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June 2005 Iyar/Sivan, 5765 Volume 2 Issue 7 Serving the English speaking community of Modiin and the surrounding neighborhoods

In and Around the City

Tapped Out

By: Daniella Hellerstein and Caryn Meltz

By: Dr. Dan Cheifetz

Deputy Mayor Michael Harlap moved to Modiin from Jerusalem nine years ago. He is an engineer with an MBA who was working as a project manager for a big company and never intended to get into politics. He became an active member of the vaad horim of his child’s school and had his first taste of politics playing an instrumental role on the school’s building committee. He then decided to take his desire to help people a step further. That’s where Harlap is today: he holds the religious education, transportation and absorption portfolios in the Modiin Municipality.

To supplement or not to supplement, that is the question. Most people are aware of the benefits of fluoride in fighting cavities. We all know that fluoride is added to toothpastes and mouthwashes. Some of us come from communities abroad that have added fluoride to the drinking water. Some people are aware that fluoride supplements can be given to children to strengthen their teeth. Many dentists routinely offer fluoride treatments to their young patients. I am routinely asked many questions from parents regarding fluoride. Should children be given fluoride supplements? Is there fluoride in the water here in Modi’in? Can a child receive too much fluoride? Should adults receive fluoride as well?

ModiInfo: Modiin has recently jumped to the first choice for many making aliyah. What are your plans to accommodate the unprecedented number of olim that are expected to arrive in Modiin this summer?

There are a few questions that I can add to the list. Is the amount of fluoride in the water relevant? After all, how many people actually drink tap water directly? Most of us in Modiin either drink mineral water, or have water filters. There are different types of water filters, which may remove all or part of the fluoride content. Is there fluoride in mineral water?

Harlap: I have met with Rabbi Joshua Fass from Nefesh B’Nefesh several times to discuss coordination in terms of absorption. Last year we set up a summer ulpan specifically for children that continued throughout the school year. We will be providing new olim with maps and other essential information about the city. In addition, I initiated meetings with AACI and Tehilla to talk about North American Aliyah to Modiin.

Fluoride is a mineral, that naturally is present in ground water. The amount of fluoride occurring naturally can vary from negligible to very high

ModiInfo: Where would you say most of the olim are from? Continued on page 6

Continued on page 4

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1 June 2005 n Iyar/Sivan, 5765 n Volume 2, Issue 7


Dear Readers, We hope you enjoyed a month full of holidays and family days. One of the busiest times of the year is behind us, the school year is winding down and we look forward to the slower paced days of summer. Vacations plans are well under way as well as plans to welcome all the new arrivals to our communities who will be coming in the near future. If you know of a family moving to the area who would like to receive ModiInfo, please forward us their information and a copy will be sent to them. All past and present issues of ModiInfo can also be accessed through our website www.modiinfo.com .

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Brit Milah and Metzitza B’peh By: Rabbi Morey Schwartz, Hashmonaim The ceremony of brit milah is emotionally charged. The sense of carrying on tradition, of connecting with one’s ancestors and of being the next link in the eternal chain of our people, makes the ceremony of brit milah a meaningful occasion for families and friends.

that metzitza is performed in order to hasten the healing of the wound. The simple implication of the Talmud is that metzitza functions as a medical procedure and not a religious one. In the last few months, the concern about risks associated with metzitza b’peh has increased, with the transmission of Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1, known as Oral Herpes) to twin boys in Monsey, New York. Both boys were circumcised in October, 2004, both of them contracted the virus, and as a result, one of them died from its complications. One month later, another case of herpes infection was discovered in a neonate. The same mohel who performed the circumcision on the twin boys in October performed the circumcision in this case.

For parents, the day of the brit milah is a day of joy and celebration, often accompanied by a strong dose of anxiety and apprehension as well. In my 17 years as a mohel, countless parents have felt the need to apologize to me for their unease. I am always quick to assure them that I understand their concerns, and that they need not apologize. Their son is about to undergo what does amount to a minor surgical procedure. It is only natural that a loving parent should be concerned. An issue that parents have recently been asking about is associated with the part of the procedure known as metzitza , suctioning blood from the incision immediately following the circumcision. There has been a major controversy brewing in the United States regarding this practice, and it is beginning to be felt here in Israel as well. It is my purpose in this article to clarify the differing approaches.

