Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes - Happy 2010!

Dear loyal and non-loyal readers:

I wish you many changes for the good in 2010.

Lets be thankful to G'd for all the good changes and opportunities he provided in 2009 and those that are already coming in 2010.
Cheers for a great new beginning!
Here is a picture I recently took of a shelf full of Rompope. Lets celebrate! (remember from my previous blog post From Rompope to Eggnog to Sachlav?)
From Other

And to celebrate this Shabbat Vayechi as a new calendar year, lets take a look at what Vayechi looked like a year ago.

First: Ilan singing Hamalach Hagoel, the blessing Jacob gave to Joseph's children Menashe & Ephraim (Genesis 48:16)

Second: Batya explaining parsha Vayechi 100% in Hebrew (after only 5 months in Israel)


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A message from the Chairman of the Mexican Steelers Fan Club in Israel

The boys gave a good game yesterday against the Ravens but odds are against us and I don’t think we will make it to the playoffs. Nevertheless my support to the Steelers continues from the Holy Land.

I guess we each have our own Holy City.

I recently came across the following video (Thanks Yossi).Enjoy on the link below and you will understand what I mean.


The Chairman of the Mexican Steelers Fan Club in Israel

Other post about the Steelers as seen from the Holy Land:

Summer is over

מ.ג (XLIII) is in our hands

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Holidays - NO work on December 25

To all my Jewish readers, I hope you had a wonderful Chanukah, to others:

Happy Holidays!

If you have been following the blog for over a year you might recall a post titled “Working on Dec. 25” where I recall that it’s my first Dec. 25th in my professional life that I work. Take a look at it here: Happy Holidays - Work on Dec. 25

Why didn’t I work this Dec. 25? Well…nothing to do with the date, it’s just a Friday and over here our weekend is on Fridays and Saturdays.

We actually had a very special Dec. 25 and 26th with some very special guests that stayed with us this Shabbat.

This Shabbat we were lucky to have the opportunity to volunteer to host 2 soldiers from a special program called Nativ. These soldiers are new immigrants from the Former Soviet Union that came to live in Israel from Jewish families however are not Jewish according to halacha (Jewish law). This program is the first of other seminars that these soldiers are doing as part of their formal conversion program.

It was special for me to be able to take them to the synagogue for the second time in their entire lives and explain what, where, when & how. It was probably the first time in their lives sitting at a Shabbat table. I hope we were able to give them a good taste of what a Jewish family is and what Shabbat is all about.

Shavua Tov. Have a great week!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My first Podcast – now available at

JRAW 2009: Podcast of Job Search Success Stories
Listen in as 3 current and former job seekers share the insight from their job search strategies.

3 current & former job seekers

Thanks to all 3 of them for their motivating adventures.
Read more at:
Click on the link above to access the actual podcast.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

D’s Salve a la Reina en Mexico

Lots of blogging material has been accumulating in the wonderful vacation we are taking in Mexico with family.

Just a quick post about a great concert I was invited to by my sister and brother in law joined by my brother and sister in law, instead of going out for tacos on Saturday night (in the end we also went for tacos after the concert – by the way the food I have been eating for the last week is a topic for a whole new post)

As you have already noted if you have followed my blog one of my passions is music, specifically rock music, as evident on many blog posts such as Happy Thanksgiving – Thanking Freddie, George and John for their music.

As it’s already a tradition and given the importance that rock/music concerts play in my life I’d like to write about this unique concert and experience we had last Saturday night here in Mexico. For other major concert experiences in Israel I recommend to read my posts about:

The historical Paul McCartney in Tel-Aviv concert

The Woodstock Revival in Jerusalem

A Night at the Party – Mashina Unplugged !

I’m looking forward to A couple of good things coming up in 5770

This concert was by a group called D’s Salve a la Reina (G’d save the Queen) and it’s a Queen tribute band from Argentina. If I was a little more ignorant about Queen (which I’m not) I would have thought it was the real thing. Take a look at some of the pictures I was able to take (sorry about the quality).

IMG00021-20091212-2316 IMG00014-20091212-2313 IMG00015-20091212-2313 IMG00016-20091212-2313 IMG00019-20091212-2315

This guy had the voice (not quite Freddie but not that far), the looks and the moves and a very good band backing him up also with sort of the moves and looks, but hey Queen was always about Freddie.

Below is one of the many videos I found on YouTube for this band, see it for yourself, if you are not a Queen connoisseur you could not tell the difference.

