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February 2007 Shevat/Adar 5767

Volume 4, Issue 3


Your Dream Kitchen Awaits

See the Ram Or ad on page 18

1 February 2007 n Shevat/Adar 5767 n Volume 4, Issue 3

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Dear Readers, What will happen first: I will get my black belt in karate or will Mashiach come? This is the question my six-year-old son asked me recently as I was getting him ready for bed. My honest answer was that I just didn’t know. (I am stumped by many such questions by four of the inquisitive souls I live with). He seemed pretty certain both would be realized it was just a matter of when. I was struck, though, by the lofty goals he seemed to have set for himself and how as a child, his dreams were not bound by time. A child’s world is not defined by time nor are their goals constrained by it. For children, time is innocent and infinite. If it exits at all, it as a friend. For adults, though, time is often the enemy. All the old clichés ring true. It passes too quickly, slips us by, robs us, we are always trying to beat it (except of course when you’re trying to get through an average day). Were it not for those stops along the year, the birthdays and holidays, seasons and milestones, we would surely lose all track of time completely. This month we pause to mark Tu B’shvat, the birthday of the trees and one of the four new years mentioned by the Mishna. It is no coincidence that the birthday of the trees should fall towards the end of the winter, when most of the year’s rain has fallen and the trees look forward to a spring of growth and blossom. Like with every new year/birthday there is an opportunity to reflect on the past while looking ahead towards the next phase of the future. Even if we don’t find significant meaning in the holiday of Tu B’shvat, we should pause to take notice of time, it’s passing, how our children, like the trees, are constantly growing and always on the verge of blossoming in one direction or another. We may even take a moment to rearticulate some goals, be they achievements in karate, to bring Mashiach or simply get through the day. Regardless, we will better appreciate where we stand right now if we take the opportunities the calendar lends us to stop and take a moment.

Daniella Hellerstein & Caryn Meltz Co-publishers and editors 052-6404-414, 052-3868-768 Ellen Perlis Art Director 08-971-6012 Tanya Green Graphics Assistant 08-975-0287 Rachel Linden Advertising 052-859-1344

Best Wishes, Caryn Meltz and Daniella Hellerstein

3 February 2007 n Shevat/Adar 5767 n Volume 4, Issue 3

Making Ends Meet

able to, can make all the difference between success and failure. Don’t procrastinate! Set up a time right now to sit down and start your planning or find someone to help you get started immediately.

By: Baruch Labinsky “Why can’t I make ends meet?” “Why is it so difficult to make it here in Israel?” “If only we knew how to make our money grow.” “How can we avoid falling into overdraft on a monthly basis?”

Here’s a six-step process to getting back on track. 1. Start translating your needs and wants into quantifiable and measurable goals to help you improve your quality of life. Begin by writing one financial goal

I’ve heard these questions over and over again from olim living in Israel, educated people, intelligent people, idealistic people, but people who have never been taught the first thing about managing their money in Israel. For many, money is tied to so much emotional baggage that it’s difficult to honestly discuss your financial issues with your family, let alone effectively manage your resources. Where to start? Sometimes it seems just so overwhelming! The most critical financial decision you can make is to take control over your money and not let it control you. Money was created as a means for you to carry out the important things in life, to be used as a tool in the hands of an artisan and not to control you. Making a conscious decision to take back control and use your resources as effectively and efficiently as you’re

that you want to start working on this month. (Yes, you have to put it on paper, if you can’t describe it, it won’t help to motivate you.) Maybe you’d like to reduce your monthly phone expense, or start saving for a simcha or

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for retirement. Be sure to specify the amount you’re trying to save or cut and define the benefit you’ll get by following through on your plan.

celebrate in a fun but sensible way by enjoying a night out. 6. Start building a long term financial plan by looking at all areas of your life, to help you identify your financial strengths and weaknesses: Is my retirement plan adequate for future needs? Are my employee benefits structured to maximize my gains? Is my tax exposure minimized both in Israel and abroad? Are my investments diversified and designed to protect me from inflation? Is my debt exposure (mainly my mortgage) at low interest rates?

