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Modiin Area’s English Speaking Magazine

Spring 2014 | Nisan/Iyar 5772 | Volume 11, Issue 2 | FREE

ModiInFocus on Teens Women as Warriors p.7 The Buzz About the Hub p. 12 Starstruck Nightime Tiyul Ideas p.36


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DEAR READERS I recently attended a volunteer training session at the local mikvah. The balaniot (attendants) who work in the mikvaot in Modiin generally come from outside the city. It is a paid position and the women, primarily from Kiryat Sefer, come every night to do this holy work. Under two years ago a new mikvah opened in my neighborhood, Moriah, with great enthusiasm from the local women who had been walking to Reut if they needed to use the mikvah on Friday night. Yet, instead of resolving the Friday night issue, the mikvah was open six nights and was actually closed on Friday nights. Why? Because the usual balanit could not come on Shabbat and there was no one in the neighborhood who was interested in a paid position to be the mikvah lady one night a week. And so the mikvah was sadly closed and women continued making the relatively long walk to the next neighborhood over of Reut. When a number of women realized that the issue was lack of a balanit, they came forward and offered to volunteer on a rotating basis so that the mikvah could be open every Friday night and chag. After receiving proper training, these six amazing women have been ensuring that local women have a nearby mikvah when they need one. Due to high traffic on Friday nights, and not wanting to be the sole attendant when there is no phone access, the women approached the Rabbanut requesting a call go out for additional volunteers so they can work in pairs. Eight more women from the neighborhood answered the call and met with Chief Rabbi of Modiin, Rav Elharar, for a briefing and an additional training session with the head mikvah lady from Kiryat Sefer. In both meetings, in

addition to upholding halacha, the most important point stressed was the job of the balanit to ensure that the mikvah experience for every woman using it, be positive. Receiving a woman with a warm smile from the moment she enters, being helpful and understanding, sensitive and non-judgmental are the keys to the mikvah experience. That underlying point was so critical that all else was presented as almost secondary. Although it goes without saying that all women should have a positive mikvah experience, it was further emphasized that the women who use the mikvaot in Modiin come from various backgrounds and different levels of religious observance. In fact, it is not unusual for women to go to and from the mikvah on a Friday night by car. The head balanit explained that for many women, further commitment to mikvah use may be dependent on the attitude of the balanit. The message was clear: greet a fellow Jew with love and warmth and you have the power to bring them closer, anything else and you risk driving her away. In this time of terrible division amongst varying communities of Israel, this small neighborhood mikvah represents a version of Judaism seen rarely outside its walls. While the mikvah is inherently a private and intimate experience, the lessons of unity and tolerance practiced here should be publicized and adopted by all. Perhaps then we can truly celebrate next year in Jerusalem. Best wishes for a chag sameach, Caryn and Daniella

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TABLE OF CONTENTS 5 8 12 18 22

They Too Were Part of the Miracle If It Were Only that Easy There’s a New Hub in Town A Guiding Light Every Picture Tells a Story

20 24

ModiInFocus on Teens: Mitzvah Dog Yom HaShoah Project

Daniella Hellerstein & Caryn Meltz Co-publishers and editors 0526-404-414 | 0523-868-768 Website created by Litesites Social Media, Shari Wright Pilo Hands-On Digital Marketing Consultant,

28 34 44 61 36 46 54 56 60 62

An Interview with Chief Rabbi of Israel Getting Fit for the Future Why We Live in Israel Chocolate Chip Cookies Starry, Starry Israeli Night ModiInfOnline Seasonal Allergies Are on the Way Lifestyle Healthy Living Candle Lighting

Design & Layout, Michal Daya | 052-2560050 To Advertise: Find us on Facebook:

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. ModiInfo does not take responsibility for the translations that were made in the magazine.


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They Too Were Part of the Miracle By: Dalia Zack As Adar comes around I am plagued by thoughts of how I am going to get everything done. As a dressmaker, I wouldn’t be caught dead buying a ready-made costume, so my nights are spent at the computer searching for original costume ideas and mouthwatering confections to add to the mishloach manot. I generally arrive at the megillah reading hungry (due to the fast) and frazzled. As Nissan rolls in I find myself in a similar mood, wondering why I didn’t start cleaning out the closets sooner and hoping my mother doesn’t mind hosting us all for the seder. I often ponder when I will start looking forward these preparations instead of dreading them. It is well known that women are not obligated in most of the time-bound positive mitzvot. Three exceptions to the rule are brought in the Talmud by the Amorah, R. Yehoshua ben Levi. He explains that women are obligated to light Chanuka candles, to hear Megillat Esther and to drink the four cups of wine at the seder table. The reason women are obligated in these time-bound mitzvot is:

"‫"שאף הן היו באותו הנס‬ “They too the women were part of the miracle.” What is the significance of this statement, “they too were part of the miracle”? Rashi and Tosfot have differing views on the subject. Tosfot understands this statement to indicate that the women suffered the same harsh physical reality as the men. Just as the men were in mortal danger during the times of Chanuka, Purim and Pesach and were saved, so too were the women. For this reason they are obligated in the mitzvot that commemorate their salvation by the Almighty. Rashi agrees that the women were also terrorized by the Greeks, the Egyptians and the evil Haman, but insists that the women were Continued on page 7


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not just victims. Rashi comments in the Talmud:

"‫"שעל ידם נגאלו‬ “At their the women’s hand they were saved” and he adds

“‫"שעיקר הנס היה על ידן‬ “The main part of the miracle was through their (the women’s) hands.” We know that Esther took into her own hands the salvation of the Jews, knowing that her impromptu meeting with Achashverosh could be her last. Yehudit was instrumental in stopping the Greek forces against the Jews and Miriam was a driving force behind the women leaving Egypt who brought their tambourines with them to show that they had never lost hope in the eventual redemption. Rashi wants us to understand that not only were these women saved, but they played an integral role in the salvation of the Jewish people throughout the generations. What can we learn from these two different views on the phrase, “they too were part of the miracle”? Are we to understand, like Tosfot, that the women were victims just like the men and were saved and therefore take part in the mitzvot of the holiday? Or

should we see the women (as Rashi does) as having had an active role in the salvation and therefore have an active role in the celebration? Perhaps we can see the women in a dual role – both in Jewish history and today. The women in the times of Esther, Yehudit and Miriam were certainly victims on a personal level but did not allow their situation to undermine their commitment to the national cause. They took matters into their own hands when they understood that the future of Am Yisrael was in peril. Today, by lighting Chanuka candles, by picking up the wine glass at the seder table, and by hearing the megilla, we connect with these brave women who took a step toward deliverance. This year, as I ponder what to put in my mishloch manot baskets and polish my silver to sparkling, I will see these preparations not as a burden but as another way to connect me to the celebration of the holiday… because we too were part of the miracle. Dalia Zack is a professional dressmaker who is launching her exclusive evening bag collection – My Party Bag – at the Designer Fair for Religious Women at Binyanei Hauma taking (place March 30-31) and April 1, 2014. see ad page 59.


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If It Were Only that Easy By: Jodi Wachspress “Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and cling to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

Immediate Gratification + the Need to Excel = Patience and Persistence

Somehow, someway this seemingly simple pasuk has become one of the most important challenges we face in our lifetimes. We live in a time of immediate gratification and at the same time we want to be the best, and be associated with the best in as many areas of our lives as possible. We of course know… logically… that in order to be the best, we must invest a tremendous amount of time, patience and persistence.

