Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Sharing a Little of the Beauty of Jerusalem

As mentioned in a previous post, we recently moved. Many took advantage of our needing to move to try to persuade us to leave Jerusalem and probably Israel too. Some people say I am rather stubborn and this is a situation where I admit that. The negative comments just made me want to remain in Jerusalem even more.

To help me with the move, I took on a temporary job located in Har Choma. Now this area is mostly large buildings of various kinds of businesses. But when I got off the bus each morning and began to cross the street to walk to walk, the image above shows some of the view I would see. Isn't it beautiful?

About 5 minutes walk away, I would arrive at the building where the call centre was located. Take a look at a snippet of how beautiful the entrance is. How wonderful to arrive at work and rest ones eyes on a splash of colour.

Working in a call centre is not the easiest work. Some of what makes it hard is having to sit at a small cubicle to make calls for 5 hours, with just a 20 minute break. Yes, I am an occupational therapist, and OT teaches us to get up every 40-45 minutes to stand or walk around in order to take care of our backs. Well, I followed what my profession teaches. And so, every 40-45 minutes I would find a reason to have to walk somewhere. It's not so difficult to do. Save up those questions to ask a supervisor or go and get a drink of water. There are many legitimate reasons to have to get up.

And if I did not find something, I stood up and made my calls while standing. The result? Well, I got to look out of the window. Although I could not take a photo of the view so easily, I was asked to do a few errands after work and the image above is the view seen when running one of these errands.

With the beauty of Jerusalem, how can anyone consider leaving here? Instead we are putting our focus into using our skills to build our own centre. You can follow along with what we are doing on our You Tube Channels and our websites and on-line store.

If you like the photographs in this blog post, please consider purchasing a photograph or photographic gift or other creative product from our on-line store. Your purchase will help us to continue to improve the website, develop more products. As our sales increase, our goal is to empower widows and orphans. The needs of widows and orphans are real and many. Join us in easing their lives and improving their quality of life.

Thank you for visiting our blog. Do come again. Before you go, please share in the comments below, one thing that you love about Jerusalem.

This post is prepared for you by

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

Please note, these photographs are copyright to Shear Success Photographers and may not be used without written permission and credit to the photographer.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

The Outcome of our Latest Move

After weeks and months of searching, we managed to find an apartment that sort of meets our needs. It's not exactly what we need, but I guess that happens when one is working towards starting a centre with the beginnings happening from home. And so, move number 43 for me has happened. It's become another one on a very special list. With so many of my moves, I end up saying, this was the worst move! I have a list that I hope does not grow, of all those "this is the worst move".

It's hard enough to have to move. It's harder still that our previous landlord was bullying us dreadfully. He wanted to pressurize us into staying, but his behaviour had the opposite effect. The more he tried to prevent us from being able to make this move, the more I just wanted to get away from him. Who wants a landlord who is a bully? I don't think anyone in their right mind would consciously want to be treated the way many of these landlords treat their tenants. I wonder if there is any way to inspire landlords to increase their Derech Eretz and honesty in business?

There were so many details that made this move hard. Factors that were totally out of our control. One fact I thought would ease everything was the mover. We had met him, received a quote, were promised that he had insurance in case of breakage, had positive references. We even had promises that he was different. I made the mistake of believing him. The promises turned out to be empty ones. There were a few warning signs along the way, but things really came to a head when it came time for payment. We wanted to pay with a check, giving us proof of payment. We learned from one of our first moves that paying with a check that is made out to the mover only is — imperative! However, he did not want a check and certainly not one made out to his moving company. He wanted cash and cash only. Who has thousands of shekels lying around at home, especially on moving day? Besides, we have a right to want to have proof of payment! The moment we began unpacking we realised just how important having paid my check will become. Incredibly, the mover adamantly refused. He wasted about half an hour of our time trying all kinds of ways to force us to pay in cash or with an open check.

The hour that this was taking place did not matter to him. The fact that Shabbat would soon be approaching and we had no idea where any item necessary for Shabbat was, made even less of a difference. All he cared about was trying to force us into paying in cash.

Open checks in Israel are a big No-No. They really are a bad idea. It's impossible to know when your check will be cashed or how many hands it will pass through before finally getting to be banked. We have been down that road, got the T-shirt and enough experience to know not to fall for that again. It totally messes up one's budgeting and can cause some serious problems. So, no, we were not about to pay with an open check.