Now that you’ve listed one goal, look at other areas of your life, like housing, travel and education and write down two other goals that will improve your long term quality of life. 2. Create your personal Net Worth Statement. A Net Worth Statement lists your assets (what you own) and your liabilities (what you owe). The difference between your assets and your liabilities is your net worth and it will become an invaluable financial tool helping you to monitor your progress as you achieve your goals.

This new found financial awareness will help you to focus on what needs fixing now and assist you in setting up concrete financial goals for the future.

3. Use your bank statements, credit card bills and check stubs to create a monthly cash flow summary of your revenue and expenses. This summary will tell you where you are spending and give you insight into what changes you might want to make.

For a useful outline of what should be in a family financial plan, send me an e-mail and I will happily send you a document with the major topics to consider to help you get started. In future columns, we will take a step by step look at the steps above and examine some of the critical issues so that you can put together a terrific plan and make it happen almost automatically. v

4. Once you know how much you’re spending versus how much you’re earning, you’ll be able to create a budget to help you prioritize your expenditures. Your budget framework will become the single most important motivation in helping you to live within your means and achieve your goals.

Baruch Labinsky, MBA, is a Financial Planner with the Israel Resource Network (IRN). He specializes in teaching companies and private individuals how to manage their money and achieve their financial goals; he can be reached at; 054-769-2329.

5. Create a reward system to reinforce your new habits. While you might not love financial planning, a reward system can help inject some necessary fun into the process. For example, once you’ve achieved a goal,

5 February 2007 n Shevat/Adar 5767 n Volume 4, Issue 3

Decelerating Time By: Daniella Hellerstein Alejandra Okret didn’t plan on being an award winning artist. Born to European parents who escaped the Holocaust and moved to Uruguay, Alejandra grew up as an ardent Zionist. She came to Israel on a oneyear program with Machon L’madrichai chul, met her English husband and stayed. At Hebrew University, Alejandra studied art history and planned to work as a curator. As part of the course, students were required to familiarize themselves with various art materials and learn different art techniques. After her professor pointed out her innate talent, Alejandra persued painting by studying fine arts at a school in Milan while on shlichut. By the end of her stint there, Alejandra had had her first solo exhibition at an art gallery in Milan.

Clockwise from the top: Angel Frutillas Leopard Persian Silk Pieces of Sky

Having returned to Israel and settling in Modiin in 1998, Alejandra opened her studio and began teaching art to children and adults. She was accepted into The Association of Painters and Sculptors in Jerusalem, a 300-member organization with sister houses in Tel Aviv and Haifa. The pinnacle of her career came recently when the house granted her their top prize in recognition of her body of work on January 2, 2007. The prize, named after Shoshana Ish Shalom, wife of Jerusalem Mayor Mordecahi Ish Shalom, is a prestigious award which Alejandra considers an affirmation of her unique and diverse style. That style includes working

with transparent paper to capture images while simultaneously leaving them vague and indefinable. It’s her work with layers of tracing paper that gives Alejandra’s art a poetic feel open to interpretation, meditation and introspection. Working in her studio is only one of Alejandra’s

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passions. The other one is teaching art to children. Alejandra believes artistic capability is an innate talent within every child and expressing oneself through art is an essential human need. In her classes Alejandra incorporates her vast knowledge of art and art history. In contrast to the fast paced, highly digital lives most children lead, in the studio time stands still. Important lessons and skills are learned such as patience, a virtue which is lost in a world where instant gratification

is the norm. Coming to terms with one’s mistakes is another. Alejandra doesn’t allow children to erase what they’ve done, unlike with computers when the press of a button allows you to start over instantly. In the studio, children are taught to learn from their mistakes and move forward. A lesson adults would do well to benefit from as well. v Alejandra gives art lessons to children and adults in her home studio. Her artwork is available for viewing and to purchase by appointment. Alejandra will be offering a series of parent-child art workshops this summer. She can be reached at 08-975-0534.

