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Modiin Area’s English Speaking Magazine

Fall 2012 | Tishrei/Cheshvan 5773 | Volume 9, Issue 4 | FREE

ZAHALA FARM Hippotherapy, Horse Riding & More See ad on page 35


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From the Desk of Rav Lau

DEAR READERS It’s that time of year again. A time for taking stock, introspection and self- examination. Simply put, it’s time to take responsibility for our actions. As my oldest child embarks on the long road to obtaining a driver’s license, I can’t help but think of all the recent incidents on the road. The possibility of a traffic accident is utterly terrifying but also disturbing is the string of hit-and-run incidents. In a total lack of shame, drivers are fleeing the scene of an accident regardless of whether a parked car has been hit or an actual person. Personal responsibility seems utterly lacking and it’s not limited to the roads. This summer in Modiin, there was constant complaints about the condition of Park Anabe. An influx of daily visitors left the park strewn with garbage and mess. Israelis are notorious for living beyond their means shirking the responsibility needed to keep a balanced checkbook. Instead, we blame the

government for not controlling prices. We expect our children to live up to a certain standard, while we fail to live up to the same standard. We expect schools and youth movements to teach our children the right message, while we model a different message at home. We must realize that our children are looking to us all the time. What they see is what we’ll get. If we take personal responsibility for watching our behavior we won’t have to worry so much about our children’s. This year, let’s take a hard look at ourselves: how we behave on the road, spend our money, treat our surroundings, ourselves and other people, and may we all enjoy a year of good health and happiness – a year where we can take pride in our own behavior as well as our children’s. Daniella and Caryn

Pictured on the cover: Horseback riding is not only great fun, it’s also a highly successful form of therapy. Zahala Farms offers both horseback riding trails for families and treatment for children.

On Rosh Hashana we, the citizens of Modiin, together with all mankind are judged by the Almighty both on an individual and collective basis – as a city and as a nation. A city, together with its residents, may be viewed as a tree, together with all its parts. The roots of a tree have great importance, but the ultimate purpose of a tree is to bear fruit. We cannot down-play the importance of each part of the tree, for each part of the tree contributes to the well-being of the tree; without roots, there would be no trunk – and without a trunk, there would be no branches – and so on… Although Modiin is a young city, we can clearly appreciate the contribution of each of its citizens to the whole tree. Without each citizen’s contribution, Modiin would not be the great city it is today. Our prayer is that we will have the wisdom and strength to cooperate with one-another – to each contribute our part and build a city that will enable us all to live together and bring happiness to the city’s residents. The Modiin Rabbinate extends its warmest wishes for a Shana Tova to each Modiin resident and to the city as a whole!

Daniella Hellerstein & Caryn Meltz


Co-publishers and editors 0526-404-414 | 0523-868-768

From the Desk of Rav Lau ................. 5 Reunited and It Feels So Good ....... 6 Your Child’s Handwriting ..................12 Everyone Wants a Home .................14 Out of the Box .......................................18 Israel’s Top 10 Water Hikes .......... 20

ModiInfOnline ....................................... 24 Seasonal Allergies ................................ 26 A Breath of Fresh Air ........................ 28 Our Trip to the Olympics ............... 32 Recipe ........................................................ 36

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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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Reunited and It Feels So Good By: Daniella Hellerstein Aliya is catching on. The numbers of olim are growing and the influx of English speaking immigrants is visible throughout the country. The Modiin area as a hot spot for young families moving to Israel from abroad is not new. For many years there has been a steady stream of olim who have chosen Modiin as their new home. What may come as a surprise is the growing trend of retirees making aliya to Israel and specifically to Modiin. According to Yael Katsman, Director of Marketing and Communications of Nefesh B’Nefesh, the story of parents following children is something they’re seeing a lot of. In fact, retirees make up as much as 15% of North American olim in recent years. As high as the numbers of retiree olim are, they do not reflect that more and more parents are buying property and spending significant time in Israel without declaring aliya. On the most recent Nefesh B’Nefesh charter flight, which arrived August 14, there were 16 retiree couples all of which were making aliya in order to join their children and grandchildren who were already living here. Interestingly, of the 16 couples, around a


third has children living in Modiin. Nefesh B’Nefesh, acknowledging the significance of this group, which ranged in age from 50-80, proudly made up t-shirts saying Aliya: It’s a Family Tradition. Karen Levine, retirement consultant, who began her business, Lev Karov, four years ago also notes a huge change in not only in the numbers of retirees but also the kind of retirees that are coming. Levine recalls how when she started Lev Karov, a unique service geared towards meeting the special needs of retired olim, the people coming were older and sicker. They often moved to Israel because they needed to live near their children who could help care for them. This is no longer the case since most (but clearly not all) retirees coming are healthy and active. Their aliya is prompted by several factors. Because there are often many siblings within one family who have moved to Israel, parents want to be here too. For many retirees, aliya is a dream that has been on the back burner for most of their lives. Now, that dream is finally within reach and at a time when life in Israel is significantly more comfortable than when they were first married.