Now, I hate math as much as the next guy and throw me a word problem and you shut me down completely, but… this equation is as clear as day. When it comes to finding a life partner and building a satisfying and safe intimate relationship; patience and persistence must prevail. The creation of Adam and Eve provides us with a primitive yet persistently relevant model for courtship and marriage. Despite the

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fact that according to many commentaries, Adam is an androgynous being, he goes out to search for a “help mate”. He is not content being alone even if he has all the qualities and capabilities of man and woman combined. So, he goes to the first “meet market” ever. He meets all different animals, as he familiarizes himself with them; he gives them each a name which reflects the effect that they have on him. Ultimately, none of these creatures meets his needs. (One is very “catty”; another is stubborn as a “mule”.) Throughout this process, Adam is learning about himself, what he needs to receive from, and what he can give to, another being. At this point, G-d removes one of Adam’s ribs and with it many, but not all of his female qualities in order to create a separate entity called Woman. This separation was critical to Adam’s development. The first few years of a child’s life provide him with a feeling of complete and total belonging. He experiences his mother as part of himself as a mother often experiences her newborn. This symbiotic relationship is one of total dependence and trust, which prepares the child for the next step in his healthy development: separation/ individuation. At this point the child tests his limits with his parents

and begins to learn who he is and how and how he is perceived by the world around. I believe that this is what Adam HaRishon was experiencing before the creation of Eve. He had the truest form of symbiosis with “another” in his androgynous state. He proceeds to explore his place in the world but he is not satisfied. At this point G-d pushes things along and allows for the first individuation process to occur, in separating man from woman. At this point, Adam is able to recognize himself as an individual and view himself through the eyes of his equal, Eve. “Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and cling to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” In the story of creation, there are no “mother/father” figures to leave. However, Adam HaRishon experienced the ideal attachment through his symbiotic androgynous state. He must now apply what he has learned to the next type of attachment, his relationship with his “help mate”. In this relationship, contrary to the initial dependent bond, Adam and Eve must learn how Continued on page 11

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to be inter-dependent; giving and receiving, relying on, and being relied upon. Adam and Eve, still testing and learning their limits push the proverbial envelope and dip into the forbidden well of the Tree of Knowledge. There are many interpretations of how, when and why this happened. The outcome of the “original sin” was the acquisition of knowledge and according to the Ramban (Genesis 2:9), passion “taava”. Immediately following the story of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from The Garden of Eden, we read; “Now the man had KNOWN his wife Eve, and she conceived….” Knowing, in the biblical sense refers to an act of intimacy between man and woman. According to the Ramban, biblical knowing is not merely cognitive “vayada”, but emotional and physical as well. Patience + Persistence + Passion = Mutual Gratification

Learning about yourself and your spouse on all three of these levels, though not simple, is a natural and integral component of a mutually satisfying relationship.

Jodi Wachspress is the founder of the Oasis Center in Modiin where she works with children, teens and adults in individual, couple and family therapy. She received her Master’s Degree in Art Therapy and has received certification in both Couple’s and Sex Therapy and Marriage and Family Therapy from Bar Ilan University. Jodi is currently launching a new service at the Oasis Center; Maayan Ganim. This initiative is designed to provide both therapy and rabbinic consultation in areas of relationships and intimacy within the observant community. For more information please see ad below.

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There’s a New Hub in Town By: Daniella Hellerstein If you live in the Modiin area and haven’t yet heard of MESH then you’ve missed one of the biggest opening events in recent years. On January 15, MESH – Modiin Entrepreneurs’ Startup Hub, opened its doors in Ligad Center to a massive crowd of residents eager to see the new hub in the city. What exactly is MESH and why is it so exciting? MESH is the answer to an ongoing list of complaints from residents who work outside the city. Not only are many Modiin residents tired of their long daily commutes to work but, for those involved in the hitech industry, there is a lack of local

support. The hub is modeled after others like it and blends office space, open work space and a conference room together in an environment of like-minded entrepreneurs. The brain child of Modiin resident, Moshe Porat, the space allows those involved in hi-tech or a start-up to meet each other and collaborate. Modiin has an unusually high number of such entrepreneurs and Porat felt there should be a local opportunity for them to work together and bounce ideas off one another. After starting BeerTech Modiin networking events a short while ago which drew around 550 local people, Porat met others who shared his dream of a Modiin based hub. Elsewhere, he met Hashmonaim resident, Aaron Zucker who recalls, “I had brought the idea of a hub from Continued on page 14


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the successful models I knew in Boston and was introduced to Moshe who was thinking along similar lines. We both realized the opportunity something like this brought to Modiin and decided to join forces in making it a reality.” Porat now has five partners, Aaron Zucker, Elisha Kuchar, Yossi Yaari, Daniel Morris and Itzik Sachs. The six men each play a different role at MESH but with most of them wearing kippot they joke it’s only a matter of time until Porat puts on a kippah too. Tapping into Modiin’s human capital and creating a community is only part of MESH’s goal. The other aspect, as Zucker explains, is to give locals the resources they need to get their businesses off the ground. “MESH is a shared workspace geared towards tech entrepreneurs but not limited to them. The space is appropriate for anyone involved in starting and running a small business which doesn’t need a physical storefront. You don’t have to be building apps or writing code to benefit from MESH. We need many different kinds of businesses in Modiin so there’s a full range of support.” In addition to offering two fully equipped conference rooms to rent for 150 NIS an hour each, there is also an option of renting a desk in the open work space at a 100 NIS a day or renting offices for 2,500-3,700 NIS a month. The availability of rentable conference rooms in the city fills a particularly important need for new businesses who want to meet clients or have team meetings in a professional atmosphere. But MESH offers more than just a place to sit. They have a mentorship program, networking events and an impressive lineup of speakers. There are currently several startups renting office space including one business with 15 employees. Zucker says, “We want to give the one or two person startup the ability to grow. At some point they will outgrow MESH and will hopefully rent bigger office space nearby while staying strongly connected to MESH where they can continue to use the hub as a resource as well as offer support to new startups.” The hope is also that those businesses will offer local employment opportunities as they continue to grow. Being able to create all this within the quiet city of Modiin was no small feat. Porat, who has lived in Modiin for 16 years, felt strongly that the countless young couples with small children need not travel far for work. As a father, he was intent on giving parents a local work space so they could be involved with their children and family lives. Like their schools and shuls, Israelis want their offices as close to home as possible. After searching at length for a place to house the hub, the Office Depot building in Ligad Center became available when the company went bankrupt. While technically local, Ligad is not an easy place to get to without a car

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but MESH hopes improved public transportation to the area will help (the opening of the road connecting Yishpro to Ligad should provide added public buses, shuttles and a train connection). This means cooperation from the city which has been slow coming thus far. Yet, if the crowds on opening night were any indication of the potential success of MESH then there’s no doubt the hub is here to stay.

For more information on MESH, or to rent a conference room, 1 Tsela Ha-Har, Ligad (Jacky Line Building).

Moshe Porat speaking at opening night with Deputy Mayor Ilan Ben Saadon looking on (to the immediate left)

Upcoming MESH events Modiin’s Technology Job Fair Great companies are coming with their HR Manager/ Recruiting Manager to find you (all sectors can apply). Date: March 19 at MESH Time: 8:30-14:30 Monthly Business Networking Breakfast Network with other entrepreneurs, startups, mentors and business owners. NIS 20 cover charge, at the door. Coffee and cake will be served. Date: TBA 16

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A Guiding Light By: Daniella Hellerstein Lisa Baron Haet didn’t come to the Israel Guide Dog Center in search of a job. She came in search of a mitzvah and as the saying goes – mitzvah gorreret mitzvah or in this case the act of volunteering to do a mitzvah led to the mitzvah as a means of employment. When Lisa and her daughter, Sarah, of Modiin were seeking a project to mark Sarah becoming a bat mitzvah, Sarah thought of her blind grandfather in San Francisco. Having become blind later in life, Lisa’s father acquired a guide dog who became his ticket to an independent and active life, plus a beloved member of the family. Sarah realized that if she could enable another blind person to benefit the way her grandfather

had, she would be doing the most incredible mitzvah. After adopting and raising a puppy from the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind, the center called Lisa and this time made her an offer, to join their ranks as International Liaison and Tour Coordinator. I visited Lisa at the nearby Center to see firsthand what it’s all about. The Center was founded in 1991 by Noach Braun, a veteran paratrooper in the IDF who trained dogs for military purposes. Wanting to continue working with animals to benefit mankind, he was shocked to discover that there was no guide dog center in Israel. At age 26 he travelled to America and spent several relentless years there literally begging to apprentice at American guide dog facilities. He was desperate to be trained and return to

