Page 1

Guide to Life in Modiin and Beyond

Summer 2015 | Tamuz/Elul 5775 Volume 12, Issue 3 | FREE

Inside this Issue


on Events Your guide to making the perfect party

Nepal: Israeli boots on the ground Page 8

66 Emek Dotan, Mercaz Merlaz


Tips for buying property in Israel Page 14 1


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Dear Readers There are many elements that go into planning an event and it can be very stressful. If it’s your first event you may feel overwhelmed by all of the planning. If you have already made a simcha, you might be looking for some new ideas to make this one different from the others. Inside this issue is a special section for events – everything you need to know to plan the perfect event, from party supplies to event halls. For many people, the pictures are very important – they’re the memento for after the event (something tangible to keep after all the months of preparation). It’s also an opportunity to see the party from a different perspective. Take the time to make a list of the family portraits and pictures to take at the party. You will be overwhelmed with all the last minute planning and might forget to tell the photographer who to photograph. Give a copy of the list to the photographer and keep one for yourself. After all the time spent preparing, the event is over before you know it so take time to enjoy every minute of the party. Know in advance that some things won’t go exactly as planned but don’t let that ruin the party. The most important thing is to enjoy yourself and that your child enjoys him or herself whether it be a bar/bat mitzvah, a wedding or even a simple birthday party.

TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S 5 8 11 14 18 20 26 29 30 32 39 40 42 46 50 54

61 64 68

Let’s Talk Israel Prepared for Disasters Quest Games (Escape Rooms) 15 Valuable Tips for Buying a Home in Israel Selecting the Right Paint Of Secrecy, Privacy and Sanctity Elevate to another Level ModiInfocus on Events Simcha from A to Z Birthdays on a Budget A Sweeter Simcha Hang on to Your Hat Some Things Change, Some Stay the Same Masa Bat Mitzvah One of a Kind Weddings in Israel Taking Time Out of Your Celebration to Help Those Less Fortunate Have You Met this Teen Lifestyle Recipes

Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable summer! Rachel and Caryn

Caryn Meltz & Rachel Kops Co-publishers and editors 0523-868-768 | 0549-416-366 Website created by Litesites

Pictured on the cover: Refreshing ice cream and yogurt all summer long at Gelarte in Marlaz Center

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

ModiInfo is an independently owned, advertiser supported publication distributed quarterly 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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L E T ’ S TA L K By Jackie Graham - ESRA Modiin Children seem blessed with the ability to absorb a new language like a sponge. Adult olim, however, often find mastering Hebrew a challenge. Ulpan is a good start, but when we try to use our hard-won vocabulary, we often startle like a deer in headlights at the Hebrew response; or – worse – they reply “You can speek Eenglish” as soon as we say, “Boker Tov”. To provide an opportunity to practise ulpan skills, ESRA Modiin committee member, Brenda Brett, set up “LET’S TALK” in Modiin four years ago. Her idea was to bring together English-speaking olim and Hebrew-speakers who wanted to practice English, so that both could improve their conversation skills. Friendships between olim and native Israelis would be a bonus, particularly for more mature olim who do not meet Israelis in the workplace or at the school gate. ESRA Modiin was happy to initiate and sponsor this program and provides it as a free service to the community. The first incarnation of LET’S TALK brought together about 15 Israelis and

15 olim. Brenda suggested groups of between two and five who would meet weekly for 10 weeks and provide regular feedback on their progress. There were conversations, shopping trips and some lasting friendships, but there were also glitches. Groups of more than two did not work well. Weaker speakers felt awkward. Also, few people were interested in providing feedback. We felt a one-to-one format could be more successful. Brenda, and Israeli colleague Riki Refaeli, then matched a second cohort of 25 pairs, and that was the beginning of LET’S TALK in its current format. Now, coordinators suggest potential partners for new participants. Sometimes we have an immediate match; sometimes the wait may be longer. Participants usually initially meet in a café, and thereafter at home. M: “Thank you for the recommendation, I think it is working out well.” “We have become good friends. We both look forward to our meetings each week and are now able to have substantive conversations on a variety of topics.” Continued on page 6

Yoel Spritzer



Continued from page 5

We have had some requests for a telephone partnership. This is still in its early stages and does not suit most of our participants. What makes a “LET’S TALK“ partnership work? Similar ages, background and interests certainly help, but most important are the commitment to meet and to help your partner, an open mind and an interest in other people. I: “We still meet twice a week. It’s a very enjoyable and productive Shidduch, improving and enriching language (we read together about different subjects). I’m very happy I contacted (LET’S TALK). It’s a most pleasant and quick way to improve language.” Although we joke about making shidduchim, this is neither a tutoring service nor a dating agency! In response to feedback, we no longer match men with women. We did try matching teenagers, but they lead such busy lives that they never managed to meet! R: ”Age difference is a limiting factor for friendship, but we enjoy getting together.” There are currently about 40 successful partnerships meeting in and around Modiin. A few have become firm friends and meet socially. H: ”We have a wonderful relationship and meet almost every week.”