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In addition, retirees realize how much better it is to come younger, when they are healthy and truly able to enjoy their new life in Israel. Levine credits organizations such as Nefesh B’Nefesh with making the aliya process much easier and Lev Karov with providing additional hands on help day-to-day. For those coming with any kind of health issues, national health insurance provides full medical coverage even for pre-existing conditions. “That is a big bonus that’s not to be overlooked,” remarks Levine. Not all retiree olim choose to live in the same community as their children. Jerusalem is still a top choice because of the huge English speaking population there and the benefits of a big city such as museums, theater, cafes and English lectures. Netanya and Herzeliya are also very popular for their quiet, laid back, beach front charm. Katsman says that there are more and more retirees who choose pastoral communities in the North, which Nefesh B’Nefesh has been encouraging through their Go North campaign. Judy and Jerry Fishman followed their four children and 22 grandchildren to Israel, not to mention Judy’s parents who were sent ahead of them. Ardent Zionists their whole lives, it was the overwhelming ache to be with their family that was the final push. They raised three daughters and a son in the vibrant Jewish community of Skokie, Illinois. Through Bnei Akiva, day school edu-


A group of 16 retiree couples made Aliyah to Israel on August 14th

cation and frequent trips to Israel, the message of Zionism was powerful and penetrating. Yet, when their oldest daughter and her husband declared their intention to move to Israel in 1998, the Fishmans admit they felt a little caught off guard. In an effort to comfort her parents she prophetically declared, “don’t worry, you’ll be there soon too.” The other siblings soon followed and once the last of their children made the move in 2005, their decision to make aliya was a no-brainer. The Fishmans chose Jerusalem which is equidistant to where their children live: Alon Shvut, Beit Shemesh and Modiin. They

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say they couldn’t be happier and both described their new life in Israel, in a word, to be “wonderful”! Though not having the language can be frustrating, being with family and returning to the roots of the Jewish people are a dream come true. They love the pulse of the country, their friends and the time they get to spend together. They took the advice their now Israeli children gave them and approach every new situation with patience and a sense of humor. Zev Shumacher, of Shumacher Realty in Modiin, says that he has been selling apartments to retiree olim for many years. He helped put together the group sale of over 90 apartments in the Dimri Towers project in Modiin to a South African group of retirees. Although some bought apartments to live in and some bought them as investment, everyone did well since the apartments have since doubled their value. Even now that the cost of homes in Modiin has risen, there are still many parents buying property. According to Shumacher, it’s not just parents of olim that are buying near their children but parents of Israelis are also relocating to Modiin to be closer to their grandchildren. In the projects he is currently selling, such as Buchman Gold, many units are being sold in pairs to young families and their parents. Shumacher also points out that Modiin’s popularity with retirees has soared because it has so much to offer now. The train, mall, cultural center,


health clubs, parks and city services are a huge draw. Many retirees living in Modiin have children in the surrounding yishuvim such as Hashmonaim and Nof Ayalon but choose Modiin because you can get an apartment where everything is on one level, it’s centrally located for those who have children in different parts of the country and the dollar is strong which makes it a sound real estate investment. According to Katsman, retirees are thriving here. Quality of life is high and the cost of living is relatively low. She has also found that someone who has retired in their country of origin may continue their career in Israel in a slightly different capacity. In contrast to the alarming reports in America on the threat of Iran to Israel, the people actually moving to Israel, are by and large, not concerned. According to Katsman, “across the board it was not an issue. Since 9/11 a lot of Americans view the security situation in the USA as shaky, as elsewhere around the world, and so it has become a global issue versus an isolated Israel one which was more the case before that horrible day.” Cherie Albucher, English Speakers Coordinator in the Absorption Department of Modiin echoes much of what others say. “When we started to promote Modiin to the Anglo communities we would talk about Modiin being the city of the future for young couples who were just starting their lives and looking for reasonable prices when purchasing homes. For the first 10 years most of

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Judy and Jerry Fishman walk with two of their Modiin grandchildren in this NefeshB’Nefesh ad

the families who moved here were young couples but over the last five years we have seen a huge increase in aliya with regards to the older ages especially 65+. One of the main reasons for the older ages moving to Modiin has been the fact they want to be closer to their families.” According to city statistics, over the past year close to 70 new retiree couples have made aliya to Modiin from places like England, Australia, South Africa and America. This does not including other veteran olim who have moved from other Israeli cities to Modiin. The Modiin Absorption Department organizes monthly programs for olim of all ages, including lectures on Israeli history and more practical lectures on things like national insurance, pension, medical aid and more. They organize day trips all over the country with easy walking tracks which are guided in English as well as social events. The city also has many volunteer English speaking organizations such as Esra and Hadassah, thus allowing retirees to both volunteer and to be socially active. While it is natural for children to have a strong attachment to parents, it seems the yearning of parents to be with their children and grandchildren is perhaps even greater. It is the driving force behind what may have once been considered to be too big a move at too old an age. The Nefesh B’Nefesh ad campaign currently running in the United States is focused on dispelling that myth and tugging the heartstrings of anyone with grandchildren in Israel. The ad, which features the Fishmans with two of their Modiin grandchildren, is more likely a result of the existing trend than vice versa but either way, families are reuniting. 11