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Israel to open the first center of its kind so that blind Israelis would not have to travel abroad and endure a lengthy and expensive process to have a guide dog. After meeting and enlisting the help of Jewish activist, Norman Leventhal of Warrington, Pennsylvania, the two finally succeeded in getting Noach accepted into the Pilot Dogs program in Columbus, Ohio. From there Noach went to a center in England where he completed the course to become an instructor. In January 1991 Norman, together with Noach and his wife, Orna, opened the first and only accredited Guide Dog school in the middle east in Moshav Kfar Yedidya near Netanya. This monumental achievement not only meant that many more Israelis can have guide dogs but because

the puppies are born, raised and trained in Israel, the dogs are far more useful. Experiencing Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique physical and cultural environment is an integral part of training. Israel does not have an equivalent of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) which means there is no plan to accommodate people with disabilities. In addition, aggressive driving, awkward placement of poles on sidewalks, not to mention cars, summer heat and even rocket attacks are all taken into account when dogs are specially trained in the Israeli environment. Obviously, the fact that they are trained in Hebrew is crucial. The center, now located in Beit Oved, twenty minutes Continued on page 21

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Mitzvah Dog My name is Sarah Jean Shetrit. I am seventeen years old, live in Modiin and go to Yachad High School. I moved to Israel in 2004 from San Francisco when I was eight years old. In September 2007 I asked my parents if I could adopt a dog from the pound. Unfortunately the answer was no. Then I asked if there was a way to get a “part time” dog. After thinking with my parents we decided a guide dog puppy would be the most suitable thing to do. Over Sukkot 2007, my family visited the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind in Beit Oved and applied to be an adoptive puppy-raising family. I was becoming a bat mitzvah and I was looking to do a unique bat mitvah project. My grandfather, z”l was blind and he had a guide dog, Granola, who I was very connected to. Therefore, as my project, I decided to raise a guide dog puppy. That summer, we returned to the Center to hear lectures to prepare us for the job. A few weeks later, Orna Braun the director, called and said “On September 14, I am going to bring you a guide dog puppy.” I was so excited I could hardly wait. When the day came I could barely focus on my school work. Once I saw that small bundle of blond fur, I knew she was mine. Having Angie was like having any dog as a pet. We had to train her and walk her but because she was being raised as a guide dog, we had to take her out to different public places like the mall and the hospital. The mall often gave us a very hard time because they didn’t understand that she was a special dog even though she wore a vest. Normally dogs are not allowed in the mall and each time we had to explain that we were training her. We also had to be very strict about disciplining her. For example, she was never allowed to jump on the furniture or people, or eat table


food or run. We received instructions on how to train her and my mom even got a book that helped us with basic training. The Center came once every couple of months to make sure everything was going smoothly. We had Angie for a year. She was well trained and very obedient. At the end of the year we had to give her up to the Center which was very, very hard even though I knew it was the plan. We were so connected and it was hard to give her back. She passed the assessment process but was found to be unsuitable to become a guide dog. Four out of ten dogs do not make the cut and become career change dogs for children with special needs. Angie is a Therapy Dog, a special initiative pet for a blind child for these past four years. Happy Ending! I knew it wasn’t because of the training but because she has ADHD so I wasn’t disappointed. I did what I was supposed to do and it wasn’t my fault. During our time with Angie, a position at the Center opened up so my mom went in for an interview and five years later she is still working there. Since raising Angie I’ve dog sat 12 different kinds of dogs for the Center: breeding dogs, guide dogs – mostly for other adoptive families who needed to travel abroad or blind clients who for some reason needed temporary care for their guide dogs. They’ve stayed with me anywhere from three days to 2 ½ months. I like it because I get to know different kinds of dogs and see how well trained they are but it’s not permanent or a big commitment. If everyone is on board I would definitely recommend being an adoptive family but they are very choosy about families. The Center looks for families that have time to take the dog out so they can get used to different people and environments. I would for sure do it again.

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Continued from page 19

from Modiin, has 26 people on their staff and has successfully graduated hundreds of “partnerships”. More and more of the breeding and training elements are taking place at Beit Oved and not abroad. The predominant breeds utilized are Labradors, and Golden Retrievers, which are mated and born at the Center (approximately 60 per year) where they stay for two months. At two months, the puppy is paired with an Adoptive Family that has agreed to raise it in a loving but disciplined environment. At one year, the dog is returned to the Center where the family takes part in a “separation ceremony”. At the Center, the dog is trained for five months after which it is matched with a visually impaired person. That person moves into the center for three weeks to train with the dog. The Center accommodates all people, upholding kashrut and Shabbat standards and other special needs. After the three weeks of training the pair returns home with an instructor who continues to train the two in their daily life for a week. After care visits continue for one month and the Center is in continual contact with the team for the lifetime of the partnership; the average dog retiring after eight years. Not all dogs make the cut. Only 6/10 dogs that have been raised by families will go on to become guide dogs. Those that do not are used for therapy with blind children and other people with disabilities.

When I met Lisa at the Center on an overcast winter day, she was eager to show me around. As we entered, we passed dogs working with trainers maneuvering around different obstacles and responding to commands. Inside, she explained how the color and

texture were incorporated into the design of the rooms so that the visually impaired who live there for three weeks can more easily adapt. I had the chance to get up close and personal with the beautiful dogs in the kennel. Though they all looked identical to me, the trainers know each dog from the next. I learned that the dogs are given English names (like Disney, Sugar and Greg) so Continued on page 42

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Every Picture Tells a Story By: Daniella Hellerstein

Yom HaShoah is one of the most intense days of the year, especially in Israel. In Yishuv Hashmonaim, the day is also a way to find out more about local families who have survived the Shoah. Each year, the local twelfth graders run a very meaningful tekes Y o m HaShoah. An additional project run by the Noar is a pinat hantzacha (memorial exhibit) at the entrance to the tekes. This exhibit features the stories of the fami-

lies of people on the Yishuv who have survived the Shoah, based on interviews conducted by the teenagers. The memorial project was launched by Ella K. Hyman, who moved to the yishuv fifteen years ago with her family because she and her husband Jay were so taken by the quality of the kids growing up there that they wanted to raise their children in that environment. Ella joined the vaadat noar (youth committee) around seven years ago to get more involved with the local teens. When Yom HaShoah grew closer, Ella, a second generation survivor, thought of her fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s story and realized there were survivors living on the yishuv who also had remarkable stories to tell. She gathered a small group of teens to interview some of the local survivors. Each recorded interview was typed in Hebrew and English and put on a giant board with accompanying pictures and documents to tell the full story. The boards were displayed at the annual Yom HaShoah tekes on the yishuv. Every year since then, with the support and help of the Yishuv, Ella has worked with teens to broaden the project. They have interviewed additional survivors and/or their families, and collected Shoah-related art Continued on page 24


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Yom HaShoah Project By: Yardena Kaplansky When I was in 12th grade at Ulpanat Tzvia Maale Adumim, almost six years ago, my friends and I started working on the tekes for Erev Yom HaShoah that takes place every year in Hashmonaim. Looking for a way to make the evening even more meaningful for as many people as possible, Ella Hyman (who happens to be my aunt) called me and asked if I would be interested in helping her with a new project, which would involve collecting photos and listening to stories from other people in the yishuv. One of my strongest memories from when I was 9 or 10 years old is sitting on the couch one afternoon next to my grandfather, who pointed at the number tattooed on his arm and asked me, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Do you know what this is?â&#x20AC;? I knew, of course, because it has always been very important to him

to tell his stories to his family and friends, and therefore I grew up hearing them, and reading his diaries from the war. However, only several years later I became aware that not all survivors were as willing as my Saba to talk about the horrors they experienced. I also realized that my entire generation has the responsibility to keep their stories alive, and pass them on to future generations. Reading about the Holocaust in a school textbook just isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the same. Therefore, I was very happy for the opportunity to hear stories from so many other people in the yishuv, and to have a way to pass their stories on to as many people as possible. Over the years, the project has grown, and more and more people are taking the opportunity to pass their stories on.