Some partners do not “click” or stop meeting due to changed circumstances or schedules. Often, one or both participants request a new speaking partner. Some partnerships stall for a while, then take up again. The best partnerships can last several years, but average around nine months. A few Anglos are lucky enough to have a partner who is only interested in helping them to speak Hebrew! However, most divide their weekly sessions between Hebrew and English. S: “Yes, I still meet up with L. most weeks. She is fantastic and I find the hour very helpful indeed.” E: “I would strongly recommend this program to everyone who wants to speak Ivrit.” For further information, please contact: Jackie, English Coordinator 054-268-1634; Rona, Hebrew Coordinator 052-381-9100;

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Israel Prepared for Disasters By: Rachel Kops and Caryn Meltz On April 25, 2015, an earthquake struck Nepal and left over 8,000 people dead and thousands more in need of medical attention. Israel immediately sprang into action and sent an advanced operations team to scout out the best area for the IDF field hospital. Hours later the team of 260 Israelis (medical personnel, Home Front Command and search and rescue) along with medical equipment, food and even a Sefer Torah were on their way to Nepal as part of “Mishlachat Or LeMizrach” (Light to the East). The team is trained to assemble a full service field hospital within 8-12 hours. Modiin resident, Dr. Avi Alpert, who works as an ER doctor in Shaarei Zedek hospital, serves in his reserve duty in a unit called YAKAM which specializes in field hospitals. Alpert was among the group that went to Nepal and sat down with ModiInfo to discuss the importance of a field hospital

and how it operates. The unit trains for mass casualty situations that could arise in Israel whether military, or a natural disaster such as an earthquake. They also take part in humanitarian relief missions throughout the world such as this recent one in Nepal. The goal of the mission depends on the needs of the country. There were a lot of young Israelis trekking in Nepal and part of the mission was to locate all of them. Israel takes state-of-the-art equipment on the missions such as digitized x-ray equipment, ultrasounds, and electronic monitors. An identification bracelet is put on patients as soon as they are triaged and all of the medical records are computerized. The field hospital has most of the departments that one would expect to find in a real hospital such as an emergency room, inpatient adult and pediatric units, operating

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room, intensive care unit, laboratory, radiology, and obstetrics. The field hospitals in Israel would also have a CT machine and the tents are modular so as to easily configure the hospital. Israelis who were traveling in the area came to volunteer with the group – this was all with permission from the IDF. The different teams on the ground came together quickly to work as a cohesive group. The field hospital was strategically set up on a Nepalese army base with a landing area for local military helicopters. The medical team and volunteers worked long days with little down time and minimal creature comforts. Every morning began with the raising of the Israeli flag, reading out of the daily schedule and the singing of Hatikva. Even across the ocean the group of 250 people came together as a nation. They were in Nepal over Lag BaOmer and made a bonfire to celebrate the holiday. There was a tent that served as the shul with minyanim three times a day and reading of the Torah portion on Monday,

Thursday and Shabbat. CNN conducted a survey of the countries that came to Nepal’s aid and Israel was the country that sent the highest amount of volunteers. Alpert said that the purpose in Israel’s participation in these missions is both “Tikun Olam” and “Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh LeZeh”. Back in Israel, the medical personnel and volunteers all jump at the opportunity to be able to help. The team is all working towards one cause.

Mishlachot Or LeMizrach was successful in helping heal many people and although the mission – by chance – was named Or LeMizrach, sadly Or Asraf z”l was the sole Israeli victim that didn’t make it home alive.

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Quest Games (Escape Rooms) The New Craze By: Jerr y Glazer Picture this…It is the summer recess. Your friends call and ask what you plans you have for today. “Good question,” you think, “OK – do I really want to go bowling and see some 30-year-old father of four score a 135 with bumpers? How about the movies – I think “Fast and Furious 9 – Less Fast but more Furious” just came out. Of course – there is always a tiyul in the area. Ben Shemen Forest always has plenty of space, but not much to see.” You ask your teenage child what they are doing today. “Dunno,” they reply as they play Clash of the Clans version 7.27. Yes, the big summer vacation is here, but unfortunately, the options do not seem to be many. This summer, however, a new attraction has entered the Israeli market. Quest games, otherwise known as escape rooms, have been recently introduced to the Israeli market. This new genre, which originated in Europe and Southeast Asia around 2010, has grown

to the point where there are over 1600 rooms in 335 cities worldwide, including over 100 in Moscow alone. So what is an escape room? It is a fun social activity whereby a group of people are tasked with a mission and must escape a specifically designed room within a certain time limit, usually 60 minutes. The team arrives at the location without any preparation and must decipher clues to fulfill the mission and exit the room. Depending on the location, the team may be a closed or an open group. The activity, which is generally recommended for ages Continued on page 13



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Continued from page 11

10 nd up, appeals to a cross-section of groups, including friends looking for a fun leisure activity, families, teenagers, students, tourists, companies, etc. Locations generally operate the rooms throughout the day and evening, including weekends.