Your Child’s Handwriting: It’s more important than you think! By: Adina Raff Many parents I meet with question the importance of handwriting skills “Who writes these days anyway?” they say, “everything today is done on computers.” And it’s true, children are texting, tweeting and typing more than ever, leaving less time to master that old-fashioned skill known as handwriting. Unbeknownst to many, the benefits of gripping and moving a pencil reach far beyond communication. Emerging research shows that handwriting increases brain activity, hones fine motor skills, eye hand coordination, aids memory and even inspires confidence in children in a way that typing simply does not. The mastery of writing skills can infinitely increase your child’s ability and are essential to their success at school, and thereby, in life. Having said that, writing might be the hardest thing your child does all day. By combining reading skills with fine motor skills, your child is learning to communicate via the written word – a skill that will be used and refined for the rest of your child’s life. When a first grader writes, he must simultaneously recall ideas, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, and grammar while putting thoughts onto paper. When an occupational therapist assesses a child’s handwriting there are three main components: execution, legibility and speed. Execution includes correct and consistent pencil grasp, posture, and letter formation. Forming letters inefficiently will slow down the writing and may hinder the quality as well. Legibility involves the readability of letters, as well as spacing within and between words. Speed is crucial and may cause somewhat of a vicious cycle. In school, the amount children copy from the board gets greater every year, and in an attempt to complete the assignment before recess, children write faster with less attention to detail therefore less legibly. Here are a few short tips to help your children with their handwriting: 1. Get a Great Grasp – A correct pencil grasp is the foundation of good handwriting. The best way to hold a pencil is to let it rest next to the base of your thumb. Hold it in place with your thumb, and your index and middle fingers. Also, be sure to always write with a sharpened pencil as this will help with the overall neatness 12

of your child’s handwriting. 2. Let the Lines Be Your Guide – The lines in the notebook help create letters that are the right size and proportion. For example, an “‫ ”א‬should be half the height of “3”. In addition, most letters should stretch from the top line to the bottom one. Be sure they begin writing on the right margin and make appropriate spacing between letters and words. 3. Slow Down – If your child’s writing is hard to read or they erase a lot, try slowing them down a little. When rushing, it’s hard to control where you stop and start your letters and you end up making more mistakes. You may want to consider discussing the matter with your child’s teacher and perhaps allowing them more time or less to copy in order for them to be able to master correct writing rather than simply finishing the assignment. 4. Lower the Pressure – Some kids press down very hard when they write. That makes it harder to make the smooth lines needed for writing, especially “‫”אותיות כתב‬. Try easing up, don’t grip the pencil as tightly. If necessary try having you child experiment with a mechanical pencil. This gives them an immediate feedback when they apply too much pressure as the lead will break. 5. Enjoy Writing – Games can improve handwriting. Lots of games require you to write or draw, so even though it›s not official schoolwork, they are still practicing the skills they need to perfect their writing. The old age saying “practice makes perfect” is true! The early years of schooling are especially critical for handwriting instruction; once children have formed counterproductive habits in handwriting, such as poor pencil grasp or inefficient letter formation, those habits can be difficult to change. In turn such a child may become frustrated that they cannot read their homework, or that they receive lower grades as their teacher cannot read their answers and their overall self-confidence is lowered. What is very important for parents to realize is that poor handwriting at an early age is fairly easy to treat, and by being aware of this issue you can help you child avoid future learning difficulties. Adina Raff is a licensed occupational therapist specializing in both English and Hebrew handwriting. She can be reached for consultation at or 054-443-7979.

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Everyone Wants a Home By: Daniella Hellerstein Jacob Lichter of Kiryat Sefer-Modiin Illit, is a former successful real estate agent who worked for many years in Modiin. He has been working for two years as the Director of Public Relations and Project Development for Girls Town Jerusalem, Bayit Lepletot, a foster home for orphans and girls from dysfunctional families. The home was founded in 1949 after World War II when girls who had survived the Holocaust found their way to Israel (there is a boy’s facility called Boys Town, which was also founded around the same time, but is unaffiliated to Girls Town). Alone and traumatized, they need a loving place to live. Bayit Lepletot, which means home for refugees, began with seven young girls in a basement apartment in Jerusalem. Today, the home cares for hundreds of girls, from age three until adulthood, in modern dorms and facilities. After working in Real Estate in Modiin for seven years, what made you change careers? The real estate market in Modiin has changed over the years and I felt the time had come for me to move on. I was no longer feeling the personal satisfaction of helping people fulfill their dream of


making Aliyah and purchasing a home in Israel. So much can be done online now without the personal hand holding of a realtor, which for me was what I most enjoyed. What, if anything, do you miss? I don’t miss the cut throat world of real estate. I do miss the people, so I still play basketball in Modiin. I still have many friends who I grew up with that live in Modiin and I appreciate the diversity of Modiin. How do the girls come to the home? Girls usually come to us through social workers or through the families themselves. Twenty five percent are what’s considered real orphans or partial orphans, meaning they have lost one or both parents. Seventy five percent are “live” orphans meaning they have living parents who are unable to properly care for them. How does sponsorship work? My goal is to find a sponsor for every girl. Being a sponsor

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means paying $1,800 over the course of a year to help meet the financial needs of caring for a girl. Sponsors are encouraged to develop a personal connection with their child, visit when possible, write letters and send small holiday and birthday gifts, all of which make the child feel that people care about her and boosts her self-esteem. Our sponsors come from all over the world: America, Canada, England, Brazil, South America and Israel. Families want to become sponsors because they find it deeply satisfying to help these girls and it also gives them a special connection to Israel Do you take donations without sponsoring? I recently received a phone call from someone in New York who wanted to donate $25,000 so that 250 girls could get new clothing for the chagim and for the new school year. I got another


call from a family who was making their daughter’s wedding and wanted to sponsor the wedding of one of our girls who was also getting married. Sponsoring weddings is a special program we have. For only $5,000 one of our girls can have a beautiful wedding. I have also had families call to ask what is most needed in the home so they can provide it. One recent case is a family from Beit Shemesh who came with toiletry kits for all the girls as part of their daughter’s bat mitzvah chesed project. At the end of the day, though, it’s the individual sponsorship that helps us the most.