Oral herpes, also called cold sores or fever blisters, is a painful infection caused by HSV-1. Oral herpes most often occurs on the lips, nose, and the surrounding areas. Cold sores are highly contagious when a flare up is present, and can be contagious even when a herpes lesion is not visible. Children often become infected with the herpes virus by contact with parents, siblings or other close relatives who have a herpes lesion on or around their mouth. About 50 percent to 80 percent of the adult population has oral herpes. A neonatal HSV infection can be devastating to an infant. Continued on page 8

The Talmud in Tractate Shabbat records the practice of metzitza as a secondary aspect of the circumcision process, stating that metzitza must be performed at the end of the circumcision, and to refrain from doing so endangers the baby’s life. The commentators elaborate

3 June 2005 n Iyar/Sivan, 5765 n Volume 2, Issue 7


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Fluoride, Continued from page 1

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concentrations. Usually, fluoride content is higher in more mountainous areas. It has been determined that a fluoride concentration of 0.7 to 1.0 parts per million (ppm) is the most advantageous in fighting tooth decay. Concentrations higher than this can cause fluorosis, a condition that results in discoloring of the teeth. Mild fluorosis appears as white patchy discolorations, while more severe cases have brown stains. Serious fluorosis only occurs when the child is exposed to fluoride at several times the recommended amount.

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Fluoride bonds with calcium very strongly. When fluoride is present in the body during the stages of tooth development, the resulting tooth structure is extremely hard and practically immune to decay. This is why fluoride is so important for children. Tooth development occurs from before birth until about age twelve. Once the clinical crown of the tooth is formed, fluoride taken systemically, (swallowed) no longer has any effectiveness.

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But fluoride also has a topical effect. This is the reason fluoride is added to toothpaste and mouthwashes, and why fluoride treatments are done. There is a continuous process occurring to the teeth all the time. When the environment in the mouth is acidic the outer layer of enamel on the tooth surface demineralizes. This means that the acid pulls out calcium from the enamel of the tooth. This is how cavities start. (Bacteria produce acid from sugars.)

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When fluoride is present in the mouth, it bonds with calcium and forms a harder enamel surface. This is why topical fluoride application is advantageous in teenagers and adults. The concentration of fluoride in water is not high enough to have any topical effect. So, when we are talking about fluoride in the water, it is for systemic use in children until the age of 12. When I first came to Modiin, about seven years ago, I tried to get information as to the levels of fluoride in the water in Modiin. A couple of tests were done, and it was determined that there was some fluoride in the water naturally, but not the recommended amount. I could not get any more specific information out of city hall. Therefore, for the past six years I have been recommending giving children between the ages of 4 and 12 the recommended dose of fluoride supplements for partially fluoridated areas. Last month I made a formal request for information from the Modiin municipality. I asked a number of questions pertaining to the fluoride situation and the following is the information I received. “There exists a disagreement amongst professional bodies (in Israel) as to the efficacy of fluoridating the water in the whole country. The responsibility for fluoridating the water falls on the water provider, in the case of Modiin-Mekorot, who does not fluoridate the water. The Modiin municipality also does not currently fluoridate the water. Continued on page 5

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Fluoride, Continued from page 4 “This is because the water which is supplied in Modiin has a level of natural fluoride that fluctuates between 0.4 to 0.5 ppm, dependant on the source of supply, local aquifier or the National Water Carrier. The required level of fluoride in Israel is set at 0.7 ppm.” Parents must determine if the majority of the water their children drink is actually tap water. I have checked the nutritional contents listed on a number of local brands of mineral water, and none of the list any information on fluoride. I called the company that produces Eden mineral water, and they told me there is no fluoride in their water, nor is there fluoride in Neviot or Ein Gedi brands.

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Many families in Modiin have installed filters on their kitchen taps for drinking water. All filters remove some fluoride. Some remove very little while some types remove most of it.