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work from different-aged kids on the Yishuv, with the help of the local Mamad school. The feedback both from those involved and from viewers has been extremely positive, and she continues to be amazed by the youth involvement and interest. Ella’s father, Ajzyk Alter (Jack) Kaplansky was born in Lodz, Poland. After living in the ghetto, he was separated from his family and taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau, Ordrof Kravinkel and eventually Buchenwald until he was liberated in 1945. He and his brother were the only two survivors of a large extended family. This is a story Ella and her siblings grew up with. Unlike other survivors, Ella’s father spoke often and honestly about the Shoah. Being a child of a survivor, or second generation, was an ingrained part of her and her sibling’s identity, part and parcel of who she is and how she sees herself and a big part of what motivated her to make Aliyah. “I grew up in a house with a father who was a Holocaust survivor and a mother who was here during hakamat hamidina. How could I not move to Israel? My father’s family was killed because they were Jewish. That fact made it obvious to me that we belong here. Especially because my mother is Israeli, making Aliyah was a natural thing to do.” Her children (and those of her brother David, who also lives on the yishuv), are third generation survivors who had the privilege of hearing their grandfather tell his story as they grew. They, too, identify themselves as the next generation of survivors. But what about children who do not have survivors in their family? Who don’t know personal stories or feel connected to survivors. How do they relate to the shoah? What role does the shoah play in their identity? As the number of survivors dwindles, and the gap between the current generation and that of the Shoah grows, Ella feared that the Holocaust as an event in Jewish history would seems as distant as the story of the Exodus. Part of the success of the project is that it has made the Holocaust personal to the youth. Interviewing the survivors is a means to bring the story of the Shoah home, strengthen identity, increase Zionist pride and declare to the world “we survived.” Like that reason a family picture is included in each board. It is the visual image of a family post-Holocaust that sums up the story of survival. “When the kids hear from survivors about their stories and document them, it becomes personal. They understand it is a tribute to the survivors who deserve their stories to be told and they take a real interest in doing that for them.” Many different groups of kids have gotten involved. Every year, the twelfth graders on the yishuv create their own display based on their trip to Poland. Last year, the tenth graders created an exhibit about the kindertransport. Daniella (Zeitchik) Hyman, the madricha who worked with them through Garin Nachshon, was impressed by how much the kids were affected by the stories. “Even though I taught them a lot they still wanted to know more.

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Many continued to research and learn on their own. Because the kids on the transport were close to their age they felt especially connected. They understood how brave these children were and saw them as real giborim. It was amazing to see how eager they were to learn.” When more volunteers were needed to help with the project, Margalit Arbell and Estie Bernstein stepped forward. Although already out of high school, the girls felt it was important to get involved and wanted the experience of interviewing survivors. “These were the stories of people living on the yishuv. That created a connection from one person to the next. What was most amazing was that each survivor’s board tracked the family’s journey from Eastern Europe to Hashmonaim,” said Margalit. The girls also went to the local schools and asked the children to draw pictures related to the Holocaust. Those pictures were displayed as well and making children feel part of the tekes, further uniting the yishuv. Cheryl Singer shared her father’s story of surviving the Shoah. One of the most moving parts of his story takes place after the war when he returned to his family home in Poland. Before the Jews were taken, his parents buried a number of items in the backyard such as silver Judaica, jewelry and three family photographs. They let everyone know the exact spot so that should anyone survive they

could come back and retrieve the items. Cheryl’s father, the lone survivor returned and was able to bring the family artifacts with him to America. Today, Cheryl’s family uses the Kiddush cup and her daughter wore a piece of her great grandmother’s jewelry on her trip to Poland. According to Cheryl “for kids on the yishuv to see and hear this story is so powerful. It’s difficult to continue to come up with new and creative ideas of how to move people about the Shoah. The only way to connect to something as massive as the Holocaust is on a one-to-one basis. This project is so important for that reason.” For anyone who thinks that kids need tests and grades to motivate them to learn, this project proves them wrong. Of their own volition, and with some guidance from adults, these teens are using their free time to make sure the stories of the Shoah will live on long after the survivors are gone.

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An Interview with Chief Rabbi of Israel, David Lau By: Daniella Strumberger & Noa Garber Noa Garber and Daniella Strumberger are students at Ulpanat Orot Modiin. Their English teacher, Mrs. Leah Urso, gave them an assignment to interview a grandparent, or other person of substance, as part of a 10th grade project. The girls were thrilled when their neighbor, Chief Rabbi Lau, consented to grant them an interview! Former Chief Rabbi of Modiin, Rabbi David Lau, was elected to the position of Chief Rabbi of

Israel this year. We had the honor of interviewing him for our high school project in our hometown of Modiin in December, 2013. The interview took place in the Lau’s lovely home. We have translated the interview from Hebrew to English. What world events do you remember from your childhood, and how did they affect you? I remember the Yom Kippur War (1973). I was nine years old when the war started. When we were kids, I remember we loved walking on the road on Yom Kippur - something that we could not do on a day-to-day basis. On that Yom Kippur, we weren’t allowed to walk on the road. The streets were full of vehicles and it was very strange for us. When we came to the synagogue we Continued on page 30

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Celebrating Purim in Modiin An Unforgettable Experience Friday, March 14, 2014

Adeloyada Parade & Purim Happening at the Amphi on Emek Hahula and Fish Park Schedule of Events: Stilts, exhibits, shows, blowups, bungee, and more surprises 11:00 -15:30 - Activity area open to the entire public 12:00 - Adeloyada 2014 Parade starting from Emek Hahula 13:30 - “Purim Party with Mimi and Yoyo” A show with songs that everyone loves accompanied by dancers All the activities are free of charge except for the food booths

Purim for the Entire Family Sunday, March 16, 2014

11:00-14:00 at the Fish Park “Yuval HaMebulbal” hilarious show for Purim Show begins at: 12:00 Creative workshops, clowns, balloons, makeup, blowups, gymboree and more Food booths (for a fee) Free entra n c e! Ever yo ne’s i nv ited! No pets allowed. Individuals or IDF personnel may not bring in firearms to the event

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Continued from page 28

saw a lot of people standing outside and calling the men from inside the synagogue to come with them; the synagogue emptied out. When we came home, we heard the alarm - my mother panicked, realizing that a war had broken out. We ran downstairs to the bomb shelter, and my brother was called to come and help. I remember my mother was crying. The situation was very stressful and I was really scared, but we had great faith in our soldiers - we were all united and it was a very special feeling. Lately you have been very active in the youth movement “Bnei Akiva”. It seems that it is really important to you and we wanted to know why? On the first day that the branch of Bnei Akiva in Modiin opened, I became very involved because Bnei Akiva is a place where every teenager can express himself, and I really believe in the power that teenagers have. I respect the teenagers who give of themselves to others, and that’s why I feel that it is my obligation to help them. What were your hobbies when you were young, and which sports did you do?


At first I played soccer with my friends, and then I played basketball all throughout high school. I was the best basketball player on my team! In addition to that, I liked running and I was a very fast runner. I also liked collecting things. Today I don’t have time to do any sports, and the only sports I do is to walk from synagogue to synagogue on the Sabbath. Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now, at the end of your term as a Chief Rabbi? I don’t really know what I’ll be doing ten years from now, just like I didn’t know last year that I was going to be the Chief Rabbi of Israel today; but, I do know that I’ve always wanted, and will always want, to make people happy and to help them get closer to Judaism. What was your feeling when you were promoted from the rabbi of a little city like Modiin to the Chief Rabbi of Israel? The first feeling I had was one of extreme responsibility. When I was the rabbi of a city, I was aware that there were some areas that

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I was not responsible for, but as Chief Rabbi of the country, I have many many more responsibilities. Recently, there is an effort to bring in a law that says that there will only be one rabbi for each city and one Chief Rabbi for Israel. What are your thoughts on this matter? The people that create the law do it from a populist perspective, without recognition of the facts, and without knowing what really goes on in the rabbinate. It’s not true that most people think there should only be one rabbi - there is much more work to do as a rabbi then it seems. People do not recognize a rabbi’s duties, and how much work there is in the position of Chief Rabbi of the country, and even of a city. Both and you and Rabbi Yosef are Chief Rabbis who are sons of prior Chief Rabbis. What does it feel like? On one hand it is very obligating, because I am the son of the Chief Rabbi and people have high expectations of me and are always comparing me to my father; yet, on the other hand, I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher!