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What is most rewarding about your current job at Girls Town Jerusalem? Helping these girls, who through no fault of their own, are not able to grow up in a normal family setting, is very satisfying. They come from such terrible situations of abuse, neglect and trauma. I feel I am helping them develop into adult women who will ultimately be able to raise Jewish families. I also get a lot out of connecting the sponsors to the girls. The level of people’s generosity and desire to help is heart-warming. I often get emails from sponsors saying that they are sending extra money for a Rosh Hashanah dress or in one case, even braces. When sponsors visit the home and the girls and tell me it was the highlight of their trip to Israel it really moves me. For so-called normal kids to see girls living in a group home without parents is very eye opening for them. Is there tension between the girls because some are sponsored and some are not? Some people are reluctant to sponsor a girl because they feel it will be too hard to stop should they need to and cause the girl further harm. We are very clear with the girls that sponsorship is only for a year at a time and they understand that. These girls are

like a family and there are jealousies between them like there are between all siblings. Some girls are not sponsored and those who are may not always receive equally. Some sponsors come with a candy bar while others may bring a bicycle. This is just part of the harsh reality of life and of growing up. To learn more, visit Donations can be sent to Bayit Lepletot, 1 Beharan, Jerusalem.


Out of the Box By: Daniella Hellerstein American products make their way to Israel all the time. Now Nava Brief-Fried has created a site to bring Israeli products to America. The new site, called Leelach meaning for me and for you, was created and run by Nava, showcases Israeli women and the art they create, be it jewelry, hairbands, accessories, etc. The concept was born after Nava, now 22, spent a year in St. Louis completing year two of National Service (Sherut Leumi). It was that experience, of promoting Israel and its people, which prompted Nava to continue “shlichut” as she says, from Modiin, Israel where she grew up and now lives newly married. Her goal is to not only to make unique Israeli accessories available around the globe, but also to highlight the female artists behind the products. It is their individual stories and personal inspirations that Nava hopes will speak to people. She believes that this is another way to spread Israel’s gentler, more colorful story to the world stripped of politics and the media . “I discovered that the people in St. Louis were interested in meeting and having a deeper connection to the people of Israel,” says Nava. That connection is what she hopes to achieve. Art was the natural connector for Nava who is currently studying at Bar Ilan University with a double major in Communications and Jewish Art. She sees art as something very personal with layers of meaning but also something that can be enjoyed on a simple aesthetic level. Moreover, it’s the inspiration of the artist which she hopes will inspire others Leelach also aims to specifically help women. According to Nava, “women are really good at what they do and often


they do it on the side while raising their families. I felt they needed help promoting themselves so the public can benefit from the beautiful things they create.” Nava is selective about the art she sells. It must be handmade, unique and tasteful. She specifically looks for items that relate to Israel or Judaism. “These are not gifts you’re going to find in Target,” she quips. The site has been successful thus far and is continuing to grow. Nava often attends local art fairs scouring for artists that meet her criteria. Other women have found their way to her via word-ofmouth. Consumers, too, are taking notice. Leelach is the go to site for atypical gifts that will stand out. It’s not conducive to a last minute purchase, though, because everything is hand-made which takes a little extra time so advance planning is key.

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Stay Cool with Israel’s Top10 Water Hikes BY: ISRAEL21c Despite years of drought, there’s no shortage of great water hikes in this tiny country. Here’s a list of the top 10 water hikes in Israel.

Judean Desert and Dead Sea area

1. The Darga: Also known as “Nahal Dragot” in Hebrew, the Darga is a “must do” adventure hike, and by adventure, we mean it. Located in the northern part of the Dead Sea, this tiyul is for experienced trekkers only, requiring rope in several locations to descend sheer cliffs sometimes 50 meters in height. The payoff, though, is the many pools into which you either slide or jump. By the end of the summer, the pools start to dry up and what’s left gets more than a bit stagnant, but after the winter rains the pools will be topped off ready for another summer. 2. Wadi Kelt: Wadi Kelt is one of the most popular hiking spots in Israel, drawing some 60,000 visitors a year. From the starting point near Kfar Adumim (off the Jerusalem-Dead Sea highway), you can turn west where there is a series of large pools clumped


together, or east for a hike through a canyon with the pools more evenly spaced, each beckoning for a dip in the summer heat. Some of the pools are deep enough for swimming. One has little fish that harmlessly nibble on your toes. With plentiful swim stops and a picnic lunch, count on four to five hours. 3. Ein Gedi: The Ein Gedi Nature Reserve boasts two waterfalls. Easy access to the better known of the two is via Nahal David. It used to be that you could actually go swimming in the pool surrounding the waterfall, but the authorities have since roped it off. Nahal Arugot is the less well-traveled canyon. The terrain is trickier but the waterfall is just as nice, and you can go in. For both routes, you can also hike above the waterfalls and look down for a spectacular view.

Jordan Valley

4. Nahal HaKibbutzim: This water hike outside of Beit She’an, at the northern tip of the Jordan Valley, is perfect for families – the water won’t get higher than an adult’s chest and, at two

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hours, it’s not too long. Plus you’ll be in the water the entire time. The kids will love the water pipes that serve as slides. At the end of the hike there is a large concrete-walled swimming pool that was built for officers during British Mandate. Dry off here before heading back to your car.