A second level of rooms lowers the fright factor in favor of more fun. In these rooms, an actor is planted in the room with a goal to deter the team from finding the clues. Due to the popularity of the escape rooms, many places have opened up multiple escape rooms. Often, individuals will attend more than one room, even in one location. In addition to live escape rooms, many computerized escape rooms exist online. In recent weeks, a test run was done in Modiin for an escape room entitled “Escape the Nazir”. This room, developed by a team of Modiin-area individuals who have formed the Jerusalem Puzzle Quest, is opening this month in Talpiot, Jerusalem. The activity features a Nazirite who has locked away, via clues, various wine bottles. (Note: one of the vows of a Nazirite is to abstain from wine, thus the need to hide the bottles.) The team’s mission is to find the wine bottles. Unfortunately, the Nazirite presents an impediment to accomplishing the mission, thus providing for an interesting and fun activity. Reaction to the test run was very positive. While the group generally did not know what to expect, they indicated that the activity was much more fun than anticipated. One participant, a former police veteran, said that he came as a favor to test this new activity, and left having enjoyed the activity very much. Another participant, a writer for a local magazine said that her daughter’s biggest complaint was that the activity did not go longer as it was so much fun. It is unknown how much more this genre will grow. However, what is known that the enjoyment factor for this activity is very high, thereby offering an attractive entertainment option for those looking for something to do. The Jerusalem Puzzle Quest, located in Talpiot right next to the Hadar Mall, is now open to visitors. Further information may be obtained by contacting the author of this article or the company at

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Differences between escape rooms generally relate to the theme of each room. For example, certain rooms contain a hidden treasure, supposedly stolen, while other rooms have the participants trapped by a fictitious violent person or in a haunted room.


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15 Valuable Tips for Buying a Home in Israel By: Ilan Rubinstein 1. Before you commence your search for a home in

5. Don’t make your furniture plans in front of the

Israel, consult with a mortgage advisor to determine your real budget. 2. Check with local agents / appraisers on current values of property in the area especially of deals actually done, as opposed to fanciful asking prices. 3. When looking at any real estate in Israel, stakeout the property and neighborhood at different times of the day and night. 4. Never compliment a seller that his “house is beautiful”, it could cost you dearly!

seller - you are sending a message that the price is of no consequence! 6. Be very careful with whom you discuss any properties you’re interesting in purchasing so that someone does not pass along the information to another potential buyer and you lose the property. 7. Check with the your estate agent / building engineer / municipality for what new building plans may exist or are being considered that may affect the property. 8. Ask what fixtures and fittings are included in the

Continued on page 16

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sale before negotiating on price. 9. Do not be tempted to sign a Zichron Dvarim, Memorandum of Agreement, unless there are exceptional extenuating circumstances and even then only with approval of a lawyer. 10. Use the services of a reputable, licensed Hebrew speaking real estate negotiator to level the playing field. 11. Visit a recommended real estate lawyer for a hassle-free consultation on the Israeli buying process before you commit to any property. 12. Bear in mind that property purchases are usually done in Israeli Shekels with the associated transfer costs falling on the buyer. 13. Currency fluctuations on outstanding payments can significantly alter the price actually paid. 14. New home sales in Israel incur additional expenses of builder’s legal fees and being linked to the building index which can add an unknown element to the overall cost. 15. Building inspections are always recommended and are carried out prior to contract.

The writer, Ilan Rubinstein, UK born, is a licensed Israeli real estate agent with 15 years experience in Israel. Ilan is the C.E.O. of Israel HomeNet which is a subsidiary of the Israel Lease & Acquisition Network. Ilan specializes in assisting olim acquire new & existing property, investments & businesses in Israel. Tel: 077-4108011, cell: 050-4910604,,,

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Selecting the Right Paint By: Ami Bloc k Painting is a quick and cheap way to give an old room a breath of fresh air or to make your house more sellable if you are putting it on the market. Find out all you have ever wanted to know about selecting paint. Which paint should you choose? Paint comes in a variety of sheens as well as in either oil or latex. Latex paint is the most commonly and preferred paint type to use because of its ease of clean up and long lasting durability. It also tends to be more fade resistant and breathes better than oil, resulting in less blistering of the paint. I recommend using a latex paint for most of your walls and household uses. However, oil based paint is great for priming real wood moldings and trim as it tends to seal stains and knots from the wood better than a latex paint wood. It does take longer to dry than a latex paint though, so plan for more drying time. I personally use an oil based shellac primer on my trim and then opt for a latex paint as the top coat. There are a variety of brands on the market, but my top preference is Tambour paint.

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Which sheen should I select? The glossier the paint, the easier it is to clean up. If you have small children and the room you are painting has high traffic, like in a playroom, or tends to get grease on the wall such as in a kitchen, opt for high gloss sheen as you can easily wipe the wall down with a damp sponge. This will however make blemishes and imperfections in your wall more apparent and in rooms such as living rooms, could give off an unpleasant shine. High gloss is also great for trim and will give the trim a nice finished look, complementing the flatter sheen of your walls. Semi-gloss would also be a good choice for kitchens and baths as well as trim providing you with ease of wash-ability and less shine than the gloss. It is also slightly cheaper than the gloss finish and is a very common alternative. Satin sheens have a satiny smooth finish to them and could also be used in kitchens, baths and hallways. This may be a good choice if you really want some gloss and paint that can clean easily without the shine of a gloss. If you have walls with lots of imperfections, select a flat or matte paint. The downside to this paint is that it does not stand up well to a good cleaning and does tend to show dirt more so choose this for rooms that will not get lots of fingerprints and dirt on them. Probably the most popular sheen is eggshell, which hides imperfections like a flat does but is easier to wash, so more durable and smoother to the touch. I recommend this for most rooms as it seems to have the best of both the flat and glossy worlds. If you have any questions regarding different paints, its uses and functions please feel free to call me for a free consultation. Thank you for reading. Have a good summer and happy painting. Ami Block Painter and Handyman 052-4002320