7 February 2007 n Shevat/Adar 5767 n Volume 4, Issue 3


Parents are bombarded with an array of psychological and psychiatric terms that their grandparents surely did not have to face. Some of the terms parents encounter include but are not limited to: Sensory difficulties, developmental difficulties, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity, depression, anxiety, social immaturity and obsessive compulsive disorder

It’s Not Just a Phase By: Fred Krause Ph.D.

Experts bring to the care of children a variety of medications and enhanced psychological knowledge that was absent in previous generations. When and how should parents access such experts? The most knowledgeable individual regarding one’s child is usually the parent who has the most interaction with that child. Most frequently but not always (sometimes it is father, grandparent or babysitter) that person is the child’s mother. Feelings, intuitions or parental worries should not be ignored. These difficult to articulate concerns are often the first clue that something is amiss with one’s child. Concerns like this should be shared with one’s partner. Consultation with the child’s pediatrician is a useful first step. The pediatrician can usually discern if medical/physical/psychological problems are playing a role in the child’s difficulties.

The conscious aim of almost all parents is to raise an emotionally stable, happy and successful child. This child will achieve life satisfaction through a loving relationship with parents and extended family, success in school/job, close relationship with peers and the ability to form their own successful family in the future. The achievement of these goals has become more difficult in the last half century. Our world had dramatically changed in the last 60 years. Dozens of new countries have been recognized (including our own state of Israel) and an equal number have ceased to exist. Global jet travel enables individuals to live in one country and work in another, returning home on a weekly basis. School personnel are confronted with children from many different cultures who speak different languages at home and who increasingly come from divorced and blended families. A further change has occurred with the increased role the expert/specialist plays in our lives.

Children’s teachers are also important sources of information regarding a child’s emotional well being. They are in the best position to judge a child’s academic progress and are also able to observe his interactions

Continued on page 17

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9 February 2007 n Shevat/Adar 5767 n Volume 4, Issue 3

Simcha Corner

Bar Mitzvah


For details on submitting your simcha

Mazal Tov to Efriam and Racheli Weiss


(of Pearl Skolnik Realty)

on the birth of their daughter.

please contact us at

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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is now reserving advertising space for the Second Annual ModiInFone, the only English resource guide for the Modiin area E-mail us today at to reserve your spot!

Ad deadline for the next issue is February 9

11 February 2007 n Shevat/Adar 5767 n Volume 4, Issue 3

Trees of Life –

Celebrating Tu B’Shvat

By: Dalia Zack It must be nine years ago that my family and I planted our first fruit trees here in Modiin on a cold Tu B’Shvat in February. Little did we know that those trees would one day bare more fruit than any one family could possibly enjoy! Yet, those trees also bare witness to our constant connection to the land and to the heavens above it.

The grape (or raisin) is added to the Seder to signify that Israel is like the grape that can be both eaten and drunk. We work the land and combine it with Torah learning.

A trees’ branches reach for the heavens while its roots dig as deeply as they can into the ground in order to claim its water source. The tree should be our blueprint for life as well. Even as we spend our days making sure that all our physical needs are met we should also take the time to reach for the heavens and fulfill our spiritual needs as well.

The fig is different from other fruits because it has no waste. From it we should learn not to waste the gifts that the world has to offer. The almond that we eat reminds us of the almond trees that are now approaching full bloom.

A Tu B’Shvat Seder is a perfect way to connect these two worlds. At the Tu B’Shvat Seder we enjoy eating the fruits in order to satisfy our hunger but at the same time we reflect on each fruits connection to the Jewish people and the land of Israel.

Finally, the carob teaches us that although it takes 70 years for a carob tree to bare fruit from the time of its planting, we should not neglect the opportunity to plant the seeds of the future in our own community. New schools, shuls and parks should be built so that our children and their children can enjoy them for many years to come!