Thanks to my siblings for this magic night, we had a great time! It was also great closing it up with a good round of Tacos with Tehina which is possible only in Mexico.

Stay tuned for many more post to come about Mexico City in the eyes of an Israeli from Mexico.

Chanukah Sameach to all.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Chanukah Sameach 5770 - חנוכה שמח תש”ע

Dear Friends and Family,

I wish you all a Chanukah Sameach full of light. 

They say that light is stronger than darkness. A small candle can be seen in a completely dark room, however many candles are needed to completely illuminate a dark room. So too each one of us has the potential to illuminate this world and be Or Lagoim, a light unto the nations, each one of us makes a difference as we see with a single candle in a dark room, however we need the light of everyone to illuminate the entire world. Let us all remember what we fought for back in 167–160 BCE and continue to follow on our religion, live and love our land and distance ourselves from negative influences that go against our values.

Enjoy the video card from the kids below:

Lyrics & Stage Director: Batya

Producer and Director: Dad

Technical assistant: Mom

Special appearance: Ilan

Music: The Beatles

חנוכה שמח

If you liked this video you can take a look at last year’s here Chanukah Sameach 5769.

Exciting announcement! – Clock has been reset for a very important arrival.

I am so excited to announce that the “next family visit” clock on the blog will be set once again, but this time it’s not just a visit, this time it’s an Aliyah. I’m so excited for my sister in law’s Aliyah as I was for my own. I’m proud of her for her accomplishments and her smart decision and wish her lots of success and an easy klitah in our land. We are happy to have you here and hope we can slowly but surely bring the rest of you over here, where we all belong.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pre-Chanukah photo treats

Just a quick post to share some photos of two different events at Ilan’s gan. One was when we planted some plants outside of his classroom and the other one a pre-Chanukah party with some photos with Ariela.

Chanukah is not even here and I have already eaten more than 5 sufganiot or pontchkes (Punch-cakes as Batya calls them in Idish) – i.e Chanukah doughnuts.

Cant wait for our trip to Mexico. In honor to both our trip to Mexico and Chanukah I can’t think of a better song but the following, enjoy:

Sorry about the quality, it was the best I could find online.

Get it? La Bamba? Mexico? Menorah, Chanukah? :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

King David vs. Chinese Warrior

Dear loyal readers,

Your favorite blog was attacked yesterday by a Chinese Warrior. This Chinese Warrior came specifically from San Ch’Ung in the island of Taiwan.

Fellow bloggers, please take note.

The above mentioned warrior is a modern warrior aka Spammer. It all started with a random comment on the blog saying “I'm appreciate your writing skill.Please keep on working hard.^^” (clearly translated by Google) from a person named 非凡 which means “Extraordinary” in Chinese (thanks again Google translate). Some time after that I received in a time period of about 10 minutes more than 50 comments one on each blog post with links in Chinese.

I have already taken measures to go after the San Ch’Ungean warrior (many other Ch words come to my mind in Spanish for this person) it’s my way of defending my modest blog and its visitors. Just think of it as King David with his slingshot against the Su Ching… warrior. Justice will prevail.

How does this affect my loyal readers?

Just disregard messages and links on the comments section in Chinese (I have taken out several of them), and when you post a comment you will need to confirm a word on the space provided.

That’s it for now.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving – Thanking Freddie, George and John for their music.

To all my American readers or foreigners living in America I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. We certainly will miss our dinner with our Canadian friends as we assimilated to the American “turkey with gravy while the ball game is on, but don’t stay up too late since I’m going to Macy’s at 6 am tomorrow” culture.

What are we doing this Thanksgiving?

Well…. I’m blogging for now and will go to sleep soon, that’s it. I guess we never really assimilated to the Thanksgiving holiday, but it’s a good time to stop and thank for all that we have and all that we are.

I don’t typically remember but November 24 commemorates the loss of one of the great rock singers Farrokh Bulsara or as we all know him better: Freddie Mercury from the band Queen. I remembered it because of this great video I came across with.

Hilarious, isn't it? It had 3.5 million views in only 2 days, how about that?

Thank you Freddie for your music. And since we are in that mood too lets thank George Harrison for his music (commemorating his death on November 29) and John Lennon (commemorating his death on December 8) both of which I consider among the top.

Coming soon… I’m doing another guest post but this time it’s not a contest as it was back in “5 Israeli Job Search Tips” (which by the way I got 1st prize thanks to your support), this time I’m giving back. Lets see how it turns out. Don’t worry I will keep you posted. Just make sure you check the blog every once in a while.

