Perspectives you don’t get from a degree – or a subscription

There is so much I didn’t know or understand about Israel until I lived here. That may sound obvious, but it wasn’t obvious to me. After all, I had visited this country six times before I lived here. I majored in International Politics with a concentration in Middle Eastern… Read more »

Pay attention

New language acquisition is a journey that is part concentration, part commitment, and part willingness to look stupid. Do not move to a non-English speaking country if you are proud. Until you master the native language, you spend most of your interactions with locals looking or acting like the… Read more »

Experts say Israel safer than most

So I was thinking about the zombie apocalypse the other day after reading the story about the Florida man who was shot while attempting to eat another man’s face. I was tweeting about it with comedian Rachel Dratch (okay fine, I was retweeting Rachel Dratch, who doesn’t know I exist…yet), and felt once… Read more »

Barefoot kibbutz children make for good photo ops

My barefoot daughter walking along the sidewalk of our kibbutz

Ode to Found Love on Kibbutz Flowers, dirt, and stray cats Dogs that bark at midnight The cow-infused downwind from the refet at 4:30 pm… My children at 4:30 pm… My husband at 4:30 pm… Taking the trash out in my pajamas Dressing up in grownup clothes for Shabbat… Read more »

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 »