With this move, it's not as though the price was cheap. It's not as though we expected a free service either. We were paying a considerable amount of money, at least in our opinion. Well over 5000 is not small money. I would think treating a client who is paying so much with respect would be important. But somehow customer service in Israel is one of those details that needs some work and improvement.

Thinking back on the move, there are so many hard memories. Like the time I noticed a box about to be thrown out. I opened the box to discover it contained our "Blessing for the Home" that was given to us as a gift. The box was not as light as an empty box, anyone picking it up could tell there was something inside. But it seems our framed picture with the blessing for our home was not important to the mover.

Then there were two pictures of mine that I had to beg to be wrapped and put onto the truck. When I say, paintings of mine, I do not mean that they were given to me as a gift and therefore belonged to me. Neither do I mean that I purchased them. I mean that I had painted the pictures myself.

Most of my paintings I wrapped myself, but with all the bullying from our landlord, we simply ran out of time. We paid the movers for the assistance with the last items to be packed. Our intention was that they help us to move everything, not that they select what they wanted to discard of.

Another box they wanted to throw out contained my husband's hat. While a book, left face down on the floor was none other than the Hebrew version of "Tuvia FindsHis Freedom" a book written by ourselves. I really hope our writing and books are not just garbage. We put time, thought and effort into every book and product we produce. It was hard to see it discarded face down in a pile of dirt.

Though there was quite a lot more damage, we will leave our list and turn to another issue that was distressing, which was their attitude to our food and fruit juice. None of the workers brought their own food. No, providing refreshments was not stipulated in the quote or mentioned when we met. Virtually every place of work I have been to I have taken my own food. I think the only times I was given food at work was when waitressing, the restaurant gave us a meal in our break and when I was au-pairing. Since the Au-Pairing job came with board and lodging, I would expect that food was included. But for all other jobs, I have always taken my own, even for small jobs like baby-sitting, house cleaning and the like.

These movers just helped themselves to whatever they wanted. Fruit juice, biscuits, even items from the fridge they took. I might not have minded if they asked, but they just presumed that all our food and drinks were available for them to help themselves.

As time progressed we began to realise breakage was happening, items were disappearing and the move was turning into one of those traumatic experiences of our bad moves. I was quite flabbergasted towards the end of leaving the old apartment to find a waste paper basket dismantled and collapsed on the tiny balcony. You can find out about this waste paper basket in my YouTube video about OT and Art. 

Well, once upon a time, the item had meaning for me and served a purpose in my home. Today, the base was forcefully removed for no reason, the bin was collapsed for no reason and later discarded. I no longer have this item. For about 25 years, it did well in my treatment room. It has been moved at least about 10 times if not more and it has moved well. Until now, when a mover had other ideas for an item that was not his.

Another item to upset me was the journey of our toolbox. I noticed it in the corner of a room and wondered why it had not been wrapped in the Keter cupboard as promised. I was told it was their box and not mine. Somehow I had a feeling it was mine. I should have opened it up and taken a look, but I stupidly trusted when they said it was theirs. Later I saw it on the back of the truck and mentioned it was mine. Again I was told it was theirs. Well, as we progressed in our packing, we could not find out toolbox. We called the mover to ask if he had seen it. He tried to pretend he did not know what we were talking about until I said it looked exactly like theirs. A few hours later, mysteriously our tool box was found. A day or so later it was returned to us, broken and bashed around. When my husband opened the toolbox, the once full box that was hard to close now was almost empty.

Some people tell us well it's just things and things can be replaced. Here is an example of the ripple effect of those missing tools. In one compartment were the screws, nuts and pieces to put my computer table together. They were very specific, certain sizes and types of these screws, nuts and bolts. Some shaped so that the screw is sunken when the computer table to assembled. Of course the Allen Keys that were needed for some screws is nowhere to be found either. I do have the wood of my computer table, but without the pieces to put it together, the parts are pretty useless. Yes, one can hire a carpenter to put the computer table together, but the cost will not be worth it. So not only did we lose tools but the use of furniture we had and needed to use too.

The move has been traumatic and painful. Some details have been quite laughable, like the way they decided to repair a cupboard that could not stand properly due to breakage. Instead of repairing the broken side, they found a pair of cork innersoles and used that as a prop. Of course, they did not ask permission to use an item they noticed in our home. The image below shows what became of a new pair of inserts meant for shoes not for cupboards. 