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Here are my recommendations for fluoride supplements. If your children are drinking the tap water, Continued on page 7

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June 2005 n Iyar/Sivan, 5765 n Volume 2, Issue 7

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Around the City, Continued from page 1 Harlap: Forty percent are from North America while the rest are from Australia, England, South Africa, France and Russia. From the year 2004 until today 211 olim have moved to Modiin, 131 of them from North America and another 81 from other countries. ModiInfo: Do you see a connection between your role in absorption and in the religious school system? Harlap: Most of the olim that are arriving are religious and education is a top priority for them. We have three very good religious schools here. Netiv Zvulun has been the recipient of numerous awards. There is a plan to open an additional school in the Buchman area since it appears there will be a need for another religious school there.

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Harlap: New students and their families will be given tours around the school prior to the first day. In addition, we are in the process of setting up a program to connect each oleh family with an Israeli family. We organized this for the French olim this year and it was very successful. It gives families someone to turn to.

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Harlap: The train from Modiin to Tel Aviv will be up and running in 18 months. In 2008 there will be a train from Modiin to Jerusalem. ModiInfo: How did you influence the dati community’s vote in the last election? Harlap: I encouraged the dati and masorati communities to be unified in their vote in order to ensure that there was someone to represent their needs in the municipality. That translated into voting for Mayor Spector and guaranteeing me a seat in city council.

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Fluoride, Continued from page 5

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they should be given a half dose as recommended on the product. If they are exclusively drinking mineral water, then they should be given the full dose. If they are drinking filtered water, check with the manufacturer of the filter to determine how much of the natural fluoride is filtered out. As for adults, I highly recommend using a fluoride rinse on a daily basis, before going to sleep.

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A few fluoride related notes: • Fluoride supplements are available at all pharmacies in two forms. drops and tablets. Children that can not be trusted with a small tablet to be sucked, should be given drops, in a drink.

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• Fluoride should never be given with milk or other dairy products. The fluoride will bond with the calcium in the milk instead of the calcium in the teeth. Dr. Dan Cheifetz is an American trained dentist with a private practice in Modiin. He can be reached at 970-2943.

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7 June 2005 n Iyar/Sivan, 5765 n Volume 2, Issue 7


Metzitza, Continued from page 3

of Monsey, New York, Rosh Yeshiva and Professor of Biology at Yeshiva University, published a study in the medical journal, Pediatrics. The study documented a correlation here in Israel between eight circumcised babies over a period of six years infected with herpes and the custom of metzitza b’peh, concluding that metzitza b’peh may be hazardous to the neonate.

The controversies surrounding the issue of metzitza b’peh are not new; in fact, they date back over 150 years. In the 19th century, the discovery of microscopic organisms and accepted standards of aseptic surgical procedure became routine. What the tradition and halacha had considered to be a procedure meant to protect the baby now became suspected of being a source of endangerment. A number of incidents in 19th century Europe led rabbis to prohibit metzitza b’peh. In some cases, it was substituted with a completely different method. For instance, in 1837, the Chatam Sofer of Hungary permitted the use of a cotton swab soaked in alcohol and pressed against the incision. However, other rabbis, such as his own student, the Maharam Schick, strongly opposed this decision. In 1887, a glass tube for the purpose of metzitza was invented by Rabbi Dr. Michael Cahan of Germany with the assistance of a physician. Many distinguished rabbis permitted use of the glass tube. Others permitted it only in cases where the mohel was suffering from an illness.

After the October 2004 incident was leaked to the press, the New York Daily News contacted Rabbi Tendler, to comment on the situation. Rabbi Tendler remarked that direct metzitza is not required and poses a risk to the baby. Rabbi Tendler has stated, on other occasions, that not only is it permitted to use a glass tube, but metzitza b’peh today is to be considered prohibited. Rabbi Tendler’s comments were pounced upon by the right wing newspaper, Yated Neaman. The situation erupted and pamphlets were published claiming that Rabbi Tendler wants to abolish ritual circumcision in America, resulting in the vandalism of Rabbi Tendler’s home and synagogue. On March 2, 2005, the Rabbinical Council of America, the largest North American association of Orthodox rabbis, released the following statement:

Other authorities who wished to defend metzitza b’peh were of the opinion that it was not only meant for medical reasons, but that it is an intrinsic element of the mitzvah of brit milah. And some suggested extra-halachic considerations, pointing out that the act of metzitza b’peh is regarded highly in Kabbalistic literature.