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Of Secrecy, Privacy and Sanctity Where Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Health Come Together By: Jodi Wachspress Over the past few years, the topic of intimacy and religion has entered the proverbial limelight. There are endless articles, Facebook pages, podcasts and lectures on the topic of sexuality and Judaism. We are at the forefront of a Jewish Sexual Revolution, as voices within the community’s rabbinic, education and lay leadership are emerging on the topic and no longer running away from what was once perceived as taboo and inappropriate. As a trained sex therapist as well as a religious Jewish woman, daughter, wife and mother, I have mixed feelings about the public discussion of sexuality and Judaism. Children experience

and learn about their own sexuality from the moment they are born. Their G-d given little bodies are an ever-present source of intrigue, pleasure and curiosity. We are therefore mandated to teach them about their bodies from a very young age, in an age appropriate manner. They must learn (which means, we must teach them) that their bodies are their own and that every part of their body is special. Some parts are more private than others according to religious, cultural and social values and norms. This does not infer by any means that those parts are “secret” or “shameful”, rather, they are private and special. Continued on page 22

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Youth Department presents:

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As our children mature, we, their parents, must teach them about their evolving bodies and minds, and eventually, about what it means to be in a relationship and in a marriage. When doing so, we must consider each child’s distinct personality and life circumstance, while simultaneously remembering who we are, what we choose to pass on from our own life lessons regarding sexuality and intimacy, and what we choose to leave behind. Distinguishing the subtlety between privacy and secrecy is the key to a healthy sex education, and to a healthy Jewish Sexual Revolution. Clearly, talking about, learning and teaching sexuality within the Jewish educational system is crucial for a positive, healthy development - not only for the next generation, but also for us. We all have unanswered questions that we would love to ask but have felt awkward, ashamed or even too religious to ask. So, where are we going with this Jewish Sexual Revolution? And is it physically, emotionally and spiritually a healthy place for us to go?

I whole heartedly believe that talking about this topic is essential. I also believe that talking about it in an undesignated public forum can be detrimental and even harmful. A topic as personal as sexuality and intimacy must be discussed in a controlled environment. Different age groups, cultures and communities have varying sensitivities, needs and previous knowledge. While these populations may have similar questions, answers must be delivered in a case sensitive manner in order to ensure an effective and positive take away. As with any revolutionary topic we as a generation must push the envelope and often have to responsibly overstep boundaries in order to define them. However, as we do this in our E-lifestyle, where Facebook groups, posting, tweeting and messaging are a way of life, we have to be aware of our steps and make sure that Continued on page 24 Continued on page 24


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Mission Statement

To reach out to the non-observant, to strengthen the newly observant, and inspire the observant; to foster greater unity and build community through Torah study, community lectures, holiday events, social activities, weekly Shabbat services, and meaningful programs for men, women, and children.

Kehilla for English speakers

Lev Modiin is creating a Kehilla for the English-speaking community and olim in Modiin. Rabbi Elazar and Bracha Grunberger bring 30 years of experience and are available for individuals and families who seek advice and counsel. Shabbat and Holiday services, classes, and programs in English have been helpful to many who like to learn and socialize in their native tongue.

Lev Modiin is dedicated to enriching and building a warm, vibrant Anglo community in Modiin as well as outreach initiatives for the Israeli community. We offer: ‫ ר‬Programs ‫ ר‬Classes ‫ ר‬Social Events ‫ ר‬Holiday Parties ‫ ר‬Shabbat Services Every Shabbat at the new Amit School (Ironi Hey) on Emek Zevulun between Yigal Yadin and Avnei Choshen across from the tennis courts. Friday evenings: Summer: 7:00 pm Shabbat morning: 8:45 am Kiddush following morning services every week ‫ ר‬One-on-One Learning

‫ ר‬Community Lectures Approximately once a month a guest speaker speaks on a relevant topic. Great opportunity to get some inspiration and afterwards socialize with others while enjoying some refreshments. ‫ ר‬Beit Medrash Program every night! Sunday - Thursday evenings 8:30 - 9:45 pm at the Ayelet HaShachar Beit Medrash. Pick your topic and pick your night and we’ll set you up with a one-on-one study partner. ‫ ר‬Women’s Morning Learning Every Wednesday at 9 am with Rebbetzin Bracha Grunberger “Making Parsha Relevant” at the Grunberger home, 17/1 Shani. ‫ ר‬Women’s Chavruta Program Pick your night and we’ll arrange for a study partner to come to your home for some one-on-one learning. ‫ ר‬Children’s Programming Shabbat morning from 10 - 11 am your children will enjoy an hour of stories and fun. Throughout the year, before the Holidays, Chanukah, Purim and more - enjoy the pre-holiday fun time for your children and parents, too. ‫ ר‬High Holiday Services Lev Modiin’s Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur and Simchat Torah services were popular the last two years. Details will be out in August.

For more information or to reach us: Go to our Vickie at:


page to see our upcoming classes!