The fruits commonly used at in the Tu B’Shvat Seder are the seven species of the land of Israel with a few additions. Also included are white and red wine (or grape juice) which represent the changing seasons. Red wine alone signals the hot, fiery Israeli summer, while the red wine mixed with a bit of white announces the coming of the fall. White wine alone sings of the white winter of the Hermon mountains, while white wine combined with a bit of red tells us that spring is near.

As Tu-B’Shvat falls on Friday night (February 2nd) this year, take this wonderful opportunity to share the tree’s goodness at your Shabbat table. With a bit of effort we can truly bring the trees to life! v

We begin the Seder with something made of wheat (bread or cookies) to represent the wheat and barley of the seven species. The green olive is added to remind us of the olive oil that lit up the Menora h in the Te m p l e . The sweet date is eaten to remind us that just as the date palm has one heart, Israel has their heart devoted to the land of Israel.

Dalia Zack is the owner of Dalia’s Designs, a dressmaking and alterations service. She is now expanding her services to include floral arrangements and the decorating of tables and halls for your simcha. For more information Dalia can be contacted at 08-970-7194.


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13 February 2007 n Shevat/Adar 5767 n Volume 4, Issue 3

About Scouts By: Caryn Meltz 6th, the Religious Scouts will be open to all ages and on February 15 there will be an opening ceremony held at the empty parking lot across from the Sports Center at the entrance to the city.

Do the words, “I’m bored,” sound familiar? How many afternoons do we hear that in our homes. If you’re looking for a weekly activity for your child, look no further. Tzofim (Scouts) has been active in Modiin since the inception of the city and this year the Religious Tzofim has come to Modiin as well.

The children of the Religious Tzofim branch learn to do what the regular scouts are doing coupled with a religious element. The Religious Tzofim abides by Orthodox standards whereby girls are required to wear skirts and boys kippot and tzizit. Khaki uniforms are required on the Tuesday meetings and a white shirt and khaki skirt/pants on Shabbat. All meetings take place in the Netiv Zevulun school.

The Tzofim was founded in 1919 as the first Zionist youth movement in Israel. It prides itself on being apolitical and is one of the only youth movements that has religious and secular members and runs activities to join children together. There are currently 60,000 scouts throughout the country of which 3,000 are religious. The Tzofim hold two weekly activities for 4th through 12th grades.

From 10th grade and up the non-religious and religious tzofim chapters go on tiyulim together. While the actual tiyul is kept separate the two groups have a chance to mingle and get to know one another during breaks.

Nadav Shamgar arrived from Raanana this year to open and run the Religious Tzofim chapter in Modiin for those children not already affiliated with another youth organization. Activities commenced this year first with the 10th and 11th grades in order to prepare them to be counselors. On February

Fourth graders are introduced to the scouts with basic safety and scouting rules. They are given a list of things to learn during the course of the year and at the


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Rabbi Morey Schwartz Experienced Mohel end, if they pass all the tasks, they receive a badge.

Home Visits Before and After Brit Topical Anesthetic Available

One father tells a story of how the fence in his yard was broken and to his surprise his young son fixed it by using rope to tie a special knot to keep it together. These are the types of skills that children learn at Tzofim.

Certified by Chief Rabbinate and Ministry of Health Reg. No. 768

08-976-2355, 052-864-1130 there are two regular Tzofim branches: Shevet Yovel in Modiin,, Coordinator, Mayan Freidland, 054-244-0831 and Shevet Ofek in Maccabim Reut.

The web site for the Religious Tzofim is Nadav can be contacted at 054-244-0747. In addition to the Religious Tzofim,

Olim Corner

The lectures that are being organized are very informational and highly beneficial to all new olim. They are a good avenue for olim to understand some of the basics needed for a smooth absorption into the country.