The only good I can say about the move is that the experience has triggered the creation of a few services and some more printable documents. My aim is to use these difficulties to help others to have a better moving experience than we have had. Stay tuned for the list of new services. They will be added to our websites in between our working to straighten out our apartment.

Do visit our online store where you will find our printable documents to assist you with various aspects of your daily life, including helping you to have a stress-free move.  

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

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Get Exposure - Sell Yourself With a Simple Attractive Webpage!

Man with Thumbs Up


and we are here to help!

If you're new to living in Israel, having just made Aliyah, or even if you've been here for some time, you might want to increase your exposure of the business you're involved in. Hiring a professional skilled in all areas of website design to design a website for you with all the bells and whistles sounds wonderful, but it can also be expensive. To add to this, you might find yourself wanting to add things on your own at later stages down the line and find that the coding is so overwhelming that you don't know where to begin.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Searching for a Crowd Fundraiser Platform in Israel

I'm needing to set up another crowd fundraiser and hence searching for a website that offers crowd fundraising for those of us who are in Israel and do not have US PayPal. Believe it or not, not all Anglos come from the US and hence, not all Anglos in Israel have a US bank account or US PayPal.

If anyone knows of a good crowd fundraising platform for an individual to use, please let me know.

What is this about? Basically, I have to move again. Yes, again. Move number 43 and I've finding this very, very hard.

To be able to find an apartment, plus another for my mother that is close by, means I need the time to research all the apartment hunting sites. I need time to make calls and go and see apartments. I need a phone that works. Our mobile phones are not working very well which means I can't call apartments or anything related to work.

I need a computer that works. More and more every morning our computer struggles to turn on. Most of our work currently is online. So we need a new computer.

I need the funds to move. The minimum quote we received was ₪5200 for the move. Plus our current landlord expects us to paint the full apartment even though the majority of the walls are perfect. The cost of painting is a few thousand shekels. On top of that, the landlord expects us to pay him the difference on the conversion from dollars to shekels of the rent we paid in Shekels at a Shekel price. Mind you, he wont re-imburse us for those times the dollar-shekel rate was in our favour and we should get something back. He only charges more, no refunds permitted. One reason why we are moving, even though this is move 43.

We have to take down the ceiling fans we had to put up due to lack of adequate air flow and the fact that the standing fans we had were broken in the previous move. That also costs.

Plus packing, preparing for Pesach and on the other end we will have to unpack and get settled.

So this move is expensive and with the nose dive my income has taken in the last 2 years, I simply do not have the means to move. I called two Poskim, rabbis who answer questions regarding Torah law and they both said I am permitted to ask for help. Since crowd fundraising has become popular and I have no-one to ask, my only hope is to put it into a crowd fundraiser and pray that someone out there will have compassion and help us.

Other ways you can help:
- Visit our online store and purchase anything you see there at full price.
- Purchase our checklist on how to find a mover. It's only $7.
- Visit my website and become a member. Once the move is over I have plans to bring out a range of videos that gives tips to women in the role of wife and mother. These videos will be available only to paid members of the site.
- Join us on Patreon and become a Patron. Every dollar makes a difference.
- Purchase one of our books. We have four books out plus books of my mothers. You will find them in our online store or search for them on amazon. 

Thank you for caring for those who do.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

What You Need to Know about Retirement in Israel

I have had the opportunity to visit a few assisted living residences for seniors. The first detail that stands out is, you have to be really wealthy in order to be a pensioner. Yes the facilities offer services to clean your apartment and they have activities, but the expense is far more than the cost of a basic apartment. What is the lesson here?

Actually there are a few lessons to learn.

1) Needs of Senior Citizens:

When a person reaches retirement age, many needs arise. For those who lack family or social support, living in a residence where various activities are prepared and available becomes appealing. This enables a pensioner to enjoy interacting with people of their own age group. It means that the pensioner can engage in events, groups and activities that meet their needs without having to travel far.

A person who is a pensioner, often has the need for other assistance such as house cleaning, availability of healthcare etc

2) Planning required for Retirement:

Though some may want to remain independent in their own home once they reach their more senior years, it wont be possible for everyone. For those who require moving to an assisted living facility, it is important to know that there are many costs involved. The pensioner will have to pay rent and services. Some packages require paying a hefty deposit upfront and then paying monthly services. This hefty deposit can be NIS 1.5 million. Or, they can pay NIS 50 000 deposit plus rent and services. The types of rent I am hearing of so far range from NIS 5000 - NIS 20 000. 