Also, very soon, the family clock will be reset, I’m just waiting for confirmation of date and approval to make it public. (No, we are not pregnant).

We are very excited about our visit to Mexico. Can’t wait to see you all!

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Thanksgiving.

And for those with time (and the understanding of Spanish) listen to the following promo that I remembered after craving for a juicy turkey. Un clasico!

Friday, November 20, 2009

From Rompope to Eggnog to Sachlav

As I was sitting down with Liora last night relaxed and drinking a warm Sachlav it occurred to us that we have passed through several drinks similar to this depending on the country we are living. We asked to ourselves, how many people in the world you think know and have tried these three drinks? Very few…

They might all look the same, but they each have their distinguished taste to me.

La industria casera del rompope

Rompope: Mexican drink made with eggs, milk and vanilla, with Rum.Rompope to me has the taste of home, family, old friends, my roots, my founding base, my family values.

How to Make Eggnog

Eggnog: sweetened dairy-based beverage made with milk, cream, sugar, beaten eggs, and flavored with ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Popular throughout the US, Canada and Luxembourg (go figure). Eggnog to me has the taste of a honeymoon, new beginnings, community building, strong friendships, new family, educational and professional achievements, transition.

Sachlav by nate_uri.

Sachlav: A sweet creamy milk, cinnamon, and rose water drink thickened with cornstarch. Warm. I would think it’s middle-eastern and not only Israeli. (ok, lets assume it’s Israeli). Sachlav to me has the taste of my land, my people, our mission, challenge, my children’s future, my spiritual growth. I’ll have the Sachlav thanks.

Now how many of you actually know and have tried the three of them? You should!

Shabbat Shalom.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Captive (and hungry) audience

I have been wanting to blog about this since Acharei Hachagim (after the holidays). It tries to bring in my marketing experience by analyzing something unique and maybe funny in Israel just like it was done with The Sabra Album Take 6 – Marketing Edition (which I highly recommend).

Captive Audience + Opportunistic Marketing = Consumer Need

“A captive audience is a person or a group of people who have gathered in a certain place for a purpose and are provided or exposed to information that are unrelated to their actual purpose of being there.” From Wikianswers® with nowhere to go” that’s my addition.

Opportunistic Marketing communication are the messages and other media used to communicate to consumers by taking immediate advantage of the circumstances” I just made up this definition.

Now let me explain. Every Shabbat and holiday a bunch of leaflets are available at the synagogue both in Hebrew and English from different organizations that talk about Parshat Hashavua (the weekly torah reading) or the holidays. For a couple of years I have enjoyed following and studying both on-line as well as hard copies of the TT (torah tidbits) by the OU (They do a great job every single week). The TT for Yom Kippur is one that you spend a lot of time looking at given the many hours you spend at the synagogue. Now here is the back cover to that Yom Kippur’s TT:

From Other

Now you know where I’m going with this…

The ad reads in Hebrew: “Brazilian grilling party at Papagio Jerusalem”

Are you kidding me? I haven’t eaten for 25 hours, I’m hungry as a wolf and I’m sitting at the synagogue with nowhere to go looking at the back cover of my TT. What a perfect recipe. If I were the OU I would charge triple for that back cover. So for now I have a new consumer need to go and eat at Papagaio.

So the equation:

Captive Audience + Opportunistic Marketing = Consumer Need

Can also be represented as:

Synagogue on Kippur + Food ad on Kippur = Go to Papagaio

Makes sense?

I most admit that I’ve had cravings for a churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse) since I accompanied my co-workers at a Brazilian restaurant in Bentonville AR several years ago. I saw them enjoy one piece of meat after the other while I was munching on my crunchy lettuce (don’t get me wrong, it was a good salad). So now that I have it Kosher… well I haven’t tried it yet, but hopefully soon will.

Note: I did not receive any commission from Papagaio for this post, and I wouldn’t reject a free dinner for two either.

To be continued…. (I hope)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mr. President and Me

Sorry for the sporadic activity on the blog, it has been busy around here.

Below a picture at a recent event I attended. I know it looks like a balagan (chaos) but if you look closely you can see me (the tall guy behind the lady in red) and you can see our President Mr. Shimon Peres (the only guy with a tie).


The last time I had such close encounter with an Israeli political personality it was with the back then prime minister Menachem Begin in 1981. You can read about my encounter with the prime minister Begin at a previous blog post here.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Continuing on Mashina

Continuing my investigation on the roots of Mashina’s song Night train to Cairo, I found the following rare footage believed to be the origin of the song:

I warned you that this song is addictive and gets stuck in your mind.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about read the previous blog post

A Night at the Party – Mashina Unplugged !

