The Aliyah Files #18: Welcome to Israel!

Welcome to all the new olim who arrived on this morning’s Nefesh B’Nefesh flight! 100 °F weather is probably making you wonder what you’re getting yourself into, but don’t dismay. The temperature does cool off… eventually. My biggest aliyah tip of the day is to stay hydrated. Water, juice, water with petel, shlookim, artikim, juicyContinue reading “The Aliyah Files #18: Welcome to Israel!”

The Aliyah Files #17: Ditch the Warehouse Club Mentality

Warning!  Warehouse club mentality is hazardous to your aliyah.  Let me explain what this means. It means don’t buy in bulk or x-large quantities ever again. THERE IS VERY LITTLE STORAGE SPACE IN ISRAEL. I REPEAT: THERE IS VERY LITTLE STORAGE SPACE.  You may be used to basements, garages, attics, off-site storage, CLOSETS, large kitchens,Continue reading “The Aliyah Files #17: Ditch the Warehouse Club Mentality”

The Aliyah Files #16: Over-the-Counter-Medication

No matter where on the planet we find ourselves, there will be occasional headaches, stomachaches, and other minor discomforts.  If your favorite standbys for these ailments have been Tylenol, Pepto, or other OTC medications you are going to need to know the lingo of Israeli OTCs.  I can only speak for the American brands, soContinue reading “The Aliyah Files #16: Over-the-Counter-Medication”

The Aliyah Files #15: 5 Items to buy the first week after of arriving in Israel

In previous blog posts I have advised what NOT to bring on aliyah. This issue of the Aliyah Files focuses on items I recommend purchasing once you arrive in Israel. Kum kum (coom coom)-an electric kettle to heat your water for a quick hot beverage.                     Continue reading “The Aliyah Files #15: 5 Items to buy the first week after of arriving in Israel”

The Aliyah Files #14: Essential Hebrew Part II

If you can understand the following sentence you are doing a great job on your Hebrew acquisition: The kablan was at the apartment doing shputzim so I grabbed some mishmishim for fruit snack, told the kids to get their bimbas, and headed the park for awhile.  If this sentence is a bit cryptic I adviseContinue reading “The Aliyah Files #14: Essential Hebrew Part II”

The Aliyah Files #13: Essential Hebrew Part I

Whether or not you go to ulpan (ool-pan) (intensive classes where you learn Hebrew), here are some essential words you will want to learn ASAP. The teacher in me knows that introducing too many vocabulary words at one time will be overwhelming so here are ten words for starters. Refer to this list below asContinue reading “The Aliyah Files #13: Essential Hebrew Part I”

The Aliyah Files #12 Ideas for adding color to a colorless standard Israeli apartment

I live in an apartment and like most apartments in Israel, it is made of concrete.  The concrete floor is covered with neutral-colored square tiles.  The walls of the apartment are painted white.  This color scheme (or more accurately lack of color scheme) is very boring and without much character (IMHO). If painting the walls isn’tContinue reading “The Aliyah Files #12 Ideas for adding color to a colorless standard Israeli apartment”

The Aliyah Files #11: America’s got S’Mores. Israel’s got Krembos. Comparison of these 2 Marshmallow Treats

After publishing The Aliyah Files #10 Pumpkin-Spiced Latte, one of the kids came home with a Krembo. I had forgotten since last year that ’tis now the season for Krembos.  A Krembo is a chocolate-coated marshmallow fluff atop a biscuit cookie.  It’s too sweet for my liking, but nevertheless, it’s part of the Israeli cultureContinue reading “The Aliyah Files #11: America’s got S’Mores. Israel’s got Krembos. Comparison of these 2 Marshmallow Treats”

The Aliyah Files #10: Pumpkin-Spiced Latte

What images do you associate with the word “autumn”? I think of leaves in stunning hues of red, orange, and yellow, scarecrows, pumpkins, and big plump turkeys. Or perhaps you envision tall leather boots, warm cozy sweaters, and hot pumpkin-spiced latte.  I’ll break it to you gently, but things are a bit different here inContinue reading “The Aliyah Files #10: Pumpkin-Spiced Latte”