The past few years, women have become more religiously learned, and they learn about religion more in depth. How do you feel about that? When do you think a woman would be able to be on the same level as a Chief Rabbi? The fact that women go and discover, and learn more about religion and expand their biblical knowledge is very important, and I think it is very good; but, of course, it needs to stay within the limits of halacha, which says that there are things that women can’t do, such as being a rabbinical judge. For example, I am not a kohen and, therefore, I am unable to be a kohen gadol; yet, I hope that whatever position I am in, I can use my abilities to their fullest and do the best job that I can. In the same manner, I believe that women can use their abilities to the utmost, and achieve great things in Judaism. Thank you Rabbi Lau for the honor of giving us some of your time for this interview!


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Getting Fit for the Future By: Ariel Fisher Between juggling bagruyot and a full time 11th grade schedule, it’s hard to believe that I’d have energy for four hours a week of intense army style exercise program. Kosher Kravi, translated as “combat fitness” is more than just an intense boot camp style fitness chug. This program is geared for 11th and 12th grade students who strive to strengthen both their physical stamina as well as their mental capabilities. Most importantly, this intense program teaches the importance of discipline and commitment to a goal. Kosher Kravi teaches students about the importance of teamwork and responsibility to fellow peers. In Kosher Kravi failure is not an option! Success is measured on the group level and met only on

the individual level. I had heard about the program from friends who had graduated the course and had ultimately been accepted to prestigious army units. My goal is to enter a combat unit after high school which is a very competitive process. I knew I would need to get into top physical and mental shape if I was serious about serving in an elite unit. When I began the program in September I was not quite sure if I could keep up with the fast pace of extreme and intense workouts. Thanks to our instructor and role model, Assaf Weisz, I soon learned that 18k of running on the Tel Aviv beach is a doable activity when you set your mind to it. Add to that, carrying a stretcher with 30 kilo of sand on your shoulders! Or how about push-ups on the wet sand,

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lunges, jumping jacks and sprints. And dare not come late to class or you will be stuck with knuckle push-ups. But besides improving my physical fitness, Kosher Kravi had taught me the importance of responsibility for my actions. I’ve learned to stand up to fulfilling a mission when others are either unwilling or unable to do it. Kosher Kravi is about becoming a leader and pushing myself and my peers to succeed. The program has also helped me in school with time management, organization and ability to stay focused on a goal. Most of all it has motivated me to give my best as a real soldier when the time comes. Another amazing thing about kosher kravi is that I have had a chance to meet kids I would never otherwise meet. There are 110

kids from Modiin and Reut and some from Hashmonaim. Around half of them are religious and half are secular. I feel I am doing a Kiddush Hashem by working together with them with the goal of preparing to serve our country. It’s a chug that really bonds people together because we create relationships, depend on each other, trust each other, follow the others word - and as they say in Hebrew - make brothers. Sometimes I am walking in the mall and see a guy from the chug and hug him. I know that’s not something you see a lot of. Ariel Fisher, 11th grade - Yeshivat Lapid Torat Nachum, Modiin

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Starry, Starry Israeli Night By: ISRAEL21c Take a nighttime tour of the sky, book a planetarium show or observatory visit. Kid-friendly, English-speaking options are available from north to south. No matter where you stand on Planet Earth, when you look up you’ll see the same sky. Yet star-gazing in Israel is a special way to add some fun and education to your travel itinerary. Shows and guided tours in English are available at several star observatories and planetariums. In addition, two US-raised astronomers offer English-speaking nighttime sky tours in some of Israel’s most breathtaking desert landscapes.


New Jersey resident Susan Alpert tells ISRAEL21c that she heard from a friend about Ira “Star Man” Machefsky’s telescope tours of the Negev sky over Mitzpeh Ramon. She booked it right away for a trip to Israel that she and her husband planned with another couple six months later. They were not disappointed. “My highlight was seeing the Milky Way,” Alpert says. “It was unbelievable. And we also saw a star ‘nursery’ of new stars just starting to twinkle. It opened your eyes to things you see but you don’t see.” Ethan Schwartz’s portable What’s Up Observatory features

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Continued on page 38


a large computerized telescope. Dark Sky Tours – conducted in his favorite spot just outside Eilat, or anywhere else clients ask him to set up – provide a close-up encounter with constellations, intergalactic globular clusters, double stars, shooting stars, nebulae, planets, the moon and sometimes even other galaxies, depending on the season and time of night. Schwartz tells ISRAEL21c that seeing stars from Israel has its advantages. “We’re further south than, say, American skies, and there is one star we can see that was the first star used to prove the earth was round,” he relates. “It’s not visible in Greece, but you can see it from Jerusalem.” Roni Muallem, director of the Harry Kay Observatory and

planetarium in Hadera, tells ISRAEL21c that when Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 collided with Jupiter in 1994, “we were the first to see it. Not because we have better telescopes, but because we were in the best place at the best time,” he says. “In this longitude, there are not so many observatories.”

Stellar observatories The Kay observatory is the largest one in Israel that is open to the public. (The bigger Wise Observatory is a professional astronomical research facility in Mitzpeh Ramon owned by Tel Aviv University.) An English-speaking guide can be booked for groups of 15 or more; call 0 4 - 6 3 3 - 3 5 0 5 .

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Opened in 2006 on the grounds of Hadera’s Technoda interactive science museum, Kay boasts a computerized telescope with a 16inch lens. Its advanced automatic system recognizes and tracks tens of thousands of stars and celestial bodies. A video camera can be attached to transmit real-time pictures of the faraway sky directly to “star-struck” audiences in Technoda’s auditorium.

Israel’s original place to see the stars is the Givatayim Observatory on top of a hill in Second Aliyah Park in this Tel Aviv suburb. The main SchmidtCassegrain telescope inside the dome is dedicated to researchers, but smaller telescopes on an observation terrace are set up for public viewings every Tuesday and Thursday night at 8.

Naturally, one can see the stars only after dark, but the observatory has two smaller telescopes equipped with filters to allow observation of the sun and its solar eruptions. Muallem – who built his own telescope when he was a kid and was an instructor at the Givatayim Observatory at age 13, long before earning graduate degrees from the Weizmann Institute of Science – explains that right now there’s not much to see on the sun. “Usually you’re looking for sun spots, which appear cyclically, peaking every 11 years,” he says.

Oded Avraham of the Israel Astronomical Association tells ISRAEL21, “There’s usually someone who speaks English and can show you around the Givatayim Observatory. Best call about an hour-plus before your visit to make sure.” (03-573-1152) The Bareket Observatory in Maccabim boasts Emerald planetarium digital projectors, a live Internet remote telescope and astronomical live webcasts (08-926-4150, The Maaleh Adumim ORT Observatory is open to the public Continued on page 40

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once a month. English-language tours are arranged several times a year. Planetariums project the nighttime sky The Planetarium at the Eretz Israel Museum offers an Imaxlike 3D presentation that visitors experience in revolving seats. On the domed ceiling, ancient and nascent galaxies and stars appear through the virtual lenses of the world’s most advanced telescopes. Fun animation introduces you to astronomy and the origins of myths about the stars. You’ll also see a presentation about Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon, who died in the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster, and real-time NASA pictures of outer space. To order tickets for English performances for individuals and groups, call 03-745-5710/720.