Quite clearly, these kinds of figures are going to require very nice pension plans. In order to prepare adequately for one's pension one has to earn well during one's younger years. This indicates very clearly that earning minimum wage is not a good idea. It is important to earn a salary that will enable you to plan and prepare for your retirement appropriately.

3) Important Lesson to Glean From These Residences:

Ever since I made Aliyah, people love to say that no-one in Israel has money and hence I can not charge for any services. Now this piece of information does not match up with the residences I am seeing. Let's take a look at this a little further.

If there are residences that are mostly full with seniors able to pay a hefty deposit, plus at least NIS 10 000 a month if not double that, then there are people in Israel earning very nicely. Let's be honest here, this is monthly payment that does not include one's transport, toiletries etc. Also keep in mind, they are not replenishing their bank account. This is coming from their pension or life savings. If someone is paying minimum NIS 10 000 a month, they can not have been earning around NIS 5000 a month. To me I look at this information and learn that there absolutely is money in Israel. So for those wanting to work privately, go ahead and do so. The question now is not there is no-one who can afford private services but rather where are those who can afford to pay.

Personally, we as a greater community here in Israel have a responsibility to reframe our thinking towards earning. The strong habit of pushing Olim into minimum wage is leading to a pattern that will have very damaging consequences. There already is a high level of poverty. What will be when the younger generation who earns only minimum wage reaches retirement? The small amount that Bituach Leumi offers does not even cover a basic rent. It certainly wont enable a pensioner to live in the kind of residences I am finding here.

In summary:
Don't be put off by those who have limited thinking wanting to keep you down by insisting you earn minimum wage and nothing more. Know that there is money in Israel and do your homework to find out how and where you can earn better. Know also that there are lots of opportunities to earn now thanks to the development of technology, especially the internet.

Next, understand that in order to retire you are going to need to have a really good pension. So start planning early on. Don't wait until you reach retirement age and discover you have no pension.

And lastly, if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, don't be put off. Do your market research and make sure to structure your services to those who can afford private rates or to purchase your products if you create products.

In short, knowledge, planning and preparation enable you to put in the effort to create the life that you need and deserve.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Yerushalayim Sheli - My Jerusalem, a Song

Since we love Yerushalayim, here is a fun song to listen to. The words are simple Hebrew and it is a wonderful way to learn or improve your Hebrew. Yerushalayim Sheli - my Jerusalem or written correctly:
ירושלים שלי

If you would like to improve your reading, the lyrics are included below the video:

ירושלים שלי
מילים: דן אלמגור
לחן: נורית הירש

אמר הרוכל ממזכרת משה:
ירושלים שלי
היא מחנה יהודה בערב חגים
שבת של "פפיטס", קללות נהגים
וחומוס של רחמו וריח דגים
וחומוס של רחמו וריח דגים,
כביסה על הכביש ומקלחת מדלי

ירושלים, ירושלים,
ירושלים שלי.
ירושלים שלי...

אמר הסנדרל משכונת קטמון:
ירושלים שלי
הוא שבע שנים של גשמים בבלוקון
שיכון בלי חנות, אוטובוס בלי חשבון
שיכון בלי חנות, אוטובוס בלי חשבון,
שבת - הצגה ראשונה באוריון
גם קטמון ג' היא בשבילי

ירושלים שלי...

אמר הבלן ממאה שערים:
ירושלים שלי
היא שטריימל שחור וספרים אפורים
ו"בת ישראל לא תלך בקצרים"
ו"בת ישראל לא תלך בקצרים",
היא לחש תפילה לימים אחרים
לא כאן, כי למעלה קורצת היא לי

ירושלים שלי...

אמר הצעיר שם ליד שער שכם:
ירושלים שלי
היא צלב על חנות, ושוטרים בחצות
אחות שהלשינה ובור עם פצצות
אחות שהלשינה ובור עם פצצות,
מצעד עצמאות, וידיים קפוצות,
"יס סר! ווט, קבב, אור שישליק?"

ירושלים שלי...

אמר החייל מאשדות יעקב
ירושלים שלי
הייתי בה פעם בבוקר של שכול
סימטה וצלף בצריח משמאל
מאז לא חזרתי פשוט לא יכול
אבנר וגדי - שניהם בשבילי
ירושלים שלי.
I hope you enjoy both the song and the words.

