyed a quality conversation. Though he usually builds websites on WordPress, I was pleasantly surprised to find that he is not biased to WordPress. He gave some solid and practical advice that, helped me to make a decision that had been holding us back for months and put my mind at ease with the next step in our online services.

It is a pleasure to recommend Michael Cina. Michael Cina is the owner of ScotPlanet IT Services, providing friendly computer support services to businesses, organizations and private homes around Israel, since making Aliyah back in 2012. ScotPlanet provide you with great service, expert advice and training, help and support for your computers laptops tablets and mobile phones.. We also offer a comprehensive diagnostic and repair service for all Apple computers iPads and iPhones.

Find out more about ScotPlanet by visiting the website at
Have a blessed day
Shoshanah Shear

Gaining Inspiration with the Yeshiva Boys Choir

What kind of a week have you had? Has it been productive? Have you achieved something you had no expected to? If you are considering making Aliyah, have you done anything this week that will help you to achieve this goal? If you are already in Israel, have you done anything this week that will assist you to have a successful integration into life in Israel?

If you need a little inspiration, a song in your heart to lift your spirits and keep you focused on the purpose of Am Yisrael in this world,  then you will enjoy this video.

No matter how crazy the world around us seems to be, in a few short hours it will be Shabbat, a time for us to unite with our Creator and to enjoy rest, company of friends and family, learning some Torah, singing uplifting songs and all the good things that Shabbat has to offer us.

May you have productive preparation for Shabbat and may this Shabbat fill you with all the strength and inspiration to carry you through the coming week. 

Shabbat Shalom

Shoshanah Shear

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Learning About the Different Business Structures in Israel

I spent an enjoyable morning today at the Jerusalem Nefesh b'Nefesh office in a very informative workshop. The workshop was on "Choosing the Right Legal Structure for your Business". The workshop was a little over two hours long and presentations were offered by both a lawyer and an accounting firm.

The legal side was presented by Russell Mayer who has his own legal firm in Israel,  Livnat Mayer & Co. Attorneys at Law and also a FaceBook group entitled "Ask an Israeli Lawyer".  In the limited time available, Russell outlined the different types of for profit and not-for-profit options for working independently, including some important tips relevant for Olim. 

The accounting side was presented by Jeff Nurkin & David Beychok of NurkinCPA. This presentation included a lot of information for Olim who are US citizens. If you have made Aliyah from the US, it is a good idea to consult with an accountant who is an expert in US taxes. There are many details to take into consideration even if one has married an Israeli. 

A definite bonus for me was to discover that Nurkin CPA assists with applying for the ITIN number. If you are not a US citizen and publish a book via an American company such as CreateSpace, you will need to apply for an ITIN number. Now you can know where to go to for assistance in this process.

After a full question and answer session, for some details we were recommended to consult with an Israeli Accountant. A wonderful piece of advice was that most accountant will give about half an hour of a free session in which you can ask questions related to your work. It is of benefit to the accountants as if they provide the answers you require, you are more likely to hire their services.

If you know of any good Israeli accountants, prepared to give advice to Olim wanting to work privately or to be self-employed, do be in touch, we love to develop a list of who to turn to for such information. Please note, comments are moderated. We do not permit SPAM. Any accountant (or other professional) that we add in a list we will be in touch with to get to know prior to listing them on this blog.

Thank you for your co-operation and understanding.

Have a blessed day and wishing you much success in Israel.

Shoshanah Shear

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Archaeology in Israel - Proving the Bible

Have you spent any time reading the Bible or Chumash which means the Five Books of Moses? If you have, have you taken note of any references to Israel? 

How about Tanach that in addition to the Five BOoks of Moses also includes the Prophets and the Writings - Chumash Neviim and Ketuvim. If you read Tanach, you are bound to come across references to Israel. Information of the connection between the Jews and this precious land. 

While many through the ages question the right of the Jewish Nation to exist and where we should live, there are Archaelogical excavations that are proving what is written in the Bible. You do not have to believe what I say, here is a video that provides a little insight into some of the findings of King David in Israel.

I hope that watching the above video will help you to see a little of the beauty of Israel and to hear some of the fascinating and special discoveries taking place in the various excavations. This one relates to King David, but there are of course other discoveries.

The beauty of this special land is definitely something that touches the heart of every Jew no matter how much they try to pretend that they are not Jewish. Somehow we have a connection. 

Whether you are already in Israel, are preparing to come to Israel or need some encouragement to do so, let videos such as this one give you the incentive to come home. Come and help us to build the land that G-d gave to the descendants of Avraham, Yitzhak and Yisrael.  But remember, as many in Tanach warn us, we need to keep together AND to live in the land according to G-d's rules. When we do, He fights our battles and blessing comes not only to Israel but to the whole world.

Have a blessed day or evening

Shoshanah Shear

Monday, 2 November 2015

Challenges of Preparing a Sale in Israel.

When you move to Israel, many things are different and take getting used to. Our current project is to have a sale to sell as much of our stock as possible in preparation for moving to more appropriate premises and to give us funds to research some changes and / or developments in our business structure. To make it successful I began to search online for some articles and videos that will give me ideas.

The first difference for a sale whether it is a moving sale or yard sale between the videos viewed in the US and setting up a sale in Israel is location. In the US, it stands to reason that a yard sale or garage sale will be in your garage or your yard or on your front lawn. In Israel, where so many live in apartment buildings, having your own lawn to spread out your items to sell is not necessarily an option. So we are back to the drawing board for the most suitable venue for our upcoming sale.

Next is the recommendation to have a sale on Saturday or Sunday. Well in the diaspora, Sunday is a weekend so that makes sense. In Israel Sunday is a work day. So we need another option for best day to hold a sale. Saturday is Shabbat which is a rest day, sorry, selling is not a part of one's rest day or day of rest. Hm, recommended days are not working.

Thus far our research has provided two more questions. At least there is one task we can do, we can go and label our items with prices for the sale. So if you have an answer or suggestion, please post it below. In the meantime, I am off to go and price our items. 

Stay tuned for the date and venue. If you wish to host a sale do be in touch

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet


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