Rabbi Elazar Grunberger,

Rabbi Ari Green,


Continued from page 22

we retain boundaries that are true to our values. This is the double edged sword of the current Jewish Sexual Revolution. On the one hand, the integral relationship between sanctity and sexuality is being taught in depth, allowing individuals and couples to feel comfortable enough to seek help when things are not going as well as they would like. There are rabbanim, rabbaniyot, yoatzot, doctors, organizations and therapists that understand and promote learning the Halachic guidelines in tandem with the emotional and physical components that influence our relationships. At the same time, as I have previously mentioned, some may be pushing the envelope a bit too far. We must remember to cherish this beautiful part of our lives that is private and sacred. We must talk with individuals alone or within defined groups, not with unidentified audiences. We must value ourselves enough to know that it is okay to ask personal questions and receive personal answers without compromising our physical, emotional and/or spiritual privacy.

The Eden Center

invites the women of greater Modiin to join in two exciting summer programs

Let’s Talk About “IT” A 4-part series for married women Focusing on relationships and intimacy within a halakhic context


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For more info or to register contact Jodi Wachspress: 050-430-0297 O R l e c t u r e s @ T h e E d e n C e n t e r. c o m w w w. T h e E d e n Ce n t e r. c o m


Chatan and Kallah classes are an ideal venue in which we can instill the proper balance existing between halacha, and our physical and emotional wants and needs. Courses for the advanced chatan/kallah teacher (in separate settings) that will deepen their knowledge and understanding in sensitive areas such as intimacy, sexuality, body image, birth control and more, are a perfect answer to this challenge – an investment in opening the lines of communication on these matters in a positive and respectable educational setting. These educators must learn what they are able to give and more importantly, how, when and to whom to refer. This is a crucial step in advancing the conversation. But this is not enough, those of us who have not dedicated time to learning about our evolving relationships and intimacy since brides and bridegrooms ourselves, must continue to educate and ourselves, and just as importantly, think about how we educate our children. In light of this, a group of Modiin women came together

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recently at the home of Sherill Kaye for an evening discussion with representatives from the Eden Center about appropriate ways in which they can move this conversation forward and introduce new platforms for programming and dialogue within the greater Modiin community. The Eden Center will be offering a revolutionary and refreshing mini-series for married women entitled; “Let’s Talk About IT”, this summer. We will address topics such as; The Sexual Response Cycle; the connection between our bodies and minds, Halachic guidelines to sexuality and intimacy and more. The Jewish Sexual Revolution can work for us, it can lead us to understand and accept our bodies, minds and religion as parts of a healthy and well-rounded whole. Each and every one of us has the honor, opportunity and responsibility to learn about ourselves and our relationships throughout the course of our lives.

Online Guide

G a rd e n

D e s i g n

Adina’s Summer Art Kaytana Camp Amichai Dance – Zooz BeMachol English Craft Kaytana

Keyad HaDimyon Neot Kedumim Pesek Zman Swim Camp Sachlavim (Matnas)

HaMaarav Haragua Horseback Riding

Snunit Gymnastics & Acrobatics

HaMercaz LeMachol Ayala and Zvika

Sport Fun Studio Accord Music Studio Bali Art Studio Mark Creative Arts Summer with Crossroads Sunnysurf Surf-Club

Hava and Adam Eco-Edu Farm Intersurf Surfing Camp Israel Challenge Kaytanat QT

Jodi Wachspress is a marriage and family therapist and couple’s and sex therapist at The Oasis Center in Modiin. She is also the Modiin Coordinator for the Eden Center, which will be offering courses in Modiin on intimacy, sexuality and halacha and a course for the advanced kallah teacher in the upcoming year. For more information please see the ad on page 24 and visit our website at

to Camps

Over 20 camps to choose from this summer

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M a i n te n a n c e

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Elevate to another Level By: Car yn Meltz and Rachel Kops

Film translator, business consultant, psychologist and software engineer – what do they all have in common?! The love of music. Seven years ago, The Elevators was formed by Aryeh Naftaly, Rob Steiner, Michael Roth and Thomas Curran who all share a love of music and meet weekly to jam. The Elevators’ story begins back in California where Steiner and Naftaly met on Young Judea. They ended up in Israel at the same time, started a band but then went their separate ways for a few years before teaming up again seven years ago.

Naftaly who is deemed the “fearless leader” of the group is a guitarist and singer and Steiner who is a keyboardist and singer, were looking for a base player and drummer. Curran and Roth were the perfect fit and the four have been rocking the tunes ever since. They chose the name The Elevators because music elevates the listener. Curran’s journey is slightly different than the average aliya story – he was born Catholic and came to Israel in 1983 for his work, met a woman, fell in love with her and the country and

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ultimately converted to Judaism. He was looking for an outlet for his music when he was introduced to Naftaly and Steiner. The Elevators also play smachot but can be more regularly heard at Mike’s Place and the Yellow Submarine where they get the opportunity to play the songs that they enjoy while entertaining the crowds. Curran said that they feel the energy from the room and play accordingly from there. Their goal is to create an experience that no one has felt before and to create maximum fun. Depending on the venue, the group will play original music written by Naftaly in English or Hebrew as well as other American rock and soul music. They have played over a hundred shows throughout the country. We met the group at their studio in Mevo Modiim, a sealed room on the yishuv with signs of music decorating the room. The setting was very relaxed and it was clear that these couple

of hours in the week were sacred time for the group. When asked how their families feel about their music the response from all was that they knew the importance of their needing the outlet. There was a lot of joking around and comradery. We asked them to play a few songs for us and the second the music started the four were thrown into a zone – their facial expressions changed – completely absorbed into the moment and loving each note that they played. Each instrument glided with the others in perfect harmony. The Elevators don’t only elevate their listeners but also elevate themselves through their music. They are thankful that they have been brought together. The Elevators can be contacted at 08-926-4976;,