“Based upon a careful study of the available halachic and scientific literature, as well as a review of sanctioned practice by numerous reliable Torah authorities past and present, it is the position of the RCA that the requirement of metzitza is fulfilled completely Continued on page 10

In August of 2004, a team of 12 researchers, nine Israeli, two Canadian, and Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler

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Happenings on the Hill

the President certifies … that the Government of Iran has permanently and verifiably dismantled its weapons of mass destruction programs and has committed to combating the proliferation of such weapons.”

The Iran Freedom and Support Act of 2005

The second section expands the list of entities that can be sanctioned under 1996’s Iran-Libya Sanction Act.

By: Aryeh Bak Iran remains the world’s primary state sponsor of terror — pursuing nuclear weapons while depriving its people of the freedom they seek and deserve. We are working with European allies to make clear to the Iranian regime that it must give up its uranium enrichment program and any plutonium re-processing, and end its support for terror. And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you.

The third section authorizes $10 million to be distributed to pro-democracy groups opposed to Iran’s current regime. The purpose of the financial assistance is to “accelerate transition”, in the words of Middle East expert Stephen Schwartz. This bill is particularly vital for Israel in that it paves the road for U.S. support of a regime change in Iran. While $10 million is a small sum, with this legislation in place that amount can be easily increased. Jerome Corsi, founder of the Iran Freedom Foundation and author of Atomic Iran, said recently, “Israel could very well have to strike in order to preserve its existence. But that’s not the first or best choice. The first or best choice is exactly what Senator Santorum’s bill proposes, which is a movement within Iran to change the government.”

President George W. Bush, State of the Union Speech (February 2, 2005) The United States Congress is now beginning to actualize President Bush’s words with the development of the Iran Freedom and Support Act. The bill has been developed for the Senate by Republican Senator Rick Santorum and is also being sponsored by Democratic Senator Evan Bayh. Florida Representative Ileana RosLehtinen, noted for her sponsorship last year of the Syria Accountability Act, has introduced the House version.

The bill has garnered 187 co-sponsors in the House and 17 in the Senate. Pro-Israel lobbyists are encouraging their elected representatives to sign on to this bill. U.S. citizens living in Israel should strongly consider contacting their elected representatives and encouraging them to sign on and support the Iran Continued on page 11

The Act is composed of three sections. The first section codifies existing sanctions against Iran, “until

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9 June 2005 n Iyar/Sivan, 5765 n Volume 2, Issue 7


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Little League Baseball By: David Nachenberg

and unambiguously by the use of oral suctioning through a tube, as practiced by many mohalim in our communities. Therefore, according to this viewpoint, the use of such a tube is not only permissible, but is preferred (instead of direct oral contact) to eliminate any unintentional communication of infectious diseases. This protects both the mohel and the newly circumcised child.”

Every Friday afternoon four little league teams get together in Modiin for practice sessions and games against other teams. There are some 50 youngsters from Modi’in who are involved in the league, and the boys and girls are learning baseball skills and having fun playing America’s pastime under the bright blue Israeli skies. It’s “all in the family,” says David and Hazel Brief, two of the league’s organizers along with by Elie Fagen. There are several coaches, including Fred Green and Shlomo Weiss, who work with the children who range in age from 6-12, and are grouped according to age. Modiin has been represented on the Israeli National team, and 12-year-old Micha Brief has international playing experience when the 12 and under squad played in Europe in 2004. May all the little leaguers have a successful season in 2005.

Here in Israel, the issue has also made the news. Proclamations have been plastered throughout Jerusalem, condemning the decision of the American rabbis. Ashkenazic halachic authority Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, states, “G-d forbid that we should change any aspect of metzitza b’peh. There is no reason for concern. It is clear that all of the calls to prevent metzitza b’peh are meaningless. However, if a mohel knows that he has an open sore in his mouth, he should appoint another in his stead to do that part of the procedure.”