Technoda’s more modest planetarium lets visitors experience the ideal night sky, along with explanations about the stars and galaxies. Advanced stargazers can add meridian lines, celestial equator, and ecliptic plane to the night sky simulation. Special projectors can also superimpose on the simulated sky video clips showing Greek mythology stories and the planets. Muallem suggests booking English tours in advance. By the way, “ S t a r m a n ” Machefsky offers a free nighttime sky session (http:// the-top-10-mostromantic-places-inisrael/) to couples planning a marriage proposal during the tour. Reprinted with permission from ISRAELI21C,

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Continued from page 21

with trainers maneuvering around different obstacles and responding to commands. Inside, she explained how the color and texture were incorporated into the design of the r o o m s so that the visually impaired who live there for three weeks can more easily adapt. I had the chance to get up close and personal with the beautiful dogs in the kennel. Though they all looked identical to me, the trainers know each dog from the next. I learned that the dogs are given English names (like Disney, Sugar and Greg) so as not to be confused when out in public where they hear Hebrew names. We even visited the newborn puppies huddled together in a mesh of white fur with only their black noses distinguishing one from the other. Orna and Noach’s involvement in every detail of the center was a recurring theme as we toured the facility. As Lisa kept referring to them throughout the morning, it became clear that the couple’s

passion and devotion for this project is infused in the center and inspires everyone who works there. A love of animals and a desire to help people is a must. In addition to the paid staff there are five men and women completing t h e i r National Service at the Center. When we fi n i s h e d the tour I was almost r e a d y to adopt a puppy myself. A one-year commitment seems doable for someone with an affinity for animals. I contemplate surprising my children with news of a new addition to our family. As I envisioned my active brood breaking out in wild celebration, I remembered the strict discipline required to raise a guide dog and reconsider…at least for now. To arrange a tour of the center, or for any questions contact Lisa at

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Why We Live in Israel Besiata Deshmaya By: Student at Ulpanat Shaalvim Several days before Rosh Hashanah a few friends and I got onto the Jerusalem Light Rail. The train was pretty full so we stood in the aisle between the two parallel benches. At the next stop, new passengers boarded and others stepped off - so many different people of so many different types, each one going about his or her own business and continuing on with their own lives... An older man sat down on the bench near where I was standing. He had a long white beard and was wearing a crisp white button down shirt, a simple black suit and a black hat. "It's more comfortable to stand if you hold onto the ring on top," the man kindly suggested to me. "Thanks," I replied while catching onto

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the handle. "So where do you go to school?" he continued with a smile. From there a short conversation gradually formed. In the middle of our discussion he added, "I want to share a blessing with you for the New Year- you should merit ‫ אבן טובה‬." Huh? I thought. "I'll explain,",he said as he gestured to the secular woman sitting next to him to pay attention. "‫אושר‬-‫(א‬happiness) , ‫ בריאות‬-‫ב‬ (health), and ‫נחת‬-‫( נ‬comfort). And if you were wondering about income, ‫אבן טובה‬- a good stone is a diamond! And to whom should you pass on this blessing? ‫ אמהות ואבות‬-‫( א‬fathers and mothers), ‫ בנים ובנות‬-‫( ב‬boys and girls), and ‫ נכדים ונכדות‬-‫ ( נ‬grandsons and granddaughters)," he concluded. "How nice," the woman sitting next to him replied, " do you by chance have a pen so I can write that down?" The man immediately pulled out a pen and wrote it all down for her on a slip of paper. Meanwhile we had reached the next stop. Once again people coming and people going, but this time an elderly woman who

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had been sitting nearby wished us all an "‫ "אבן טובה‬cheerfully as she left the train. The man then turned to a young Ethiopian father who was standing in the area with his son, and offered him the seat that had just become available next to him, "You know, I once visited Ethiopia..." Once again starting a friendly conversation with his fellow Jew, and quickly finding common ground. We soon arrived at the stop where my new friend had to leave. We wished each other a ‫ שנה טובה‬, and ‫ אבן טובה‬and with that, the man exited the train and disappeared into the streets of Jerusalem. For the rest of the day I could not stop thinking of the amazing Jew that I had met on the train. What would the Jerusalem light rail look like if each and every one of us had the courage to heartily greet our fellow Jews with a smile? What kind of atmosphere would there be if we all would treat each and every Jew as a brother or sister? What if we always showed respect and love for all of our nation, regardless of their age, religious status, background, or nationality? Once we realize that all of Am Yisrael are one, and begin to act accordingly, I have no doubt that each and every one of us will merit endless amounts of ‫אבן טובה‬.

A Yidishe Mame in Every Israeli By: Yael Warman, Modiin Living in Israel is an experience in itself. The idiosyncrasy of the Israeli is very particular to say the least and you can spend your days complaining about it or simply embrace it, enjoy it, appreciate it and even laugh at it. To describe Israelis requires more than words - perhaps the use of hand gestures -. Israelis are referred to as Sabras (Prickly pear in English. The term is used to compare an Israeli Jew to the fruit's thick skin and tough exterior that conceals a sweet and soft interior), and they are nothing short of it. They are impatient, they yell, they speak with their hands as if about to hit you, they cut in line, they have no concept of customer service as we know it, but boy, are they there when you need them. You don't have to ask for advice to get it, and not because they are nosy, but because they care. You don't have to ask for help, because if they see you stranded on the road, they won't think about how late they will be to the meeting they are running to, but they will stop and help you. They genuinely care about others and have a unique way of showing it. Continued on page 46

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The first week we were here after making Aliyah (just three weeks before the High Holidays), we got invitations from total strangers to spend the Holidays with them. A few years back, my husband and I came for Passover break and after getting into a heated argument with a guy who cut in front of our car to steal our parking space in a crowded mall, he and my husband, hugged, shook hands and wished each other Chag Sameach. Only in Israel. Israelis are like siblings. They will fight, and yell and tell it to your face, but when it comes down to it, they will help you and care about you. Israelis also have an Yiddishe mame complex. When it comes down to food, they "know" what's best for you. They won't let you have what you want, but they will tell you what you should be having and convince you until you have what they want you to have. It may be my ola chadasha face, but I may seem to attract "food advice" at every restaurant I go to. We went for pancakes this morning at the new Beit HaPancake. I like my pancakes plain with syrup on top. The store owner wanted to make them with walnuts and coconut, but he didn't just suggest it, he insisted they were so good I had to have them that way. At the gym, I never seem to be able to order my smoothie without "added"

ingredients because they guy at the counter thinks what I order is too simple. At Pisgat Habaguette, even when I want a plate and not a sandwich, the owner insists on the bread being fresh and delicious and everything being better on a sandwich. My experience last week at the supermarket put all my previous encounters with the Yiddishe mame to shame. I was buying cheese at the counter for a lasagna I wanted to make. After the counter attendant diligently searched through my grocery cart and replaced the pre-packaged cheeses I had gotten from the refrigerator with ones from the counter because as he said it, the ones at the counter are less expensive per kilo and better tasting, he "suggested" I put pesto in my lasagna. Now, I am not big on pesto sauce, so I told him I didn't like it. He opened his eyes as in disbelief and signaled me to wait (you know, the "rega" hand signal where they put all fingertips together upward). He went to what I assumed was a back kitchen, only to come back with a spoon full of pesto sauce, which he proceeded to feed me! I had no choice but to open my mouth and eat a spoonful of pesto sauce, because how dare I say no to a Yiddishe mame. To read more of Yael Warman’s blog posts, go to

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ModiInfo followers are still loving Tuesday Fooday! Don’t know what we’re talking about? Follow us on Facebook and see what all the fuss is about – basically free food and fun but as the saying goes - you gotta be in it to win it!