on Events


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on Events A hat is not just a head covering Page 40 A picture’s worth a thousand words Page 42 Combine your simcha with a chesed project Page 54


on Events

Simcha from A to Z By: Car yn Meltz Mazal Tov! You’re celebrating a simcha. Whether you’re making a bar/bat mitzvah or wedding you want to give your child the best experience possible and enjoy the simcha. A lot of the planning can feel very daunting – where to have the simcha, choosing a caterer, photographer– the list can go on and on. What’s important is to not be distracted by the the process and to consider your child’s wishes and expectations from the event. ModiInfo interviewed Taly Lev, CEO of Lev Haerua Organized Events and Tours to discuss making the perfect simcha for a family. What’s the first step in moving forward to create an event? We first ask the family what their budget is and from there we can start working on finding the right venue. Also, this year it’s extra important to find out kashrut needs because of shmitta. The budget also tells us who and what else we can add to the event.

Can you share with us a tiyul day for a bar or bat mitzvah? The jeep tours are very popular for the bnei and bat mitzvot and they are a full day event from approximately 8am-4pm. This is generally meant for the child and his/her friends and a few family members. We make sure that our jeep tours include stops along the way with a tiyul that has meaningful content. For example, a tiyul can be walking along a path with Biblical significance – which is an easy feat in this country – and stopping at a spring to refresh. Turn lunch into an experience with a guitarist playing and the kids singing along. Another lunch option is to have a hafrashat challa workshop and the kids make pitot which whey will eat for lunch. Another possibility that both boys and girls always enjoy is paintball. The event can end here or it can continue with a party. The bar/bat mitzvah child brings a change of clothing and this is when the rest

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of the family members come to party with the bar/bat mitzvah child. that you’ve dreamed of – or that your child has dreamed of, no matter how old he/she is. Stick with your budget, there are so many What would a tiyul in Jerusalem entail? unique possibilities This type of tiyul is usually with fewer friends and includes a tour that can be done on of the Old City, Mishkanot Shananim, Yemin Moshe and also Kever any budget. Listen Rachel. An option at the end is to make a small party in the Cardo. to what your bar/ Weddings – are they an extra challenge because two families bat mitzvah child or the chatan and are involved? kalla wants at their Yes, weddings can be a challenge. It’s critical that we know the simcha. Don’t add budget of the two families before we start planning. Then we find on extra gimmicks a venue, the right kashrut, whether or not they want to use a theme to impress the guests – unless it’s and determine whether the simcha is indoors or outdoors. what they want One option for music is to start with a band of two-three players AND it’s in your budget. for the kabalat panim and chuppa and use a DJ for the dinner. This brings down the cost of the music and the couple still maximizes Have fun, it’s a simcha! the musical entertainment. An option for music when dealing with a bigger budget is to hire a child-adult band that we’ve used many Lev Haerua specializes in organized events and tours. Lev Haerua times and it’s a magnificent show-like experience during the kabalat also runs Rosh Hashana, Pesach, and Shavuot programs for the entire family at various hotels throughout Israel. The successful panim and chuppa. programs include scholars in residence, tiyulim, activities during What’s your best tip? the day and night programming. They provide their customers It’s best to say it in Hebrew – ‫ !לקחת הכל בשמחה‬You are celebrating one with vacation and event solutions under one roof. Call to book special night. You don’t have to go crazy in order to have the simcha your next event, tour or holiday, 03-909-2133, 052-834-9253,

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on Events

Birthdays on a Budget By: Farrah Dobular Birthdays are one of the most exciting times of the year for Decorate the whole room pink, pink tablecloths, forks, cups, children. Kids usually count down to that special day, while we balloons, everything… In the middle of the table place a Barbie as parents and planners can get anxious about the preparations balloon. Balloons make everything pop without spending money and costs. I have seen many parents on smaller decorations that don’t last as stressed about getting “Bob the long. Recycling your children’s toys is Builder” on every plate and napkin another way to create a fun centerpiece. or feeling as if they, themselves, Take your child’s Barbies and use them to have to run the whole show or make a centerpiece display for the table, spend upwards of a 1000 shekels or attach pink balloons and create a pretty more to hire an entertainer. theme without the high cost. Attach a new Planning a birthday party for Barbie and add a present to the surprise! your little one does not have to be Kids also enjoy showing everyone their stressful and costly. Here are ways toys. to help your child have the best Creating a photo op is a fun way to time without the stress and cost add to the feel of the party without being to you. Decorations can be very too expensive. Full size door posters of daunting. Does your child have a the theme can be taped on the walls and favorite character or theme they are obsessed with "of or color they kids can stand next to the poster and pose with their favorite Large selection of jewelry - remove jewelry" love? Centerpieces can take that specific thing and make it pop! Large Selection of Hydrochic Modest Bathing IfWearcharacter. Take some pictures and the kids all get a photo op. your child’s favorite color is pink and she loves Barbie, no need Utilizing older siblings, neighbors or anyone your child to spend the money to have every plate, napkin and cup Barbie. Continued on page 34

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on Events Continued from page 32

