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Hanukkah Comes Alive at Neot Kedumim By: Beth Uval A great miracle happened here – Yes, right here in our own Modiin region, homeland of the Maccabees. A walking tour of Neot Kedumim – The Biblical Landscape Reserve brings our most “local” holiday to life. As Beth Uval, one of the reserve’s English-speaking guides, explains: “When we look at this landscape, we can imagine how the Hasmoneans grew up, tending their father’s sheep in these rocky hills. They undoubtedly knew every cave, every tree, every rock. It was this intimate knowledge of the terrain, along with their religious faith, that equipped them for their miraculous victory over a vastly larger and,056560 ‫בס״ד‬ armed military force.”


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Walking among for centuries-old olive trees on the “Hill QualifiedElectrician AllYourElectrical Needs of the Menorah,” we pick some of ripe black olives. They are so rich in oil that we can squeeze it out with our Noton 24 Hours for oil, our hands. InShabbat ancient Israel, olives were grown guide explains. Whenever we read about oil in the Bible, it means olive oil, important for food, for medicinal purposes, for anointing, and especially for light. The For the service you expect and deserve call: Festival of Light, Beth points out, comes right in the Shimon middle of the harvest of theZack olives whose oil produced 057-353-717, 052-953-717, light—for domestic use, and 08-970-7194 the special “pure oil of beaten olives” for lighting the menorah in the Temple.

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Continuing up the hill, we deposit our olives in a reconstructed ancient press and, with effort, turn the massive, 2,000-year-old stone that crushes the olives. The next step is packing the crushed olives into special round baskets, and placing them under a large tree trunk or an iron screw press that squeezes out the oil. Nearby, a group of schoolchildren are busy producing oil by an even simpler method: they crush the ripe olives with stones and squeeze out the oil by wringing the crushed olives in cloth. Then they make simple lamps from clay, with a wick they have spun from raw sheep’s wool.

In a comfortable cave, equipped with benches, we light the clay lamps our guide produces from her bag. “Hanukkah comes at the darkest time of the year,” she notes, “close to the shortest day, the December 21 winter solstice, and on the 25th of Kislev, toward the end of the lunar month, when the moon is waning. At this time of the dark of the sun and the dark of the moon, we celebrate the Festival of Light, adding light every night.” We conclude our tour at the special exhibit of lighting materials mentioned in the Mishna and Talmud. Continued on page 13

“This was the original ner,” Beth points out. “When we read about ner in the Torah, this is what it means.

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December 2004 n Kislev/Tevet 5765 n Volume 2, Issue 1

Fascinating People:

encouraging Jolie to grab onto every moment, learn, develop, love life and live for today. As a business executive, Ruth, instilled some valuable business principles which Jolie applies to her family - “time is money and to keep a sense of urgency”.

The Schockett Family By: Ora Blank Meet Modiin residents Jolie and Howie Schockett. Some people know them and have become their friends, some people have heard of them and their fascination with their family. It’s not their 12 biological children - yes, TWELVE - that makes them extraordinary, but the parents, Jolie and Howie, and the time they take to squeeze everything in.

Jolie spent her childhood in a religious school environment and became religious at Bat Mitzvah age as she found a father in G-d. She met Howie in Brooklyn on a double date where they were with their respective other halves and they didn’t speak to each other at all that night. Years later, they met again in Israel. As Howie was leaving Israel and Jolie had come for the year, they wrote dedicated letters to each other. They both wanted a big family. In addition to their own children, Jolie was adamant about taking in and caring for foster children. Over the years they have housed 10 foster children.

The first thing I noticed about their home is that it’s spotless. When I commented to Jolie about it, she laughed and said, “We have many people to clean it”. She is a tour guide (0524-486-604) and manages to study Rambam, Moresehet Modi’in, and Boker Nashim at the Cathedra, tourism in Jerusalem and takes exercise classes at the Matnas. Howie runs his own coffee shop and successful catering business, Schockatino Catering (02-566-7787).