Have a wonderful rest of your day

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

What To Do If Your Dog Bites?

I received a comment on our guest post "Dogs and the Law in Israel". Before publishing it or accepting it, I decided to do some fact finding. The truth is that the comment requires more than a one or two line answer and hence I am making a post about it.

Here is the comment sent in by an anonymous reader of our blog:
 "Our dog has a history of biting strangers. Our dog has been quarentiened 2 times now because of it. Today he bit someone and the police got involved. Will the police put him down like they do in America? Hes a border collie so he isn't a harmful breed. He only attacks when he feels threatened and only to strangers. We don't know what to do anymore."

After doing some fact finding, I still don't have all the answers but here are a few:

1) A dog who bites people is a dangerous dog no matter what the breed is. As a result in answer to your comment that your dog is a border collie, that is irrelevant. The fact remains that your dog is dangerous and you need to take steps to protect others and your dog.

2) Taking care of a dog is both a responsibility and an expense. If you lack the expense to properly care for your dog, then it is best for all concerned to find another home for the dog. If you do have the funds, then it is your responsibility to do whatever it takes to make sure that your dog will not bite anyone, including strangers. Firstly this means that whenever you walk your dog, it is your responsibility to put a muzzle on the dog. Secondly, you need to take your dog to dog training lessons which may or may not help. You can ask the dog trainers for further advise regarding this problem.

3) Owning a dog that is dangerous is a problem in Israel both by Torah law and by secular law and the responsibility is on you to remedy the situation. 

4) If your dog has bitten already, the chances are that things will only get worse, meaning the dog will bite again unless you take steps to remedy the situation.

5) In a legal group I networked in to try to find some answers, there was some consensus that it is irresponsible that the dog has bitten more than once. 

I am not a lawyer and can not answer what will happen with your dog. I can say that a dog bit is very painful and can be harmful. Dogs have strong teeth and powerful jaws. I would recommend turning to an organization such as the Israeli SPCA or your vet. Also find legal assistance.

For anyone else reading this blog post, please be aware that having a pet is a responsibility and up to you to take care of your pet in the best possible way to ensure health and safety both for your pet and for others.

I trust you take the appropriate measures to take care of your dog or other pet.  

Monday, 8 January 2018

Prepare for your Best Year Yet

One of the hardest parts of my Aliyah has been the very negative attitude I have come up against from far too many. So many have told me I don't need my profession and just to clean houses. Their theory being that there are always people who need their house cleaned and it's usually cash money. The problem is you have to do a awful lot of cleaning and hard labour in order to come up with enough to have stability and a healthy lifestyle. You also need enough stamina to work hard for all those hours.

I have had many say I made a mistake to come to Israel. I don't agree and here is why!

Israel is the homeland of EVERY Jew and any Jew who wishes to live here is welcome and belongs here. It is not for anyone to tell a Jew that coming to Israel was a mistake. That thinking is just wrong.

I've tried to do the minimum wage route, I've tried working in facilities that sadly have no respect for professionals with experience. Neither of those work for me.

I have enough knowledge from my profession to know two things.
1) There is a lifestyle that promotes health and well being and
2) There are ways to earn that support a healthy lifestyle

I'm determined to find both and to share any quality tips, ideas or resources that can assist my fellow Jew to be successful in Israel too. So for my first share for 2018, here is an excellent video. Watch it, make your one page list of what your goals are for this year and focus on being successful, here in Israel.

Peter Voogd has a powerful lesson. There will always be nay sayers or haters. There will always be those to try to turn you off from living your best life or reaching your goals. Don't let them get to you.

Focus on your goals and reach for your dreams. Remember, if you have a dream to live in Israel, that dream comes from somewhere. It comes from your essence which goes back to Hashem. Remember that He is in charge of this whole creation and as long as you are working correctly and using your skills and talents for good, He can assist. From my 15 years in Israel so far, I have seen that miracles certainly do happen. Believe in miracles, search for tools, research, podcasts, connections that will help you to succeed and go for your dreams.

Oh, and let us know what industry you choose to focus on, share your goals and let us build a community focused on solutions. Focused on building Israel and Jerusalem.

Have a beautiful, successful 2018.

P.S. if you are interested in tips to live the Jewish lifestyle here in Israel, sign up for my newsletter. You'll find it on my website. Pretty soon I'll be sharing sign up info on blog posts too.


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