This month began with the “Sundays in Winter” lecture program with a lecture on the Israeli Health System, organized in cooperation with Nefesh B’Nefesh. Olim learnt about the differences between the different schemes within the Kupot, what to do in an emergency, when to see a specialist (and how), where to find out basic information about doctors and procedures and much more.

The next lecture is Sunday, February 4, 2007, 20:15, Meeting Room, 1st Floor, Iriya Building in cooperation with Nefesh B’Nefesh: “Language Development in Children of Olim – Pitfalls and Recommendations”. A lecture will be given by Rashi Kuhr, School Psychologist. Please register by e-mail to: v

15 February 2007 n Shevat/Adar 5767 n Volume 4, Issue 3

A Small Token of Nostalgia By Lisa Schmerler (Celebrating her 30th year in Israel) I was formally introduced to the word “asimon” on the very first day I arrived in Israel in February of 1977. One of my friends who was studying in Israel happened to be at the airport to meet his brother who was on my plane. When we parted he said, “If you need anything you can call me at the yeshiva and it’s only one asimon.” I said, “Great, what’s an asimon?” Little did I know that the word asimon would play such an important role in my life and how much emotion (hatred, frustration and downright depression) that little phone token could produce. When someone said it was ONLY one asimon it meant it was a local call and you could somehow manage to reach the person you needed without having to feed the phone box. But if you were unfortunate to have a friend in a yeshiva or kibbutz outside the city you were doomed. Because each yeshiva, seminary or even entire kibbutz had only one phone (I kid you not!) and when you called to speak to someone they had to go find him. This could take anywhere from 2 to 20 minutes and you had to stand there helplessly watching your precious asimonim getting eaten up by that insatiable blue monster phone box. You could lose your entire hoard of asimonim on one call to Tel Aviv. And let me tell you they were certainly hoarded. They were sold only at post offices. And besides having to be there at the right time (they were hardly ever open in the afternoon) you had to make sure there was no little hand-written sign in the window that said: “No Asimonim”. That sign could have you fighting back tears as you scurried across the city from post office to post office looking for asimonim. It turns out that in the 70’s asimonim were manufactured in Germany and had to be imported to Israel. For some reason there were never enough in any shipment they sent so first the post office would ration them (only 10 per person) and then they would just run out till the next shipment came in. And we’re not talking about trying to call America (that’s a whole different story!) we’re just talking about arranging a place to go for Shabbat. If you wanted to go to a moshav or kibbutz you left a message with the office (because they only answer the phone during work hours and your family is out in the fields working!) and prayed they got the message. I once called my friends in Gush Katif and left a message with the office that I was coming for two weeks. When I showed up they said, “What a lovely surprise, how long are you staying.” Everyone took it in stride because as they say in the vernacular “zeh mah yesh” (loosely translated as “take it or leave it”). Sometimes we resorted to leaving written messages on the message board in certain pizza

Continued on page 19


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Oasis, Continued from page 8 Changes in the family status through death, divorce, illness, the arrival of a new child, and loss of employment may create difficulties in what was before a well functioning child. In some children these events need not occur to them personally but their mere presence in others may vicariously trigger disruptive emotions. Israel with a largely recent immigrant population, history of persecution, many wars and terrorism would probably have a larger at risk population than much of the western world.

with peers. Repeated episodes of aggressive or violent behavior are a call for help on the part of the child. On occasion a single act that grossly endangers the child or others warrants a professional review. Changes in the child’s mood, eating, sleeping or toileting habits may indicate an increase in anxious or depressive feelings that warrant attention. Teachers repeated complaints that a child has problems paying attention, sitting in his seat or organizing and completing his assignments may indicate problems with attention and hyperactivity.

