And Yadda Yadda Yadda … I Made Aliyah

What happens to the boys with flowers in their hair?

Israeli children at gan, Shavuot

I have a theory about Israeli men. The reason they’re so secure in their masculinity is not due to months of paratrooper training or mandatory military exercises out in the desert. It’s because, from a very young age, boys are formally taught and encouraged to dance. And wear leafy… Read more »

Transforming duty into delight

(Photo: J. Whine)

Every once in a while, someone says to me, “I don’t know how you do it – work full time, parent, and still have the energy to blog.” I smile bashfully (but secretly pleased), and explain that “writing is not a choice for me.” I’m compulsive. When I get… Read more »

Thank you, Dr. Hussein

I’m still belching out mild nausea, but compared to how I felt last night, I am grateful to be able to sit up and type. Last night, my husband and I went to a nearby Middle Eastern restaurant for a quick dinner before heading to a parents’ meeting at… Read more »

Country girl, city girl

(Originally posted as “Kibbutz girl in the city” on the Times of Israel) Long ago and far way, before I got married and had kids, I worked in Manhattan for five years, almost three of which I spent living downtown in what is now chic NoHo. I’d say (and… Read more »

Brought to you by the rock I hide under

When I’ve had enough coffee in the morning, I choose to listen to the Israeli news on my drive to work instead of the latest self help guru I am following. Truth is, I am not fluent in Hebrew enough yet to understand exactly what the newscaster reports, but… Read more »

Be kind to writers

Remember, a writer writes, always. This advice echoes in my head decades after hearing Billy Crystal offer it to his fictional writing students in “Throw Momma from the Train” (one of my all-time favorite movies). Every so often I consider this advice and wonder if it’s true and if… Read more »

Action, action, we want action

There’s a chorus inside my head that won’t shut up. It’s the group of internal activists (who look remarkably like me except they wear sexy wife beater tank tops and cargo pants) holding up signs that read: STOP TALKING ABOUT IT AND DO SOMETHING The activists look like me,… Read more »

Seeing double

When I first moved to Israel, before I got my full-time job here, I started networking in search of freelance writing work. I had already started writing this blog about my Aliyah experience and had gotten positive feedback from both friends and colleagues. One of my colleagues suggested I… Read more »


Last night, the siren sounded at 8 pm for Yom HaZikaron. I didn’t expect the tears. As the siren sounded, my children got up from the couch where they had been watching a cartoon and all stood at attention. Even as he stood, though, my five year old started… Read more »

The Hope, 2012

It’s been a busy month in Israel. And a busy month or two for me, as I completed a huge work-related milestone in March — organizing and executing a 5-city U.S. Investor Road Show for 13 Israeli hi-tech start-ups. For me, the last few months of winter were intense… Read more »

Second spring

The weather is perfect today. Blissfully perfect. And by some magical alignment, my family is perfect today, too. Tfoo. Tfoo. Tfoo. We spent the morning together cleaning our yard, which had gotten frightfully ghetto this winter. Miraculously, everyone pitched a hand. Even my 9 year old, whom we hardly… Read more »

Breakfast of champions

When you first travel to Israel, one of the first things you are bound to notice at any youth hostel or hotel is the Israeli breakfast. It can be a bit of a culture shock if you’re used to Lucky Charms or Dunkin Donuts in the morning. On the… Read more »


Once a year, my husband and I used to head to Woodbury Common, a nice outlet mall off the NY Thruway. I remember laughing in bewilderment at the Asian or European tourists who would be bussed in by the dozens to the outlet center and would schlep out with bags and… Read more »

Tears in the desert

When I really want to feel life, I put on Billy Joel’s “Songs in the Attic” and drive to work. It doesn’t have to be Billy Joel. Jackson Browne also works. Depending on the season, so does Randy Newman or the Beach Boys or Elvis Costello’s and Burt Bacharach’s… Read more »


As I was getting my kids into the bath last night, I heard a helicopter fly by close over our house. And I didn’t jump or startle. I must be getting used to Israel. When we first moved here, I jumped at every little sound: Not just the military… Read more »

Name that tree

Even though it’s officially more than a year since we made Aliyah, I just now feel as if one full cycle is complete. My first real memory of our first real family experience  here in Israel (one that didn’t involve a government agency) is of Tu B’Shevat. A week… Read more »

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

Before I lived in Israel, I was a tourist to Israel. I visited Israel three times as a program participant between the years 1992 and 2000, and twice independently with family. Each time, there were outright rules and admonitions from tour guides, concerned locals, or experienced travelers to Israel… Read more »


In retrospect, I’m glad we made Aliyah at the end of a calendar year. At the time, moving during the first of New Jersey’s many blizzards and dealing with holiday travel didn’t seem like such a good idea. But now, as I reflect on the year that we’ve been… Read more »

The emerging Jew in me

Despite years of being a Jew in a Jewish family, Jewish tradition and, more specifically, Jewish practice often feel very alien to me. Shabbat meals, Shabbat services, Jewish prayers and rituals.  And despite being a bat mitzvah and many years a student in Hebrew school, there is little that… Read more »

What do you call this?

When I first started blogging about my Aliyah experience, about two weeks into our new life here, a friend in Israel (also an oleh from the States) told me he had also started a blog when he first made Aliyah. But he soon found he “didn’t have much to… Read more »