Time of party is not something people usually think about in terms of money saving. In my experience when a party starts at 4:00 the kids will be hungry and parents expect dinner to be served. This can add 100 shekels or more to a party. School hours make it hard to throw a party any other times but there are other options. Having a party on Friday takes out that pressure, no one expects meals, serving kids snacks and having a few activities is enough. Throwing your child’s party on Shabbat can also be a fun option. Setting up balloons and decorations before Shabbat and inviting a few friends over for Seudath Shlishit or dessert makes Shabbat and the child’s birthday extra special! Hide all the plasticwear and when they come back from the park have all their friends waiting for a surprise Shabbat birthday! Parties can be an exciting and fun time for everyone! When in doubt ask other parents and you will find people have all different ways of celebrating their children’s birthdays! You will find the answers and advice you need.

likes who is older and fun will make the party much easier for you. Older

children are usually very excited to help “run the party”! No need to pay for an entertainer when the older kids are doing face painting, tattoos, makeup or leading a game. If you don’t know an older child like that, ask around there are plenty of children who will help out for a few shekels. Sharing a party with one or two other parents will cut the cost significantly, if your child will share their special day!

Farrah Dobuler, Owner of It’s My Party, party rental business serving Modiin and the surrounding areas – bounce houses, cotton candy machines, carnival games, balloons and more. We have all your birthday needs to help make planning and celebrating your birthday parties and events easier!; 050-227-1322; Keep up-to-date on our products and specials on Facebook.



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New and improved event hall: renovated, expanded, elegant terrace for chupa or greeting guests, new furniture, new screens and HD projectors, upgraded sound and lights systems, enticing music and photography packages, menu to please your palette and experienced staff. Create an unforgettable event at Blue Moon. Contact us to plan your event weddings, bar/bat mitzvah, brit, conferences up to 270 guests Glatt Kosher 30 Hamayan St., Ligad Center 1, Technology Park Modiin



on Events

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on Events

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A Sweeter Simcha By: Tamar Lustman and Rahel Yaish At the end of a wonderful evening spent celebrating with family and friends, you want your guest feeling like you’ve saved the best for last. Forget traditional desserts – there are so many new and exciting ways to delight your guests’ senses and palettes. Instead of the overused chocolate soufflé and apple tart, try something new and exciting. Just Google “dessert buffet” and you will see a myriad of amazing displays. Do you like ice cream? Don’t just serve one or two flavors; create an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. Or is popcorn your thing? Instead of presenting only one kind, offer a variety of types and treat your guests to a fabulous popcorn bar. Or if you prefer to go the healthy route, turn a fruit plate into an exciting display of exotic fruits and shakes. The possibilities are endless and they give your guest a chance to choose their own desserts in a fun filled way. But if you’re looking for the hottest trend right now, here it is the candy buffet. Not only is the candy delicious, but the color and presentation make a real splash and enhance the overall décor of your simcha. Candy buffets give a unique edge to any occasion. And they are popping up everywhere – birthday parties, weddings, conferences, bar and bat mitzvahs and even family reunions. There are several things to consider when designing the perfect candy buffet for your event: Color scheme If you are working within a specific color scheme for your event, you can use coordinating candies as well as a variety of decorative elements to enhance your decor. There is really no limit when it comes to designing a creative buffet that incorporates the colors of your event. For a kid-focused event, you may want to choose the rainbow color scheme, using some single-color candies as well as a variety of candies that are mixed colors. At baby events like a bris or simchat bat, focus on all pink or all blue displays. If you are going for a more sophisticated look, think about choosing black & white, gold & white, silver & navy blue Volume Are you serving other desserts as well, or just candy? Answering that question will help determine how big or small your display should be. If the candy will be a major part of your

dessert buffet, you want to make sure you provide enough for guests to enjoy at your event as well as take some home with them. According to some of the more popular candy distributors, a general rule of thumb is about ½ lb per guest (or ¼ kilo). The look Is your overall décor elegant or whimsical? There are so many options when it comes to presenting a beautiful candy buffet. If elegant is what you are after, then glassware is the way to go. And if more playful and whimsical is what you’re looking for consider using bins and other fun containers. Kids vs. Adults If your guests are mostly children, pick a nice variety of fun candies for them choose from. The most popular candies are gummies in all flavors and shapes. When holding an event for mostly adults, you may want to include more sophisticated options as well. Options such as chocolate and nuts are very popular. But just remember, grown-ups love candy too! The biggest thing to remember is to have fun. There is no right or wrong, just relax and make all your guests feel like kids in a candy store! Tamar Lustman and Rahel Yaish are the co-owners of Candy Corner. They specialize in candy buffets as well as candy centerpieces and gift baskets for all occasions. Visit their website at They can be reached at, and by phone at 052-616-3433 and 054-942-1188. All products used are certified kosher OU and/or Badatz. Photos courtesy of Candy Corner