As a person she’s charged, motivated, and goal oriented. As a hobby, she makes gorgeous quilted keepsake photo albums (which can be ordered in a variety of colors for different occasions) and silk floral arrangements for smachot. Her proudest accomplishments are her marriage and children. She loves planning trips with the children. Does she see herself as a mentor in childrearing? No, but sometimes others do. She sees herself like everyone else, learning along the way. Continued on page 11

Surprisingly, Jolie is an only child. She grew up secular in Bayonne, New Jersey. One of the most difficult obstacles she had had to overcome was dealing with the passing of her father when she was seven years old. Her experience taught her that life is precious and she should maximize her time. Jolie’s mother, Ruth Dran, is a source of strength; building confidence and

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Schockett Family, Continued from page 10


Howie’s role in the family is “the judge” and the one the children go to when they want a soothing ear. Howie is one of four and he wants to have a legacy. He’s playful and enjoys singing with the kids and a good wrestle.

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Family is the most important part of their lives. How do they get their kids to accept their goals and ideology? Jolie and Howie talk all the time. They continually discuss their children’s development. They brainstorm. If they don’t agree on a united front and tactic, but do agree that the children should hear one voice, it is Jolie who acquiesces. She knows that they have a common goal and she wants to instill in the children a sense of a strong father figure. They do everything together as a family, from eating dinner together to learning languages on Shabbat and practicing choral singing. They provide special time with each child.

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Every child has a job in the house. They follow the monthly posted schedule of who’s mom’s right hand every day. The right hand has an alternate back-up in case something comes up. Daniella (17) keeps the closets neat and tidy; Elianna (16) is in charge of laundry and chooses children’s clothing for the next day; Aviva (14) picks up the children from maon and makes the midday snack for the next day; Benny (13) picks up kids from maon on alternate days and washes the meat dishes at night; Ariel (11 1/2) picks up Ma’ayan from gan and washes the dairy dishes at night; Shirel (10) sets the table for lunch and dinner and clears off; ElHanan (8) is the sanitation engineer, dog feeder; Shachar (7) entertains the 2-year-old and 5-month-old; Yona (6) is the sanitation engineer in training; Ma’ayan (4) makes sure the shoes are organized; Levona (2) provides work; Yarom (5 months) smiles, laughs, and coos.

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3. No violence or aggression (10 NIS fine paid to parents for transgression of this rule). 4. No showers in the morning; brush teeth; always close the water.

Klai Kalut can make Hanukkah easier, So, after you light candles and are ready to eat. Forget about using dishes and glasses, And get ready for a real treat.

5. FIFO - first in, first out. Fast food terminology that applies to leftovers. 6. Absolutely NO PLAY until room is cleaned, turn out lights when you leave a room.

Choose from our variety of paper goods, To make your party into a winner. When you're dining in the kitchen, Or throwing a Hanukkah party or dinner.

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Ora Blank is from Montreal, Quebec, living in Modiin for the past four years as a housewife and story writer. Before leaving for Israel she worked in real estate for three years. While studying English Literature at Concordia University, Ora wrote imaginative stories about everything and anything.

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December 2004 n Kislev/Tevet 5765 n Volume 2, Issue 1

Synagogues in Modiin

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By: Michael Harlap

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The City of Modiin lacks a great number of synagogues in addition to public buildings and facilities. We lack kindergartens, day-care facilities, cinemas, classrooms, etc. The Modiin municipality is trying to raise funds from the various governmental offices and other organizations in order to build the necessary public facilities in the city.

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The government criteria required to finance the building of synagogues is based on the number of apartments in a neighborhood. As the religious population of Modiin is at the moment 20% of the total population, it is obvious that two synagogues per suburb is not enough, and we will have to build more synagogues for the benefit of all the inhabitants, both religious and non-religious.


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I would like to appeal to the entire community: anyone who is interested in financially contributing to the building of a synagogue in this thriving city, please contact me, so we may promote the importance of Batai Knesset so central to this community.