The article, It’s Time to Build a Visitors Center in Modiin, which appeared in the winter issue of ModiInfo as well as the Jerusalem Post, was accompanied by a depiction of a coin created by local artist Yitzchak Mark in 2010 in honor of Chanuka. He created Legal Services

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the coin as an expression of renewal of the Jewish city of Modiin. The idea came from the ancient tree that blossoms in three points in time: Yesterday – Menorah coin from the last Hashmonean king Antigonus Matityahu (who was murdered by Herod) and the ancient trunk. Today – the logo of Modiin. Tomorrow – flowering and growth. The pasuk on the top is taken from Yeshayahu where he speaks of inhabiting desolate areas. The other quote is from Meged Yerachim which says real heroism is found where the spirit of Hashem is. The train service was shut down for several weeks due to the storm in December and thereby inconveniencing passengers. As part of the reopening of services, the Israel Railways planned some fun events and activities for passengers. O n e Thursday, passengers received fl o w ers to take home for Shabbat and the week after received chocolates to sweeten their Shabbat. Israel Railways added that they will continue to create new events and activities for the benefit of all Modiin residents in cooperation with the Modiin Maccabim Reut Municipality. Democracy was at its best when Modiin Maccabim Reut youth held an election last month for the Municipal Youth Council. The Election process began in January, when teens put together full the election Continued on page 50


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Continued from page 44

campaign for the Modiin Youth Council, accompanied by the Youth Leadership Coordinator Maayan Polent. As with any election, the democratic process made its peak on Election Day, in which 50 candidates presented to council members their election platform, their worldview and goals. Then the secret ballot began and the new elected reps were announced. As Polent said, "The New Youth Leadership Council is unified and affects a greater involvement in the community at large. I wish them great success.” The Mesua neighborhood of Modiin is going green. The city recycling initiative launched in Mesua in February adding it to the growing list of neighborhoods participating in garbage separation standards. The initiative requires the separation of wet and dry garbage as well as glass, plastic and paper into different waste bins. As part of the program, schools are educating

children about recycling and they are often more knowledgeable than their parents and eager to implement the initiative. The city credits the residents with the immense success of the program. Modiin held its annual Modiin Docu 2014 Festival which took place February 13-15. Twelve award-winning documentaries were screened as well as a showcase of high-quality new documentaries including the “Gatekeepers”, an interview with six former heads of the Shin Bet.

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the city with plans to build an assisted living facility, a first for him and for Modiin. The complex will cost 215 million NIS, house 240 apartments and an additional 60 with full medical supervision as well as two nursing departments. It is projected to be finished in late 2016. The Modiin train station recently hosted a national press conference where a deal was signed between Israel Railways and The Israel Lands Authority (ILA). The agreement allows for the development of new commercial centers above and around train stations throughout the country, including Modiin.

The Irony Hey High School, established only this year has joined the long list of City School Winners in various robotics competitions. This year the RCH 927 won first prize in the Core Value Category under the subject of Team Work. As part of the regional FLL Competition, the teams were asked to study natural disasters, to explore them and find creative and innovative solutions for these disasters. After much deliberation, the team from Ironi Hey decided to explore what happens when there is an earthquake, and developed an innovative solution for sewer pipes.

Minister Uri Ariel, Minister Yisrael Katz, Minister Yair Lapid, Mayor Haim Bibis, Boaz Tzafrir, Doron Weiss

Continued on page 52


Continued from page 51

Mayor Haim Bibas, along with Minister of Finance Yair Lapid, Minister of Housing & Construction Uri Ariel and CEO Israel

In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Israel Community Center (ICC) hosted a screening of the movie, The New Anti-Semitism, with English subtitles. ModiInfo continues to collaborate with Modiin.TV to do English interviews of interest. We interviewed Shari Mandell and the comedians of Comedy for Koby before their sold out Modiin show in December. Last month, ModiInfo interviewed the partners of the new Modiin technology hub, MESH, at their offices.

Mayor Haim Bibas, Minister Yair Lapid, Minister Uri Ariel, Benzi Lieberman

Land Authority Benzi Lieberman signed on January 22 the “Heshkem Gag”. The agreement is an effort to build the center city of Modiin as well as 1450 housing units and more housing units in three future neighborhoods. The city will be given autonomy to the planning and development of the area and work within its own timetable. Today the demand is bigger than the supply and therefore the housing prices in Modiin have been highly inflated. With this new model, the goal is to build quickly without the bureaucratic red tape and to offer a range of housing and drive down the prices on the new housing units. Modiin just may be an affordable option for our children after all. Let’s wait and see. The Modiin Olympiada took place at the field in Reut with the participation of the local schools. Hundreds of kids took part in

the track and field event and many parents came to watch and cheer their teams on. While the weather was magnificent and the kids had a lot of fun, many parents were disturbed by the lack of organization, lack of bathrooms and drinking water.


Daniella Hellerstein, Avi Liberman, Andrew Norelli, Shari Mandell, Caryn Meltz, Roy Wood Jr., & Dan Naturman

Mayor Haim Bibas, municipal officials and CEO Doron Barak of the Modiin Economic Development Fund, hosted a senior delegation from the city Pago South Korea. The delegation visited to Modiin to discuss possible cooperation between the two cities. Thousands of residents, parents and children, came to celebrate Tu Beshvat with Mayor Bibas and city council members and planted trees at the Einav Center (Yishpro). The trees will grow tall and strong, and will add to the beautiful green landscape of our city, Modiin.

Council member Elad Shimonovich planting trees with schoolchildren Photo credit: Gidi Avineri

Follow us on; twitter @modiinfo1 and check out website for daily news updates,

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Seasonal Allergies Are on the Way! By: Robert M. Cohen, M.D. It is very hard to predict how difficult the spring and summer pollen season will be for allergy sufferers, but one thing is for sure: many of us are already with tissues in hand, sneezing, sniffling, blowing our noses, tearing, and rubbing our eyes and nose. The cause of these troublesome symptoms are the invisible, microscopic tree and grass pollens which we breathe in our noses, inhale in our lungs, and which deposit in our eyes. And, in Israel, the most common and notorious offender is the pollen that is released from the beautiful and abundant olive trees in our area, among many others. Pollen seasons here in Israel tend to be very long. Beginning in February, trees begin to blossom and their pollens are detectable in the air and are present well into the summer months. But, to make things even worse, grasses will begin to pollinate with the warmer weather and some of us will therefore be subjected to an additional and unbearable allergy burden. The results are predicable. If fortunate, the resultant seasonal allergy symptoms


will be a minor inconvenience, but, if severe, they can significantly affect oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quality of life. Fortunately, seasonal allergic rhinitis is actually one of the easiest diagnoses for an allergist to make. If the medical history suggests allergic rhinitis, allergy testing will be performed 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 after 15-20 minutes. This test is painless and is well tolerated by even young children. Once the relevant allergens have been identified, an allergist will recommend a comprehensive treatment plan to eliminate the existing symptoms, and hopefully 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,

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depending on multiple factors such as the severity and chronicity of symptoms, results of past treatment, and the impact 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 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 symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis. These generally fall into the categories of antihistamines, steroid nasal sprays, and other non-steroidal blockers of inflammation. The third treatment option, immunotherapy or desensitization, is however the only treatment option that addresses the actual cause

of the immune system’s abnormal over-response. Historically, the gold standard of treatment has been allergy injections. 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), 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. In fact, the Israel Association of Allergy has very recently endorsed SLIT as an alternative to injections. Most importantly, SLIT’s advantages over allergy shots include a much greater safety profile. The good news for those who suffer from seasonal allergies is that help is available and that, in most cases, allergy symptoms due to pollen and other inhaled allergens can be significantly diminished or eliminated, greatly improving one’s quality of life.  Dr. Robert Cohen is an American trained Board Certified Allergist. He has a private practice in RBS where he treats children and adults with allergies and asthma. He can be reached at 02-991-3547, or by email IsraelAllergy@gmail. com. He can also be reached through his website, www.