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Night at the Party – Mashina Unplugged !

Hi there. Sorry it has been a while since the last post. We have been busy lately.

This last week or two we had some interesting party experiences in Israel. You must think we are party animals, but you are wrong, we don’t go out that often but this time we did.

A Night at the Party

We were invited to an Israeli birthday party. OK, we thought to ourselves, we are going to chat a little, eat a little, maybe even have a schnapps (drink) and go home, right? Well, it was certainly a first and it took me back to my teenage years. The party in their small apartment had a DJ with two huge speakers, yes there was food and drinks, but it has been a while since I saw disco dancing at a birthday party, “DISCO, DISCO” as The Zohan said. It was fun and too bad we left 10:50 pm because we heard that because the party went on after 11pm the police came to shut them down :)

I never blogged about a beautiful wedding we attended of a couple that we met since they met in Pittsburgh. It was a great and beautiful wedding but it also had a lot of firsts. Without going into details I recommend you read at your own leisure one of my favorite blogs writing about An Idiot’s Guide to Israeli Weddings, it's a must read for first time foreign or recent immigrants wedding goers in Israel. It’s all true about the dress code, presents, music, etc.

משינה אנפלאגד – Mashina Unplugged

Isn’t it funny how Unplugged looks and is written in Hebrew? I think that will be a topic for a Blog one day.

As it’s already a tradition and given the importance that rock/music concerts play in my life I’d like to write about a great concert and experience we had last Saturday night. For other major concert experiences in Israel I recommend to read my posts about:

The historical Paul McCartney in Tel-Aviv concert 

The Woodstock Revival in Jerusalem

I’m looking forward to A couple of good things coming up in 5770

Our good Mexican friends spontaneously asked us if we wanted to join them for a Mashina concert in Modiin. Thanks so much for the invite, it was a great night. The concept was of an unplugged concert which was cool, the group I did not know much about but I know they are Classic Israeli Rock. I bought myself a CD on Friday and listened to it the entire day to be prepared. The kids enjoyed dancing to the beat of ריקוד המכונה that Friday as I prepared myself for the concert.

It was a great night and a great concert, although I did feel a little bit like a fish out of the water when it was the audience’s turn to sing and had no clue about any of the lyrics. There’s a song that I did know it's jingle even before buying their CD which was their concert’s last song. Below is a link to the song from a 2003 concert, if you have heard Classic Israeli Rock then you will recognize it. WARNING: The song is highly addictive and you will be repeating it in your head for the next couple of days. If you don’t recognize it at first wait until minute 1:38 and sing with me …או... או … או... או

Now that’s good stuff, right?

Well, I like it a lot, however as I was writing this post I discovered the following video from an 80’s British group called “Madness” (you remember that 80’s song “Our House”?) that disappointed me a little in terms of Mashina’s originality, however, I still like them.

Until the next concert….

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Parashat Bereshit 5770 – Genesis 2009

Continuing with the educative side of my blog, I have decided to post a quick movie on this week’s parsha (torah portion): Bereshit (Genesis).

Enjoy it:

Bereshit 5570 – Genesis 2009

Creative Director: Batya

Executive Producer: Daddy (that’s me)

Music: Genesis (get it?)

Flamingo on the Phone Productions

Copyright:  _VDCCLXX

Shabbat Shalom.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sukkot 5770 Quiz Winner

I’m sure you are all eager to know who won the Sukkot 5770 Quiz.

Lets just say that many of you participated (I think) but only two of you actively, but only one actually followed the contest rules to post it on the comments section.

Well, I think I get it, my readers are just not interested on interacting, although I do thank you for all your comments when you do have something to say. I just thought a contest would be something fun to do….(not). It’s OK I learned a lot from the quiz.

Here are the answers to the Sukkot 5770 Quiz:

Question 1: “A Sukkah that is higher than twenty cubits (about 10m) is ….” ?

Answer 1: Psula (Invalid), (Mishna, Sukkah 1,1)

Question 2: “A Sukkah that is less than ten handbreadths (about 80cm) in height is….”?

Answer 2: Psula (Invalid), (Mishna, Sukkah 1,1)

Question 3: “A Sukkah on the deck of a ship is ….”?

Answer 3: Kshera (Valid), (Mishna, Sukkah 2,3), however…”A Sukkah on the deck of a ship: Rabban Gamliel declares it invalid and Rabbi Akiva declares it valid.” (Babylonian Talmud, Sukkah 23a)

Question 4: “If one hollows out a haystack to make a sukkah out of it, it is …..”?