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Wishing you all a Happy Hanukkah,

Call us at: 02-563 8791

Michael Harlap Deputy Mayor The City of Modiin

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Neot Kedumim, Continued from page 9 Mishna Shabbat, chapter 2, deals with the oils, wicks, and vessels that may be used for the Shabbat lights, our guide explains. Wicks and oils that do not burn well were forbidden. If the flame was weak, it could go out, and the commandment of the Shabbat lights would not be fulfilled. From the 20-odd plant, animal, and mineral materials mentioned in the Mishna, it is clear that almost anything available was pressed into service to produce light. Castor oil, fish oil, and fat from a sheep’s tail are among the fuels mentioned. Wicks were made from flax, other plants, and even algae. Visitors to Neot Kedumim have the option of either self-guided tours along marked trails, or tours with a guide tailored to the particular group. There are special programs for Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations, and the Wedding Trail, lined with verses from the Song of Songs and romantically lit at night, is especially popular during the summer. During Hanukkah, Neot Kedumim conducts special activities for the whole family (see ad page 5). For information on tours and programs at Neot Kedumim, call 977-0770 and see

School System, Continued from page 3

the evaluation when the appropriateness of special education is being considered, however, they generally do not have time to conduct evaluations in order to develop individualized educational plans within the regular class.

attentional issues, and emotional components. An integrative picture is obtained that helps understand the reasons behind the individual strengths and weakness and an appropriate course of action is recommended. Only a psycho-educational evaluation enables a student to receive all test accommodations on the Bagrut test. A psychological evaluation is also necessary in order to obtain eligibility for special education. School psychologists through the Iriyah will typically conduct

Rashi Kuhr is a licensed educational psychologist who works in schools as well as conducts psychoeducational testing and provides therapy to children and their family’s out of his clinic in Modiin. 08-975-1156.

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13 ModiInfo

December 2004 n Kislev/Tevet 5765 n Volume 2, Issue 1

Hezy Yosef 050-5300822


A, 2

Hanukkah Crossword Puzzle By: Ruth Hellerstein and Penina Meltz (3rd Grade)


Down: 1. We light on it on Hanukkah 2. A toy we play with on Hanukkah 3. We grate it to make latkes

1 C

Across: A. Yummy kind of cake we eat on Hanukkah B. We make it out of olives C. We light them on the Hanukkiah D. The upcoming holiday


ModiInfo is an independently owned, advertiser supported publication distributed monthly to Modiin and the surrounding neighborhoods. ModiInfo welcomes all articles and ads but reserves the right to edit or reject submissions. The views expressed by writers and contributors are not necessarily those of ModiInfo. ModiInfo is not responsible for facts or claims made by ads or authors, nor for any typographical errors. Work produced by ModiInfo is the property of ModiInfo and may not be reproduced without consent.

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Recipe Corner Carrot Latkes (a yummy alternative to potato latkes) By: Daniella Hellerstein

This year try something a little different. Ingredients: 6 medium carrots, peel and shred (to save time, you can buy bagged grated carrots) 1⁄2 cup of flour 3 eggs 1 grated onion (this you have to grate yourself) 1⁄2 tsp baking powder 3⁄4 tsp salt Oil for frying Mix it all together and fry. They’re great dipped in a little gvinah levana too. Don’t just save them for Hanukkah – your kids will enjoy eating them all year round!

Candle Lighting December 3/20 Kislev Parshat Vayeshev Candle lighting 16:14 Shabbat ends 17:14

December 10/27 Kislev Parshat Meketz Shabbat Hanukkah Shabbat Mevarchim Candle lighting 16:15 Shabbat ends 17:15

December 17/5 Tevet Parshat Viyigash Candle lighting 16:17 Shabbat ends 17:18

December 24/12 Tevet Parshat Viyechi Candle lighting 16:21 Shabbat ends 17:21

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9 In a comfortable cave, equipped with benches, we light the clay lamps our guide produces from her bag. “Hanukkah comes at the darkest time...