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Healthy Living By: Dina Solomon It has been a strange winter, coming in with a historical snowstorm and shutting down the country for more than a week, then reversing into one of the mildest winters in years. Where is the rain? We keep hoping that the second Adar will bring a late winter, but more and more the air feels sweet and the blooming wildflowers seem to announce that spring is here. It is a time of transformation and paradox. We pile on sweaters and coats only to remove them layer by layer as the sun warms the day. It is easy to fall victim to colds and allergies during these times and there are some preventive measures that can be taken to avoid this. I would like to pay tribute to a simple substance which can Here is a fun recipe for Adar that can also be adopted for Pesach

Sweet potato pie 1 ½ cup sweet potato puree (cook 2-2 sweet potatoes, in chunks in a little water until soft) 2/3 cup maple syrup or honey 3 T molasses ½ t vanilla extract 1 t cinnamon 1 t ginger ½ t cloves ¼ t nutmeg 4 t arrowroot powder or corn starch ½ c soy or nut milk

Crust 1 c ground nuts ( almonds pecan, or walnuts) 1 c ground rolled oats, 1 c flour 1/3 cup honey ¼ c oil Blend all filling ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Mix crust ingredients by hand and pat into a pie pan. Pour in the filling and bake for 30-40 min. at 350 (180C). For Pesach ,simply replace the rolled oats with 1 cup coconut and the flour with matzo meal.


become a best friend at all times of the year, but especially now in Adar and Nissan. I am referring to bicarbonate of soda, also known simply as baking soda. This simple substance is so powerful and has so many uses that when Arm & Hammer put out their product more than 150 years ago they used the symbol of a hammer on their carton to emphasize its strength. Baking soda is a staple in many homes for baking and cleaning purposes, but there are so many more uses for this cheap and natural substance that are perhaps not as well known. By the 1860’s baking soda was featured in cookbooks and in the 1930’s it was advertised as a “proven medical agent”. In their booklet, “Arm & Hammer’s Baking Soda Medical Uses”, published in 1924 there is an account of success in treating the flu. The recommended dose is as follows: on day 1 of cold or flu symptoms take six doses of ½ tsp baking soda in a glass of cool water at 2 hour intervals. Day 2 take 4 doses of same amount at two hour intervals. Day 3 take 2 doses of ½ tsp in a glass of water morning and evening and thereafter just one dose in the morning until symptoms disappear. There are no harmful side effects of dousing with baking soda. Dr. Mark Sircus, naturopath and oriental doctor says that dousing with baking soda can help to alkalize the blood and keep the ph in proper balance. Since all disease comes from a ph that is too acidic it seems a simple and inexpensive way to help avoid disease. There is a controversial oncologist, Dr. Tullio Simoncini from Italy who has cured cancer patients using only intravenous sodium bicarbonate. I personally take ½ tsp of powdered vitamin C mixed with ½ tsp of baking soda both morning and night and it seems to prevent me from catching colds and flu. Baking soda makes a wonderful toothpaste when mixed 6 parts to one part sea salt. Store in a jar and simply wet your toothbrush and dip it in the mixture. One or two cups of baking soda in a hot bath is a wonderful soak for healing aches and fatigue and it leaves the skin soft and smooth. It can also be made into a paste with a little water and used as a facial scrub and exfoliator. It is soothing to insect bites and sunburn when applied as a paste onto the skin.

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To tackle that Pesach cleaning baking soda comes to the rescue again. It will clean your stovetop, sink, bathtub and remove stains from the oven. It is just as effective as the commercial and toxic cleaners you will find on the supermarket shelves and it is environmentally friendly. To clean silver without using caustic silver cleaners, just fill your sink with hot water, add a sheet of aluminum foil and let the silver soak overnight. Here is a substance, easily available, non-toxic, versatile, cheap and so useful for so many things. I buy baking soda in kilo bags in a little makollet in Jerusalem on Rehov Agripas and the corner of Shilo, right across from Machane Yehuda. It costs only 8 shekels for a kilo bag! So pass up those bottles of pink, green, blue and whatever other color poisonous cleansers that promise to scour your home from top to bottom and tune into a natural cheap alternative that is truly a wonder. You wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be disappointed. (Many more uses of baking soda can be found online at Dina Solomon is a raw food chef and yoga instructor. You can sign up for a class or order raw goodies by email:

Chocolate Chip Cookies By: Ahava Schwartz, 9th grade 1 cup of soft margarine 3/4 cups of sugar 3/4 cups of brown sugar 1 teaspoon of vanilla 1/2 teaspoon of water Beat above ingredients until creamy. Beat in two eggs. Add 2 1/2 cups sifted flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt. Mix together well. Stir in 1 bag of chocolate chips (best part...). Refrigerate dough overnight or at least two hours. Spoon cookies onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 F (180 C) for 10 minutes. ENJOY!!


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For Sale in Buchman & Givat C:

In Buchman: garden duplex in the center of Buchman, large rooms, 60m garden (option to buy with basement) 2,149,000NIS Givat C: 3/5 rooms, 28m garden, a/c, covered parking, next to Ulpana, 1,128,000NIS. For details, call Ayalon Nechasim 052-380-4929

CANDLE LIGHTING March 7/5 Adar 2 Parashat Vayikra Candle lighting: 17:19 Shabbat ends: 18:22 March 14/12 Adar 2 Parashat Tzav (Zachor) Candle lighting: 17:25 Shabbat ends: 18:27 March 21/19 Adar 2 Parashat Shmini (Para) Candle lighting: 17:29 Shabbat ends: 18:32

March 28/26 Adar 2 Parashat Vayakel Shabbat Mevarchim Daylight Savings Candle lighting: 18:34 Shabbat ends: 19:37 April 4/4 Nissan Parashat Metzora Candle lighting: 18:39 Shabbat ends: 19:42 April 11/11 Nissan Parashat Acharei Mot (HaGadol) Candle lighting: 18:44 Shabbat ends: 19:47

April 14/14 Nissan Erev Pesach Candle lighting: 18:46 Chag ends: 19:49

May 16/16 Iyar Parashat Bechukotai Candle lighting: 19:08 Shabbat ends: 20:11

June 3/5 Sivan Erev Shavuot Candle lighting: 19:20 Chag ends: 20:22 June 6/8 Sivan Parashat Behaalotecha Candle lighting: 19:21 Shabbat ends: 20:24

April 18/18 Nissan Shabbat Chol Hamoed Pesach Candle lighting: 18:49 Shabbat ends: 19:51

May 2/2 Iyar Parashat Emor Candle lighting: 18:58 Shabbat ends: 20:01

May 23/23 Iyar Parashat Behar Shabbat Mevarchim Candle lighting: 19:13 Shabbat ends: 20:16

April 20/20 Nissan Erev Seventh Day Pesach Candle lighting: 18:50 Chag ends: 19:53

May 9/9 Iyar Parashat Behar Candle lighting: 19:03 Shabbat ends: 20:06

May 30/1 Sivan Parashat Naso Candle lighting: 19:17 Shabbat ends: 20:20

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April 25/25 Nissan Kedoshim Shabbat Mevarchim Candle lighting: 18:53 Shabbat ends: 19:56

June 13/15 Sivan Parashat Shlach Candle lighting: 19:24 Shabbat ends: 20:27 June 20/22 Sivan Parashat Korach Candle lighting: 19:27 Shabbat ends: 20:29


To Advertise: 052-6404414 | 052-3868768 |

t Lowes he nt i e c i r p ry count

Great service | good quality 3 year warranty

Screen repair iPhone 4/4S Screen repair iPhone 5

350 NIS

149 starting from

(instead of 279)

Screen repair iPod Touch 4G

199 NIS (instead of 349)

Screen repair Samsung Galaxy S4

Screen repair Samsung Galaxy S3



800 NIS


600 NIS

Screen repair iPhone 3 G/S

99 NIS

Screen repair iPad 2/3/4

450 NIS

*Screen repairs under the condition that the touch and the display are functional. For Galaxy 3/4 only.

Able to repair all devices, iPhone specialization Kaizer-Center | Emek Zvulun 24 | Modiin | Tel: 077-2077377 Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday 9:30-20:00 | Friday 9:00-14:00


Certified Kosher Take Away and Delivery Available Selection of Ice Cream and Parve Sorbet All products are freshly made with all natural ingredients Gelarte Modiin

66 Emek Dotan, Mercaz Merlaz Sunday-Thursday 8:00AM - Midnight

Friday 8:00AM 4:00-PM


Motzash 2/1 hour after shabbat ends - Midnight


ModiInfo Magazine English News Modiin Israel Spring 2014

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