Our world has dramatically changed in the last 60 years ... change has occurred with the increased role the expert/specialist plays in our lives

In response to this need it is most fortunate that Israel has a cadre of trained professionals in the field of psychiatry, psychology, creative arts therapies, social work, speech/ language and physical and occupational therapy. These therapists have been trained to help you as parents know when “It’s not just a phase”. They are here to help you help your children. v

Transitional times such as starting school, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, or approaching graduation may exacerbate underlying insecurities and may result in crises of identity requiring extra familial help. A sudden drop in school performance, violations of curfew and stealing of significant sums of money indicate emotional difficulties requiring professional help. Withdrawal from friends and family in a once gregarious child also is a warning sign of emotional difficulty. Excessive ritual preoccupation, compulsive game or Internet playing and experimentation with drugs or drinking are additional warning signs.

Fred Krause is a New York State Licensed Psychologist with over 40 years of clinical experience. In 2006 he retired as Chief of Psychology in Maimonides Medical Center Brooklyn ,NY, and is now working at the Oasis Center in Modiin.

17 February 2007 n Shevat/Adar 5767 n Volume 4, Issue 3


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Nostalgia, Continued from page 16 parlors and hoping our friends would get the message in time before Shabbat. Today, 30 years later when I see my Shabbat guests whip out their cellphones Friday afternoon to wish their parents “A Good Shabbos” I don’t know whether to be happy or sad. As a parent I understand how happy their parents are to be just a phone call away. But as someone who was here as a young adult I think it takes something out of the adventure of being independent in Israel and having to rely on your own survival skills. P.S. I still have my last hoard of asimonim. Who knows maybe they’ll be worth something someday… v

19 February 2007 n Shevat/Adar 5767 n Volume 4, Issue 3

Kids’ Page THUNDER DANCE Written by: Caryn Meltz Illustrations by: Karen Parnes


Pitter pat, prance with the rain, Clap your hands on the window pane.

Ready to dance? Thunder’s above, On your feet for a game you’ll love.

Join the storm in a sing-a-long, Bounce to the beat, you can’t go wrong.

Clap to the sounds and the beat, Swing your arms and march your feet.

Hear the thunder’s highs and lows, Tap, tap, tap your tingling toes.

Thump along with the thunder cloud, It’s lots of laughs to do out loud. Winter, spring, summer or fall, Thunder dance, you’ll have a ball.


Clap, clap, clap, hear the boom, Race, race, race ‘round the room.

Dance with the wind’s whooshing whirl, Spin around to twist and twirl. Thunder dance to the mighty roar, Start again and dance once more! v All rights reserved by Caryn Meltz and Karen Parnes


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Recipe Corner Chocolate Crunch Bark By: Chavi Feldman and Ilana Katz of Tout Sweet/Tut Matok Stir a half cup Rice Krispies into 12 ounces of melted chocolate. Spread onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Sprinkle immediately with colored candy (like m&m’s) and white chocolate chips. Pat lightly. Place in fridge to set for at least 30 minutes. Break into pieces. Tastes even better with milk chocolate! Tout Sweet/Tut Matok is not your ordinary patisserie. It has been created to serve the finer dessert needs and discriminating palates of the Greater Modiin area. The staff of Tout Sweet/Tut Matok will design delectable and unique desserts to enhance any occasion. Parties, Bar/Bat Mitzvot, britot, engagement parties or even a Shabbat table can all be made into elegant affairs with Tout Sweet/Tut Matok creations. Tout Sweet can provide 1-2 items or a full table. Incredible cheesecakes, parve tarts, trifles, buns and creamy delights are just part of our vast menu. To place an order or see our menu, call Chavi Feldman: 976-7051 or Ilana Katz: 976-2423. Orders should be placed at least a week in advance. [Please note that the recipes featured in ModiInfo are not part of the Tout Sweet menu]. Submit your recipies to

21 February 2007 n Shevat/Adar 5767 n Volume 4, Issue 3

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23 February 2007 n Shevat/Adar 5767 n Volume 4, Issue 3


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See the Ram Or ad on page 18 February 2007 Shevat/Adar 5767 • Volume 4, Issue 3 • FREE 1 February 2007 n Shevat/Adar 5767 n Volume 4, Issue...

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