5. Nahal Amud: Intrepid Israelis seeking a challenge often embark on a three-day “Sea to Sea” hike from the Mediterranean to the Sea of Galilee (or vice versa). But if you only have a few hours, head to what’s probably the prettiest section of the trip – Nahal Amud. Located a few minutes from the kabalistic city of Safed (Tzfat), Nahal Amud can be accessed either by traipsing through Safed’s cemetery or by parking in the lot on the road to Meron. The trail runs along the Amud Stream where you can go for a dip at various spots. Depending on how far you go, the hike could last anywhere from two to five hours.

Golan Heights

6. Nahal Yehudia: There are water hikes where swimming is optional and others where the water is so deep, you have to wrap your backpack and camera in waterproof plastic, bring a makeshift


about a mile in; after another mile, you’ll come to some deeper pools surrounded by perfectly formed six-sided and five-sided basalt columns. This hike ends at the 92-foot high Zavitan Waterfall.

inflatable boat and sail your stuff to the other side. Nahal Yehudia fits the latter category. In what’s known as “upper” Nahal Yehudia, there are two cliffs to climb down using rungs and ladders drilled into the side of the rock. There are several large pools, but the highlight of the trek is the 29-foot high Yehudia Falls. Though Yehudia was temporarily closed last March after a rock avalanche, we’re including it in our list because the hike is just too good to be shut off forever. Put it on your water hike “bucket list.” 7. The Zaki: If you thought the Yehudia was challenging, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The Zaki (“clear water” in Arabic) involves hiking in water, together with swimming in some very deep lagoons (some as much as 82 feet, others wading level) for more than two hours. The Zaki is one of five streams in the Beit Tzaida Valley, just north of the Sea of Galilee. This water hike requires sturdy shoes because the riverbed is full of small stones and pebbles, making it easy to lose your balance. The trail ends in a nature reserve that serves as a spawning area for St. Peter’s fish.

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9. Jilabun: Slightly further north of Katzrin is the Jilabun Stream, which is marked by some impressive vertical rock walls, pools and waterfalls. The way into the canyon passes through Kfar Devora (where a Talmudic-era lintel was found); the 39-foot Devora Waterfall is just after the village. Hike through the streambed for about a mile until you reach the 134-foot Jilabun Waterfall. At the end of the hike there’s an “Officer’s Pool” (a concrete swimming pool like the one at Nahal HaKibbutzim) that was used by the Syrians until 1967.

8. Nahal Zavitan: Zavitan is the longest Golan Heights stream. This water hike starts just outside the town of Katzrin, the largest community in the Golan Heights. It’s a one-way trail, so you’ll need two cars; park one in the same parking lot as the jumpingoff point for Yehudia. With Yehudia currently closed, the Zavitan is your next best bet in the same general area. The first pools are

10. Nahal Snir: Nahal Snir is unique for two reasons: Part of the trail is wheelchair accessible, and it runs right through Dag al HaDan, a kosher fish restaurant with tables outside under the trees, set between the rivulets of the stream. There are multiple options for hiking the Snir. The wheelchair-accessible trail is only 15 minutes long. There is also a 30-minute trail that requires water walking and a longer 90-minute one that includes some mild rapids. Printed with permission from


ModiInfo is with you quarterly in print and daily online. A quick recap of some of our recent posts… New Gym: The gym at the city pool located on Emek Zevulun is open for business. The gym is open Sun-Thurs from 6am-11pm, on Fridays from 6am-6pm and on Saturdays from 8am11pm. There is no membership commitment. Residents can go on a per time entrance for 20 NIS and on weekends for 25 NIS. A kartisia costs 200 NIS for 12 entries during the week and 250 NIS for 12 entries for weekends. These prices are for ModiinMaccabim-Reut residents only and ID is required when purchasing and entering. The price for non-residents is 40 NIS during the week and 50 NIS on weekends.

New Parks: The much anticipated Extreme Park which has been in the works for a year and a half is now open to the public. The park is the biggest extreme park in the country and was built by the Vered Bar Company who built the extreme park in Tel Aviv. The contractor brought in specialists from the United States to make the concrete for the skate boarding rink. In about two months a kiosk will open at the park serving coffee and more. It is located on Derech Menachem Begin at the bottom of South Buchman (Moriah). New Neighborhood: The city of Modiin recently announced that bidding is open on plots of land for the newest neighborhoodto-be in Modiin: the Tziporim neighborhood which will sit on 370 dunams of land near the Road 431. There are 991 housing units which are open to contractors and developers. Of these units, 164 will be rental-only apartments, in conjunction with the city’s rental initiative. According to the rental initiative, rents will not be permitted to go up for 10 years, except to compensate for the price of inflation. The goal of the project is to encourage young couples to buy in the city and to encourage first-time buyers. Preference will be given to buyers who finished the army or Sherut Leumi. New Café: The dairy café, Kafit, won the tender for the new coffee house that’s going to be built in Park Anabe in Modiin. Kafit is a well-known chain with five restaurants throughout Israel. Construction of the building will start in the next few months and is expected to be completed in a year. It will be on Emek Zvulun and built in an L shape so that people can enjoy the beautiful park