Answer 4: Psula (Inalid), (Mishna, Sukkah 1,8)

Question 5: How about a two floor sukkah?

Answer 5: Tanna Kama: The upper is Kshera (Valid) and the lower Psula (Invalid), Rabbi Yehuda: If no one is in the upper sukkah the lower sukkah is Kshera (Mishna, Sukkah 1,2)

Question 6: And a sukkah in a treetop?

Answer 6: “Kshera (Valid) but it is forbidden to climb into it on a festive day” (Mishna, Sukkah 2,3)

Note: Consult your local Rabbi for halachic questions. :)

And the winner is…

Well, the prize will be divided into two.

1) My father in law who answered and wrote on the comments

2) My father who answered over the phone and since it was VOIP (computer phone) we will count it as answering on the computer/internet. (Contest rules 5, 7) :)

Your official “Weissers’ Journey to Israel” Blog T-shirts will make their way to you. Thanks for your participation.

Here are pictures of many other Sukkot for you to tell if they are Kasher or Psulot.

Enjoy the “Achrei Hachagim” (after the holidays) season.

By the way, I just realized that I somehow deleted the previous post (I still need to learn how to use Windows Live writer I guess), so here are again some pictures of our visit to Neot Kedumim during Sukkot. Enjoy.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Welcome new year 5770, our temporary dwelling

This is one of the most beautiful seasons in Israel. You can feel it’s Chodesh Tishrei (first month of Jewish Calendar).

We had a wonderful Rosh Hashanah and meaningful Yom Kippur. Had wonderful meals at home and at friends, hosting and hosted. Liora made some wonderful dishes including the Gefilte Fish a la Veracruzana that she prepared from scratch. Prayers were very nice at the Synagogue, the kids were so good and played with their friends while we were able to pray, many of their friends from school go to our synagogue.

This time I did feel like a pro (see comments from a year ago about Praying with the Pros). I was prepared with my own Machzor (praying book) and kittl (special white robe) that arrived late last year with our shipment.

Our temporary dwelling?
Last night Sukkot started (Feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles). I will soon post some pictures so that you can see our beautiful Sukkah. The kids were so excited to build it, decorate it, eat in it. Inviting people over in addition to the 7 Ushpizin (seven shepherds of Israel: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph and David) is also a custom. We were invited last night and we had 3 different families today with lots of friends for the kids.

We are commanded to dwell in our Sukkah for a week. Our sages explain that leaving your comfortable and safe home to expose yourself to the outside elements on a temporary structure puts yourself in the hands of G’d, he will protect us all, it’s a calmed security feeling.

The previous explanation of the Sukkah and the meaningful Rosh Hashanah we had made me reflect about last year and next year it inspired me to think about: our Aliyah decision (moving to Israel), living in Israel, finding and loosing employment, sickness and health... Knowing that He will always protect us has kept me with a calmed security feeling. However, It is not a sense of security that drives one to just wait for things to happen. I don’t believe it works that way. One needs to look and work hard for things and only after that He will help.

One can learn so much from a Sukkah. It requires a full commitment and trust in G’d, so too leaving Pittsburgh to live in Israel, leaving a “secure” job to look for a new one and the many changes we had gone through this last year has hinged in our trust in G’d.

I’m grateful to G’d for bringing us here and keeping us here, for our health, our sustenance, our spiritual growth, and our overall wellbeing in the land he choose for us. It was not easy, but to be honest it was not bad at all, with hard work and His help it all works out in the end. It was a very good year and the one coming up will be even better.

Moadim LeSimcha to all. Have a happy and meaningful Sukkot.

I have been thinking of many future blog posts but just haven’t had the time to write. Some upcoming topics include: my field work about Israeli customer service, sabra album, a VERY effective print advertising on Yom Kippur (I’m even thinking of starting something like Sabra Marketing), the most delicious falafel I ever had (4 varieties), an Achnasat Torah that was one of the most beautiful events I have ever attended, I will be blogging about the blogging contest prizes I received (after I receive them), and many others. Just let me know you are still enjoying the blog by 1) becoming a blog follower (see right hand column) 2) commenting on the blog 3) both.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shanah Tovah 5770, שנה טובה תש"ע

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(Click on the picture to enlarge)

Dear Friends and Family,

We wish you all a Shanah Tovah שנה טובה

May this new year bring only blessings to you and your loved ones. Let us all pray for a year of health, peace and spiritual growth full of accomplishments.