Parents in Israel should know that they have the right to ask the mohel of their choice what method he will be using to do the metzitza, as well as any other questions they may have regarding the mitzvah. If the parents want, they have the right to request that metzitza be done with a tube, as it is absolutely halachically valid. They should tell the mohel that this is the case, and if the mohel insists otherwise, parents should feel free to find a different mohel.

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Mr. Baseball By: Caryn Meltz When Guy Mayer made aliyah to Beit Shemesh in 2003 he was looking for something for two of his four children to do on a Shabbat afternoon. He took them down to the communal parking lot of his building and started playing baseball. What he didn’t realize is that he would soon be entertaining the neighborhood kids. It became a weekly activity to play baseball and other outdoor games. On the long summer days they would play for five hours. The group grew to about 30 kids of all ages. When the Mayers left Beit Shemesh to come to Modiin, the kids presented him with a plaque. (The group fizzled once he left, no one had Guy’s energy to keep it going.) Upon moving to Modiin in the summer of 2004, he wanted to continue the tradition and also thought it would be a great opportunity for his children to meet new friends. So, on their very first Shabbat in Modiin, they were upgraded from a parking lot to the spacious park on Rechov Yitchack Rabin. Within several weeks there were dozens of kids of all ages, both Anglo and Israeli, dati and chiloni, boys and even some girls.

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For those kids who are not familiar with baseball, Guy teaches them the rules and how to hold a bat and swing. His motto is to play with loose rules so that everyone has a good time. His regular players help him teach the newcomers and help him with the Hebrew lingo. The game is played in either Hebrew or English depending on who’s playing. If there’s at least one Hebrew speaking child then the game is automatically played in Hebrew.

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On the Hill, Continued from page 9 Freedom and Support Act (even from abroad, you are still a constituent). Anyone who would like to know the names of their Senators and Representative, as well as whether or not they have signed on to this important piece of legislation, could contact the author directly via e-mail.

So how does his wife Vera feel about his being out for five hours? She’s concerned that he doesn’t burn too much in the hot sun. Not to mention that she doesn’t get to nap as much as she used to -- she’s busy playing with their younger children at home.

Aryeh Bak is an actuary living in Modiin and is active in AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). For questions or comments feel free to contact him at AryehJBak@yahoo.com.

11 June 2005 n Iyar/Sivan, 5765 n Volume 2, Issue 7


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These people were taught that the Jewish nation was annihilated right here during the Holocaust but when they see you, Jewish Israeli girls who freely and proudly wave the Israeli flag, it is just like G-d’s revelation to the prophet Ezekiel: “…Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come out of your graves, O my people; and I will bring you to the Land of Israel.” (Ezekiel 37, 12).

Why We Live in Israel By: Yael Sherby, 12th grade On Thursday, May 5th, The State of Israel, along with people all over the world, marked Holocaust Memorial Day. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon along with Holocaust survivors and their grandchildren, flew to Poland in order to participate in the annual March of the Living from Birkenau to Auschwitz.

It is true: six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, but they did not really die, as long as we live and continue their legacy, their spirit lives on. They died not knowing why, but we, their descendants and followers, certainly know why and will not ever forget. The appropriate answer to the Holocaust was the establishment of the State of Israel. Today, 57 years and 6.9 million residents (76% of them Jews) later, we continue to answer, not as a homeless scapegoat, but as a nation with an army, culture, technology, and an incredible will to outlast the hardest of times.

I was in those same places five weeks earlier, as part of a 42-girl delegation from Ulpanat Shaalvim to Poland. We went all over the country: Cracow, Lodz, Lublin. Almost every city we visited used to have a large – sometimes huge – Jewish community. Today, those communities are nothing but a memory; there is only one Jew left in Gora Kalwaria, former city of the Gur Dynasty, there is one synagogue left in Warsaw.

We live in Israel because it is the only place in the world where we can live without fear of gas chambers, pogroms, or the Ku Klux Klan. Israel is the only country where a Jew can walk on his own land, speak his own language, and believe in his own faith.