notable guests Rav Yisrael Meir Lau and Rav Bakshi Doron. Also in attendance were City Rabbis Rav Elcharar, Rav David Lau, and Rav Chikutai. At the end of the event, certificates were passed out to the 200 Daf Yomi participants who completed the cycle. In the previous round of Daf Yomi, seven and a half years ago, only 30 residents finished the learning cycle. Modiin in the News: The European Union recently defined Modiin-Maccabim-Reut as an Israeli settlement on occupied land. This decision was made because part of the eastern side of Modiin, and most of Maccabim are located on an area defined as “no-man’s land” before 1967. The practical meaning of the redefinition is that products which are made in the Modiin-Maccabim-Reut area will no longer receive a preferential tax status in the E.U. According to Shaul Arieli, an expert on the matter, the no-man’s land status was agreed upon by both the Israeli and Jordanian sides. However, when Israel took over the area in 1967, it included this no-man’s land as part of Israel proper. It receives the same status as any other Israeli city and is not considered part of the settlements. Currently there is no industrial production in Maccabim, which is the area that is considered to be over the

green line. Various Knesset members have expressed an opinion that the reasons for this new restriction are purely anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic, without any real substance. Mayor Haim Bibas responded, “This is a mistake and a decision which does not reflect the facts on the ground. ModiinMaccabim-Reut is an inseparable part of the State of Israel. Over 80,000 residents live there and it is considered one of the most progressive and leading cities in Israel. This decision is unacceptable and is unfortunate both for Israel as a whole, and for ModiinMaccabim-Reut specifically. I am personally in contact with the foreign office and I even discussed the issue with the Prime Minister. The matter is being dealt with on the highest levels, and I have full faith that they will take care of it responsibly. I personally invite any representative of the E.U. to Modiin for a tour which will point out the errors they have made.” Translated from MNews Coming up: ESRA Modiin is proud to invite all Women to a SelfDefense Workshop. Five ninety-minute sessions over consecutive Monday evenings at 19.30 in Dimri Towers. The first session will take place on Thursday, October 18 and will be preceded by a unique presentation by Kay Wilson, who was brutally stabbed in December 2010 in an attack in the Jerusalem Forest that killed her friend, Kristine Luken. Follow us on Facebook, and check our website for daily news updates,

scenery. The restaurant will be 500 square meters and able to hold up to 200 guests. Two kitchens are designed for the benefit of all of the residents of Modiin. One will be open seven days a week and the other will only be open for 5 ½ days, for kashrut reasons Recently Celebrated: Over the summer, 700 Modiin residents attended the city-wide Siyum Hashas, which marked the end of a seven-year study cycle covering the entire Talmud through daily learning. Fourteen synagogues in Modiin, Maccabim, and Reut participated in the Daf Yomi cycle. The celebration took place in the Beit Midrash of the Lapid Modiin Yeshiva High School, with 24

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Seasonal Allergies Will Be Here Soon By: Robert M. Cohen, M.D. With the arrival of fall, tissues and allergy medications will be flying off the shelves. Some children and adults have already had the onset of seasonal allergy symptoms, but many more will become symptomatic with the onset of cooler weather. If fortunate, these symptoms are but a minor inconvenience, but, if severe, they can be quite debilitating. Seasonal allergic rhinitis, as its name implies, manifests itself during the pollen seasons, most typically in the spring and fall. Exposure to tree pollens is responsible for late winter and springtime symptoms, and grass pollens are generally the cause of late springtime and summer symptoms. Flare ups in the fall are typically due to weed pollens and high mold spore exposure. Symptoms of seasonal allergies, including nasal, eye, and lung symptoms, can be quite intense and can last for weeks to months, if not treated. Seasonal allergic rhinitis is actually one of the easiest diagnoses for an allergist to make. If the medical history suggests allergic rhinitis, an allergist will likely perform allergy test-


ing in order to confirm the diagnosis, identify the offending allergen(s), and ascertain the severity of the allergy. The preferable and simplest testing method is skin testing. This method allows the testing of multiple allergens with the results being available immediately. Once the relevant allergens have been identified, an allergist will recommend a comprehensive treatment plan to eliminate the existing symptoms and reduce or prevent symptoms in the future. Treatment options fall into three categories: environmental control, pharmacotherapy, and immunotherapy. One, two, or all three of these options may be recommended, depending on multiple factors such as the severity and chronicity of symptoms, results of past treatment, and the effect that the symptoms have on one’s quality of life. Theoretically, environmental control is quite simple: one needs to minimize exposure to all relevant allergens. As simple as this is conceptually, it may be quite difficult, if not impossible, to implement in many cases. This is especially true when one is exposed to pollen, as these pollens are light and microscopic, traveling for tens to hundreds of miles in a gentle

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breeze. Once the pollinating season starts, it is virtually impossible to avoid exposure to airborne pollen while outdoors. If possible, one should stay indoors with air conditioning on high pollen days and the windows should remain closed. It may also be helpful to wear a mask when outdoors for long periods of time. In the arena of pharmacotherapy, there are many medicines available which are quite safe and effective in minimizing or eliminating the nasal and eye symptoms associated with seasonal allergic rhinitis. These generally fall into the categories of antihistamines, steroid nasal sprays, and other non-steroidal blockers of inflammation. As important as environmental control and pharmacotherapy are, the third treatment option, immunotherapy or desensitization, is the only treatment option that addresses the actual cause of the immune system›s abnormal over-response. Historically, the gold standard of immunotherapy

treatment has been allergy shots. An exciting advance in the area of immunotherapy is the ability, in some cases, to desensitize pollen allergic individuals by using oral or sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), sometimes called allergy drops, as opposed to allergy injections. This procedure has been used for decades in Europe and has gained acceptance among many American board certified allergists over the last few years. Most importantly, SLIT’s advantages over allergy shots, including convenience, a much greater safety profile, and the elimination of injections, have been compelling, in both the pediatric and adult populations. There is very good news for those who suffer from seasonal allergies. With the proper evaluation and treatment plan, allergy symptoms due to pollen and other inhaled allergens can be significantly diminished, and in some cases, totally eliminated. Dr. Robert Cohen is an American trained Board Certified Allergist and is certified by Misrad Habriut. He has a private practice in Ramat Beit Shemesh where he treats children and adults with allergies and asthma. He can be reached at 02-991-3547, or by email