May we all soon see the day when we celebrate together in Jerusalem.

With love,

The Weisser Family.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A couple of good things coming up in 5770

Great news for Summer of ‘70!

Look who is coming to town:,7340,L-3775381,00.html

This summer we had Madonna, Pet shop boys and others. (all of which I could care less)

Summer of ‘68 (2008) we had Paul McCartney, read about it here , that was a good year, that was a very good year.

Can we book Pink Floyd or Yes for Summer of ‘71?

Also very soon I will be updating the “Next Family visit” clock, for a very very very special family arrival. It’s so exciting! (no we are not pregnant)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We did it!!!!!

Some very exciting news to share with you.

Click below to find out:

Announcing the Winners of The 3rd Annual JobMob Guest Blogging Contest

I want to thank you all for your help on this one. To every single 1861 of you.

Thanks to all of you that re-tweeted it including: @TzionE, @yuval_danieli, @joshweinstein, @Tips4Geeks, @davidcorman, @tallynetzer, @viviancohen, sorry I’m missing many of you, but thank you too.

Thanks to all friends and family that forwarded on email and Facebook, including RDW for forwarding to the Shaare Torah mailing list.

Thanks to all bloggers and sites that linked to my guest blog including my friend at , thanks also for your editing advice, I owe you an iced coffee. Thanks to, thanks Zvika for posting it at, thanks Mickael at, and others I can’t find.

Thanks to those that got it on email, saw it on Facebook, saw it on Tweeter and got it again on LinkedIn and still kept me as your social media contact/friend. :)

Thanks for your forty some comments on the actual blog post + the many emails, Facebook and LinkedIn messages I received with your feedback I appreciate them. That includes many past interviewers that knew I was talking about our interview experience, thanks not only for your comments but also for all the material to create the blog post (that includes the guy from HOT cable).

Good job to all the other contestants with your very interesting posts. As I would see one by one getting put online I thought that they were so good that would probably take the 1st place away. You also were able to bring a lot of unique users and have all set the bar higher for next year’s contest.

Thanks to Liora and the kids for your support on my “Blogging career”, I love you.

A special thanks to Jacob Share at for the opportunity to participate (by the way nice meeting you in person yesterday at the JBloggers convention), and of course to all the sponsors. It was fun, I learned a lot about the power of social media and gained a whole bunch in terms of professional opportunities.

Thanks to Hashem for providing me all that I have today and making me all that I am today.

Hey, you can now say that you are following an “award winning blogger” :) Now make sure you do sign up to join the “My blog followers” list on the right.

Feliz dia de la Independencia, Viva Mexico! (no it’s not on Cinco de Mayo).

Shanah Tovah.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Summer is over

Summer has definitely come to an end, how do I know? Here are the signs to look for to know that summer has come to an end.

1. Back to School

Oh yes, the universal sign that summer is over is when kids go back to school. In Israel school starts always on September 1 (unless it falls on Saturday). Batya started Kitah Aleph (1st grade) and is doing great. She likes it a lot, is making new friends and learning at the speed of light. She wakes up and before living her room she is already dressed and ready to roll. She is going to the local religious public school which is relatively new and has seen growth of 50% or more year on year. Batya’s class has 38 kids (thirty eight – just like on checks to make sure there is no confusion on the number), and there are in total 3 1st grade classes with 38 kids, I guess she will be able to make a lot or friends :) and hope she can get 1 minute per day from her teacher. There are a lot of things to talk about preparing for 1st grade such as the expensive school bag that is a must that is bigger than the kids and that have to be purchased also with a set of wheels to carry it.

Ilan is doing very well at his Gan as well. He cried just a little the first day but after that he has not cried again. He is very happy and starting to make new friends.

Liora is working full time at a pre-school with babies starting at 1.5 years. She is working very hard but enjoys it a lot. The three of them are on the same street and all at a 5 minute walk from our home. I just love every morning taking both kids by the hand and walk to school.

Enjoy some pictures of the first day of school.

2. Is the grapevine dying again?

The second time around there is no reason to alarm. We have been very careful with our backyard which has grown beautifully regardless of the reduction in water use mandated by the government (no kidding, because of the scarce of water in Israel there are laws of how much you can use for your garden). We have Passiflora (I think it’s called passion-fruit), oranges, limes, olives and of course the grapevine which gave some tasty grapes this year. Well, about this time a year the grapevine starts to dry up as if it was dying. That scared us a lot last year until spring when we saw new green plants growing. Today it has grown beautifully and it’s ready to rest for the next season.