Are they all dead? Did they all perish in the gas chambers of Treblinka and Majdanek? Are they all lying in the forests of Lupochowo and Chelmno? The answer came in Auschwitz, of all places. On a windy Friday morning we sat in front of Dr. Mengele’s infamous block no. 10 listening to stories of the horrific and barbaric experiments that took place there, when we noticed people were staring at us. We couldn’t understand why, so we asked our tour guide, Rav Aryeh Hendler. He said, “Girls, don’t you understand?

True, life here is far from perfect. Like every other country (and perhaps even more) we have our fair share of problems. But I’m optimistic. We have achieved so much during the past 57 years, G-d willing we will overcome our many obstacles during the next 57 years.

13 June 2005 n Iyar/Sivan, 5765 n Volume 2, Issue 7


Kids Corner

TESLER ELECTRICAL SERVICES

Birthday Party Fun By: Leah Hellerstein (2nd grade) and Daniella Meltz (1st grade)

Providing the supply and installation of: Î a large variety of ceiling fans Î outlets Î telephone lines Î intercom systems Î garden lights Î Shabbat timers for lights, dudei shemesh and air conditioning Î upgrade to 3-phase Î any other electrical needs

Reliable service with impeccable cleanup Yehudah

052-328-3940

Masorti Modiin Land Petition

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A petition is being circulated for the allocation of land at Emek Ayalon 19, for a permanent synagogue for the Masorti Modiin congregation. This is an important precedent for the enrichment and expansion of religioius life in Modiin. Individual residents of Modiin may show their support, whether or not they are members of the congregation. Those interested will need to provide their full name, address, phone number and age. This information is confidential. Only those who provide an e-mail address will be contacted by the congregation to be informed of upcoming events. Call 050-646-9987 for details.

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Classifieds • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • DALIA’S DESIGNS

Professional Dressmaker Alterations on men’s and women’s clothing By appointment, not on Shabbat 08-970-7194

THE AMERICAN PAINTER

Experienced house and office painter Quality work at reasonable prices Call Michael: 054-672-0234 the_american_painter@yahoo.com

The Center for Healing Emotional Eating

Professional therapy and support Special groups for teen girls Eating disorder prevention program ages 11-14 Tamar Varon, M.S. 0546-720-213

YO GA FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND AFTER BIRTH Call Zahava (Wingate-certified teacher) 0 8 - 9 2 6 4 6 70

For sale:

Brand new HP laptop computer compact, light, portable notebook, with all updated features, please call 0528 370 367.

FOR SALE or RENT!

Due to retirement Makollet for sale or rent Large clientele - no supermarket within walking distance. Can be used for other purposes such as clinics. Phone David 08-972-5227.

14 To Advertise n 052-6404-414 n 052-3868-768 n info@modiinfo.com n www.modiinfo.com


Recipe Corner Broccoli Lokshen Kugel By: Robin Epstein

Ingredients: 8 oz. medium noodles 10 oz. frozen chopped broccoli 1 stick margarine melted 1 cup parve milk 1 package chicken or onion soup mix 3 eggs Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain well. Add everything except the eggs. Beat eggs and slowly pour into mixture. Mix and pour into greased 9 x 9 inch pan. Bake at 350 F for 55 minutes.

Candle Lighting May 27/18 Iyar Parshat BeChokotai Candle lighting 19:17 Shabbat ends 20:20

June 10/3 Sivan Parshat Naso Candle lighting 19:24 Shabbat ends 20:29

June 17/10 Sivan Parshat BeHaaloticha Candle lighting 19:27 Shabbat ends 20:31

June 3/25 Iyar Parshat Bamidbar Parshat Mevarchin Candle lighting 19:21 Shabbat ends 20:25

June 12/5 Sivan Erev Shavuot Candle lighting: 19:25 Chag ends: 20:30

Join us Shavuot afternoon, Monday, June 13 at 17:15 at Gan Narkis (Nahal Hever, Givat C), for a shiur given by Dalia Zack. For women only.

15 June 2005 n Iyar/Sivan, 5765 n Volume 2, Issue 7


16 To Advertise n 052-6404-414 n 052-3868-768 n info@modiinfo.com n www.modiinfo.com

0506  

To supplement or not to supplement, that is the question. Serving the English speaking community of Modiin and the surrounding neighborhoods...

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