A Breath of Fresh Air By: David Zeldin

ence in the daily quality life in our city, which is offering more and more entertainment options that non-smokers should be able to freely enjoy. First, let’s just briefly review the previously existing laws and the new additions and what they mean for the average citizen. The initial laws that were passed in 1983 were rarely enforced, as the onus of enforcement was strictly on the police force, which had neither the resources nor the will to enforce them. In 2007 great steps were made, as owners of the establishments were now legally obligated to enforce the laws in their restaurants, malls, stores, and offices. Basically, smoking was restricted indoors, the owners had to display “no smoking” signs and actively prevent visitors from smoking. They were allowed to, but not required to designate a well-ventilated and completely separate area for smokers not to exceed 25% of

The Knesset has recently passed new clean air laws, also known as anti-smoking laws. More specifically, taking into effect on July 11, 2012, it became no longer legal to smoke at bus stops, train platforms, outdoor swimming pools, or outdoor cafes and restaurants. Although the new laws were very widely covered by the Hebrew news outlets, for some reason the information in the English language news has been sparse. The new laws are a welcome improvement, but unfortunately self-enforcement is practically non-existent and the municipality has not been doing much of anything to enforce these laws and improve the quality of life for ourselves, families and children. Anglos generally have a higher awareness of both the health risks and simple unpleasantness of second-hand smoke and can make a definitive differ- A woman smokes at an outdoor cafe in Modiin


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Continues on page 30


Continued from page 28

the whole area. The fine for owners of public places is 5,000 NIS and for smokers 1,000 NIS. In spite of all of this, the smoke-free law has not met with 100% compliance and smoking is still encountered in some pubs, bars and clubs. The newly passed laws extend this to the outdoors, so now it is illegal to smoke at the swimming pool or at outdoor cafes and restaurants. An outdoor cafe is allowed to allocate no more than 15% of the outdoor space to smokers and “No Smoking” signs need to be clearly visible. Unfortunately, the laws from 2007 are still not strictly enforced at bars and pubs, and one can still walk into stores and even malls that are ‘off the beaten path’ and find people smoking freely. The enforcement and compliance at the more mainstream establishments, such as Azrieli Mall and respectable restaurants is actually fairly good, but still not at the levels we see in the USA or Western Europe. So, what can we Anglos in Modiin do to improve the situation? My experience has shown that by informing the manager or owner at some establishments of the new law, and the risks that the establishment is taking by not enforcing them, can sometimes work. Café Aroma in Azrieli and Holmes Place pool are two such examples, and both establishments now strictly enforce both the old and the new laws. O’Sullivans also seems to be doing a good job.


Unfortunately, this is not always enough. Café Hillel in the Azrieli Mall is adamant about not enforcing the law, as well as many other pubs and bars where the younger people tend to meet. How can we improve this situation? 1. When asking for a table outside, be sure to ask for the nonsmoking section. If the hostess looks clueless, ask for the manager and update them about the law and politely demand to sit in the non-smoking section. 2. Bring the law to the attention of other establishments. 3. Complain to the management company (e.g. Azrieli Mall management or Yishpro management) if the restaurant owners are not compliant – they are even more open to class action suits. 4. Call 106 and complain. If the city is not sending out inspectors, ask why we are paying such high taxes when these fines could actually lower our municipal taxes and improve our quality of life. Make the politicians know that this is an issue that we care about. It’s our health and quality of life. Beer Sheva raises nearly 1M NIS a year on these fines. That’s a nice reduction in arnona! 5. If all else fails, one can sue the establishment. Details on this can be found in Hebrew on the Facebook site of Amutat Avir Naki, David Zeldin is an oleh from Ohio and a long term resident of Modiin.

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Our trip to the Olympics By: Daniel and Goldie Turk, 8th & 7th grades A few weeks after our bar and bat mitzvah celebration our parents told us that were going to do something very exciting this summerwe were going to go to the 2012 London Olympics with our dad! Our trip was scheduled for the last week in July-just a couple of days after the opening ceremonies. We landed in London and that was where our Olympic journey began. The first event we went to was at Earls Court, an indoor sports stadium, where we were to see an indoor women›s volleyball game. The two games we saw were


very fun and exciting but almost even more fun than the games themselves was just the experience of being at an OLYMPIC game. It was amazing to see people who were literally from all over the world-you could tell where people were from because they were all wearing their countries colors or flags. Later that day we got to tour London a bit and it was really neat to see all the different ways the city had prepared for the Olympics. In preparation for the games 70,000 volunteers were posted all throughout London-both at all the games as well as throughout