3. Football season is back

You can see it on the streets, thousands wearing their team’s shirts, preparing for the season opener… Well maybe not thousands, maybe hundreds… Well maybe not hundreds maybe 2? Am I the only one around here who cares about the Steelers? Lets see if I can stay awake for the 2:30am game.

Picture taken today as the Steelers football season opens.

4. Crembos are back, honey is on sale and the Hummus tasting clubs are starting

I’m not sure how to describe them but Crembos are an Israeli sweet candy/snack that comes out only when it starts to get cooler. Why? Because it consists of a chocolate covered… whipped cream, sounds interesting doesn’t it?

Also it’s this time of the year when the supermarkets are filled with everything for your holidays, sales on honey, sales on cake, sale sale sale. Yesterday we even received a gift bag that included a honey cake and apples, isn’t that nice?

This is also a great time for food companies to do all their sampling activity given that everyone is going out shopping to prepare for the eating marathon of our holidays. So yesterday I had a Hummus tasting experience where I tried about 6 different kinds of Hummus (all same brand) a tchina (sesame seed sauce) and some other spicy salads. I never thought you could have so many kinds of hummus until the Hummus connoisseur pointed out the differences to me as I was tasting them. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to try them, it I had to: 1) look at the appearance 2)”on pita” the aroma 3)”in mouth” sensation 4)”finish” (aftertaste); or just dip and eat, since this was my first ever Hummus tasting event I ever attended.

5. The “acharei hachagim” syndrome starts to proliferate

I have written several times about the “acharei hachagim” (after the holidays) phenomena. You definitely know that the summer is coming to and end when you hear it. It means that the month were nothing in this country gets done is going to start soon, so why start something now when you can wait until after a month when the holidays are over.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming holidays being this our second year celebrating them.

I hope I can come up with something creative to share with you in celebration of Rosh Hashanah and that I have enough time to do it next week. Meanwhile enjoy last years’ here which received rave reviews. I recommend watching the video bloopers if you never saw them.

Goodbye 5769, hello 5770. We will miss the 60’s :)

Coming soon a big announcement about the guest blog post contest I participated in. Also, I started to do some field research and will soon present to you a report about customer service in the consumer product industry in Israel, you will be amazed with he findings, I have.

Hey it’s now 1am, I almost made it to the Steelers game.

Monday, August 31, 2009

"Arise, go through the land, to its length and to its breadth..."

Sorry I have not had any posts lately but we were out for part of a week, then have been busy on vacation with the kids, some interviews, freelance work, and now getting ready for the end of the “Chofesh Hagadol” (large vacation) and the beginning of school.

Just want to start giving all of you a huge thanks for your support and comments on my guest blog post as part of the contest. Thanks to your support I have maintained the 1st place by far (1866 unique visitors) and will hopefully (and probably) get the title.

See rankings here.

Not only that but many good things and opportunities have come out from the blog, so regardless of who wins I have already gained a lot.

Now to the blog topic…
There are so many things I have been thinking to blog about but so limited time: there are all the things we did during our trip to the north, the continuation of our vacation here in the center, the wonderful world of Israeli banking, the adoption of Tcheli (our new car), ready for “Kita Aleph” (first grade), Israeli’s consumer product and customer service experience, some new Sabra Album pics. and many more.
For now I will try to cover some of our vacation experiences and would love to hear your requests for the next topic, please comment.

G’d said to Abraham: "Arise, go through the land, to its length and to its breadth, for to you will I give it"
This summer has been a great opportunity for us to do just that. We have such a beautiful country and yet so small. It’s amazing the concentration of beauty and activities one can find here and it’s all less than 2 hours away.
A couple of weeks ago we headed north for 3 nights and 4 days and had so many great experiences.
Some of the places we visited include Shvil Hatapuzim (the orange path) where the kids enjoyed this small low tech amusement park in the middle of an orange grove with a swimming pool, mini golf, riding cars, boats, etc… we had a great time and then continued our trip north to get in less than an hour to our hotel/inn in Kibbutz Ginosar.

From Trip to North Aug 2009

From Trip to North Aug 2009

From Trip to North Aug 2009

Every day was full of fun. Some other places we visited included:

Luna Gal, Israel’s first water park surely could use some renovations and maybe expansion. The place has a sign in the entrance limiting the occupancy to 3000 visitors, after that the gates are closed. We got there early and there was already an ocean of Israel’s crème de la crème, nevertheless the children had a great time. By the time we left there was a tumultuous people gathering outside the gates screaming at the gate keepers to let them in.