The Aliyah Files #9: The First Week of School and What to Expect

Some schools start Rosh Chodesh Elul while others will start anytime up until September 1. A few minor differences to get used to when you go to school in Israel compared to the USA: Teachers are called by their first names.  I was always called Mrs. Furman in the Old Country.  In Israel, I amContinue reading “The Aliyah Files #9: The First Week of School and What to Expect”

The Aliyah Files #8: The Illustrated Guide to School Supplies

It’s time to shop for school supplies.  This will be a brand new experience unlike any other back to school shopping outing you’ve had in the past.  1. the list will be in Hebrew.  2. you’ve now left the familiarity of Crayola products and paper folders.  Whether you’re a new Oleh or have been hereContinue reading “The Aliyah Files #8: The Illustrated Guide to School Supplies”

The Aliyah Files #7: To Bring or Not to Bring, That is the Question

Apologies to William Shakespeare on the slight adaption of his famed quote.  To bring, or not to bring (belongings on aliyah) is the next big question after deciding where to live and when to move. This question repeats itself over and over on Yahoo and Facebook groups with everyone putting in their two-cents worth.  AsContinue reading “The Aliyah Files #7: To Bring or Not to Bring, That is the Question”

The Aliyah Files #6: Preparing for Pesach in Israel-Time Management, Shopping, and Organizational Strategies

Purim and over and now the countdown is on until Pesach. This edition of the Olim Files discusses the ORGANIZATIONAL ASPECTS of time and space the holiday.

The Aliyah Files #5: Doors, Light Switches, Toilets and Other Oddities of Your New Home

After you have arrived to your new home, you will soon discover a few things that need a brief explanation.  These things will seem odd at first but will then seem second nature. Doors.  Made of metal or wood.  The front door and mamad (safe room) door are metal. Other doors are made of wood. TheContinue reading “The Aliyah Files #5: Doors, Light Switches, Toilets and Other Oddities of Your New Home”

The Aliyah Files #4 Small Appliances: What to Bring and What to Buy

One question that comes up over and over is about which items to bring to Israel and which items to leave behind.  Regarding small appliances, my advice: BRING NOTHING Sell these appliances and pocket the money to buy new or nearly new items once you arrive.  The big problem with bringing small appliances from theContinue reading “The Aliyah Files #4 Small Appliances: What to Bring and What to Buy”

The Aliyah Files #3: No Closets?! Where do I keep my Clothes?

There aren’t closets in Israel. What?! NO CLOSET? We have Aronot (ah ro NOTE) in the which is the plural of Aron (AH ron). This is not to be confused with the boys name Aharon (AH ha ron).  You have probably heard of an Aron Kodesh, which houses our Holy Torah.  An Aron is aContinue reading “The Aliyah Files #3: No Closets?! Where do I keep my Clothes?”

The Aliyah Files #2: Recommended Cleaning Products to Buy in Israel

Time to clean your house, wash dishes, and do laundry.  Say goodbye to your favorite standbys and hello to the following items. Natural Products:  For the folks who like using natural products this is for you: lemon juice=מיץ לימון, vinegar=חומץ, and baking soda/ sodium bicarbonate=סודה לשתייה.  For real lemons, besides the ones at the grocery store, youContinue reading “The Aliyah Files #2: Recommended Cleaning Products to Buy in Israel”

The Aliyah Files Issue#1: Housekeeping 101 in Israel

I made aliyah in 2010.  Moving overseas is a huge adjustment.  Besides integrating into a new culture, learning a new language, finding work, finding schools for the kids, there are million small changes to be made.  One of these changes is learning to keep house Israeli style. Ditch your mop and head to your local grocery or hardwareContinue reading “The Aliyah Files Issue#1: Housekeeping 101 in Israel”