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certain areas in London. They helped out not only with information and order at all the Olympic events but also just with keeping order in the city and helping out all the tourists with any questions. These volunteers were also great at the games – they were very good at getting the crowds to cheer and do things like the wave to get people in a fun mood. All over the city we saw special cars decorated in Olympic logos. These cars were for members of the Olympic committee. London even dressed up some statues with hats in the colors of the UK supporting the teams. One of the coolest things that we saw was that the city had hung up the five Olympic rings from the London Bridge. The next event we went to was in the basketball arena in Olympic park and that was really fun. Getting into Olympic Park was a big deal with a lot of very tight security-which we were very used to from living here in Israel. People were cheering for their own countries, dressed up in the colors of their countries and would wear their countries flags around their necks and some people even painted their faces the colors of their country! In Olympic Park we also met some celebrities and athletes just walking around. The Today show from New York was filming so we got to see Al Roker –a news broadcaster from NBC and Ryan Seacrest as well as

one of our favorite basketball players, Luol Dang, who was playing for Great Britain. At the event there were great half time shows like dancing and a very cool jump rope act and it made the game fun and different. The third and last event we saw was fencing. Before we went to this event we did not know anything about the game but there were very nice people sitting behind us who explained everything about the rules. Even though this game was so unfamiliar to us we still had the time of our lives. The atmosphere in the arena was full of energy. The fans were cheering, the athletes were competing hard and everyone wanted their country to walk away with a medal. There was a lot of excitement! During the breaks you could go outside and watch other events on a huge screen that was set up in the courtyard. Actually, throughout the whole city in the different parks and in Olympic Park there were huge screens set up so that you could watch the games going on.   Any time that we had in London that we were not at the games we spent touring and seeing some of the more famous places in the city. It was all a lot of fun. All in all the five days we spent at the 2012 London Olympics were unforgettable and five of the best days of our lives. 




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Apple and Cinnamon Bread Pudding By: Glatt Gourmet This is a classic European dish which I make quite often. I save all of my leftover Challah and then use it to make this delicious dessert.

Ingredients Leftover Challah – cut into cubes (equivalent of 1 whole Challah) 6-8 whole eggs 1 cup of sugar 1 tablespoon of cinnamon 1 container Whip topping 1 tablespoon vanilla essence Chunks of apple – about 2-3 apples Raisins (if desired) Apricot jam Dice the Challah and set aside. Create a custard base by beating the eggs and adding the defrosted whip topping. There should be about a 60-40 ratio of eggs to liquid so you can add a little water if necessary. In order to properly incorporate the cinnamon (so that it does not

clump), first mix it with the granulated sugar and then add the mixture to the diced bread. (I like my desserts quite sweet, so if you prefer yours less sweet add less sugar.) I always taste the raw product first to make sure it tastes right for me and I always advise everyone to do the same. Add the custard mixture and let the bread soak it up completely. Add the raisins and apple if desired. (If I don’t put raisins in at home I’m in serious trouble…but this recipe is easily adaptable to suit your own particular tastes and preferences. Anything and everything goes get creative. Suggestions include dried fruit, fruit preserves, or pears, etc.) Place in a well greased pan and bake at around 180 degrees until well baked and all of the custard mixture has set. If desired you can melt a little apricot jam and glaze the bread pudding while warm after baking. This should be served hot with either a good pareve vanilla ice cream or some Crème Anglaise.

Simple Crème Anglaise recipe: 1 cup pareve creamer or rice milk 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 4 egg yolks 1/3 cup white sugar 1. In a small, heavy saucepan, heat creamer and vanilla until bubbles form at edges. 2. While creamer is heating, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Slowly pour 1/2 cup of hot creamer mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly. Gradually add egg yolk mixture back to remaining milk mixture, whisking constantly. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. I do cheat somewhat from this traditional recipe and add a little cornstarch to the eggs as this helps them set.

We wish you a wonderful and enjoyable Chag!! Bettina and Raphy Solomon Glatt Gourmet is a new Chalak Mehadrin take-out and catering business with nearly 30 years of experience specializing in classic European and American dishes. We use substantially less oil and fat in our cooking and our emphasis is on lighter dishes with a more western approach to seasoning. Glatt Gourmet take out is conveniently located in Kfar HaOranim just a few short minutes past the Shilat Junction.


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Michael’s Video Editing & Producing Relive the simcha of your simcha! Tel: 08-975-2315 Mobile: 052-692-9573

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ModiInfo wishes all of our readers and advertisers a Shana Tova!

Modiin Area’s English Speaking Magazine

CANDLE LIGHTING September 28/12 Tishrei Parashat Haazenu Candle lighting: 17:08 Shabbat ends: 18:05

September 30/14 Tishrei Erev Sukkot Candle lighting: 17:05 Shabbat ends: 18:03

October 5/19 Tishrei Shabbat Chol Hamoed Candle lighting: 16:59 Shabbat ends: 18:00

October 7/21 Tishrei Erev Simchat Torah/ Shimi Atzeret Candle lighting: 16:56 Shabbat ends: 17:55

October 12/26 Tishrei Parashat Bereshit Shabbat Mevarchim Candle lighting: 16:50 Shabbat ends: 17:50

October 19/3 Cheshvan Parashat Noach Candle lighting: 16:42 Shabbat ends: 17:40

October 26/10 Cheshvan Parashat Lech Lecha Candle lighting: 16:35 Shabbat ends: 17:35

November 2/17 Cheshvan Parashat Vayera Candle lighting: 16:28 Shabbat ends: 17:30

November 9/24 Cheshvan Parashat Chayei Sarah Shabbat Mevarchim Candle lighting: 16:23 Shabbat ends: 17:25

November 16/2 Kislev Parashat Toldot Candle lighting: 16:19 Shabbat ends: 17:20

November 23/9 Kislev Parashat Vayeitzei Candle lighting: 16:15 Shabbat ends: 17:15

November 30/17 Kislev Parashat Vayishlach Candle lighting: 16:15 Shabbat ends: 17:16


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ModiInfo September 2012  

ModiInfo September 2012