From Trip to North Aug 2009

We also visited Kibbutz Ein Gev where we had a succulent lunch but then the fun was just starting as we visited “HaNagaria shel Saba Yosi” (Grandpha Yosi’s wood shop) where the kids were able to paint and ensemble their own wooden toys. After that we rode the mini train that took us through the Kibbutz, its banana fields, animals, etc.

From Trip to North Aug 2009

From Trip to North Aug 2009

From Trip to North Aug 2009

We were all so excited to do our first river tiyul (trip) which for me is the truly Israeli tiyul (we did the Megarse river). It involved walking to a river then walking through the river. It was very nice and the kids enjoyed most of the tiyul. Liora had a funny and scary moment when a meter long fish went through her feet. To be honest and to her credit, the fish was definitely creepy, maybe that’s the reason she screamed the way she did.

From Trip to North Aug 2009

From Trip to North Aug 2009

From Trip to North Aug 2009

Other activities we did included swimming in the Kinneret (sea of Galilee), swimming pool, drumming, bonfire, boat ride through the Kinneret (more on this on the next Sabra Album), and some great fish restaurants.

From Trip to North Aug 2009

From Trip to North Aug 2009

For more pictures of our trip click on this Album link. There is also a video here.

Back in Modiin we also have had a lot of fun with the kids doing many things around the area such as:


From Many activities Aug 2009

Going to the beach

From Many activities Aug 2009

Visited the Ein Yael living museum where the kids were able to bake Pita bread, make wine with their feet, walk through archeological findings from the roman period, visit a rebuilt ancient roman market street, milked a goat and drank the milk (OK the kids didn’t do it, but I did), made pottery and many other things

From Many activities Aug 2009

From Many activities Aug 2009

From Many activities Aug 2009

We had a nice picnic with lots of family in Jerusalem.

From Many activities Aug 2009

From Many activities Aug 2009

Liora started to work last week so I had the entire week to have fun with the kids. And what did we do?
We went to the Ramat Gan Safari/Zoo where were we saw a bunch of interesting animals including (and) the Kids TV Start Yuval Hamevulval at his show which for my Mexican readers he is like a cheap version of Chavelo.
For a video of the kids enjoying Yuval Hamevulval’s show click here.

From August many activities 2

From August many activities 2

We went to Chavaya Vakramim about 15 minutes away from home. There we baked another set of Pitas, made pottery and other arts and crafts, did a 40 minute tour of their many exotic fruit trees and tried some of them, we made tea pouches with all kinds of aromatic herbs the kids gathered. The kids also harvested their own grapes and made our own grape juice with their feet, this time we did get
our own bottle, I was able to perform the Ma’aser blessing and mitzvah (Tithe) as well as used it for Kiddush (Wine blessing) twice during Shabbat and then at Havdalah after Shabbat.

From August many activities 2

From August many activities 2

From August many activities 2

We visited Kifzuva which is a small amusement center at Kibbutz Zuva. The kids had lots of fun but I was very stressed because of the amount of people and wild kids running and jumping around the inflatables and games.

From August many activities 2

The four of us went an afternoon to the Park Hakofim (Monkey Park) and had a blast visiting un-caged monkeys and many other attractions including the bubble pool.

From Park Hakofim, Jerusalem & Other August 2009

From Park Hakofim, Jerusalem & Other August 2009

From Park Hakofim, Jerusalem & Other August 2009

We finished the last Friday of vacation all together in Jerusalem to visit the Kotel (Western Wall).

From Park Hakofim, Jerusalem & Other August 2009

From Park Hakofim, Jerusalem & Other August 2009

For more pictures of our summer activities access the following links:
Machane Yehuda, Bowling, Beach, Ein Yael, Family -
Safari, Chavaya Vakramim, Kifsuva -
Keitana (camp) Batya & Eichal Haatzmaut (Independence Hall) -
Ilan’s Gan graduation party -
Park Hakofim, Jerusalem, Friends -

FEEWWWW! I think I deserve a break. I’m glad the kids are going back to School, but I will definitely miss having fun with them. It has all worked out so well. In other (professional) circumstances I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to spend that much time with the kids, help Liora and go through the land’s length and breadth. I’m thankful to G’d for this opportunity and am also thankful for the upcoming opportunities.

I want to give an official welcome to Ariela to Israel and wish her a great year. We are glad to see you here. I'm waiting to hear from the next confirmed family visit to set up the clock again.
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