on Events

Hang on to Your Hat! By: Or it Aviezer Perhaps more than any other fashion accessory out there, a hat stands out and makes a bold statement. Top designers like Dior, Gucci and Channel know this and always include a line of outrageous hats and fascinators. But hats aren’t only for the catwalk and fashionconscience – women from Paris to New York often throw one on to complete a chic look. While many women wear hats today, it’s hard to imagine just how popular hats used to be several decades ago. In fact, in the 1920s it would be highly inappropriate for a woman (or man for that matter) to be seen in public without a hat. Hat stores were everywhere. NYC department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Henri Bendel made their own hats. In fact, many stores in the famous NYC garment district were specifically dedicated to providing supplies to the hat makers (aka milliners). While the big boom of hats declined in the late 1960s, they still remain an iconic fashion accessory. Recently, hat sales are spiking again thanks to trend setters like Kate Middleton whose gorgeous style is eagerly copied by women everywhere. Big fashion chains like Zara and Mango are following the trend – and these days you can’t walk into their stores without finding some hats on display. In my experience in the studio, I meet a wide variety of “hatwoman relationships”. Some wear them at all times for religious reasons and view them as a daily obligation. Others only wear them to shul on Shabbat. Finally, some women buy a hat for the 20 minutes under the chuppah at their daughter’s wedding. Either way, these women want a custom piece which they can’t find in the large chains. Sometimes they need to match a hat to a specific color dress and some just want a unique and flattering shape. One of the advantages of turning to a milliner’s studio is that the hats are made from scratch with almost endless options for shape, size, color and design. Millinery is an old-school art and the techniques used today are virtually identical to those practiced hundreds of years 40

ago. The hat-making process starts with raw material (various types of high end imported natural straws or felts) that is given a three dimensional hat shape by the process of blocking or sculpting. To block a hat, the fabric is steamed and stretched on a wooden, hat-shaped block. In sculpted hats, the shape is handdesigned using free form style into the desired shape. In my studio I use original antique blocks, hand-carved by experts many years ago - one of my favorites is over 100 years old and still going strong! The shapes range but every classic hat has its unique block: from the Cloche, Fedora, Pillbox, and Barret to the trendy cocktail (my favorite!). After several days of drying and setting, the shaped hat is hand-stitched and ready for decorating. This stage is typically most fun for the client: Silk ribbons, romantic lace, elegant plumes and feathers, crystals, and handmade flowers, are only some of the options at hand. I’m personally in love with vintage décor and I can’t get enough of it. Paris, New-York and London have some fabulous stores from which I stock up for my shop. While these materials are rare and pricey, the quality and uniqueness of the end product is definitely worth it. Needless to say, when a client needs a hat to match a dress or a color scheme, we custom design the piece from A to Z. Fabrics and accents are then handpicked in my studio by both of us in a personal meeting and the results are truly one-of-a-kind. You’ll never find your hat on someone else’s head at your simcha! F o r me, one of the great things about having a joint studio & shop is that I get to personally connect with such a wide variety of woman, each with her own moving story. I’ve designed

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hats for weddings and funerals, as well as everyday casual dress. I get to meet women from the very northern and southern cities of Israel and of course, from the Modiin area. Through my online Etsy shop I reach customers from Hong-Kong, London, and the US, many requesting hats for horse-races, weddings and tea parties! In all these cases, I am moved by the thought that a handcrafted hat from my studio is worn and appreciated by a woman in her most emotional moments. So, the next time you reach for a hat to place on your head don’t forget you are continuing a long tradition of beauty and grace that is timeless, trendy, and fun, too!

Orit Aviezer studied millinery in Toronto and later in NYC. Her fashion statement gives modern interpretations to classic styles and her decor favors minimalism and crisp embellishments. During Orit’s stay in the US, her collection was selected to be presented at the HENRI  BENDEL store on 5th Ave, Manhattan. After several years of living in the US, she returned to Modiin and opened a studio shop in her home. For more info:, cell: 0505775342. Photos courtesy of Orit Aviezer Millinery


on Events

Some Things Change, Some Stay the Same By: Debbie Zimelman This month I’m celebrating my 20th anniversary as a professional photographer.

How timely that ModiInfo should ask me to write something for this issue! Photography has changed tremendously over the past 20 years. Those first years included many hours in a darkroom, that small dark closetlike place we used to go to develop our negatives and make prints with lots of smelly chemicals. The thrill of watching images appear in a tray is long gone, replaced by the magic of cellphone and digital cameras. Although the way and with what we take pictures has changed drastically, the heart of photography still remains the same. Our lives are now over-documented, leaving little room for imagination. With the onset of digital photography, learning photography has never been easier. We immediately see our results, and can technically correct our images on the spot. “The best camera is the one you have with you” has never been truer than the present. So why are professional photographers still important? I love shooting pictures with my phone just like everyone else. But what is the difference between those fleeting images and doing a photo shoot with professional equipment? 42

Photography clients fall into many categories – from individuals and families to magazines, companies, organizations, product manufacturers and advertisers. A professional’s equipment provides the photographer with many more tools and options than a cellphone or pocket camera. With the equipment, photographers can fully leverage many important technical areas such as studio lighting, composition, angle, depth of field, choice of lens, background, and post-processing. For professional photographers, these elements are a given; we must be able to use all the technical elements instinctively in order to create a technically professional photograph.

Continued on page 44

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Top off the fun with these great options: Taboun, chocolate fountain, coffee cart, Belgian waffles, cotton candy, and more. Can order separately. Pre-order ready-made food for Shabbatot

Shlomi Nir

Netanel Fischer


on Events Continued from page 42

Photographing with professional equipment also lets me do something that not every photographer does. It enables extracting something from the subject that brings the photograph to the next level, making it a unique work of art that withstands the test of time. How many of the hundreds or thousands of photographs that we take are worth preserving for generations to come? Portraiture is a specialty of its own. Regardless of who is being photographed, the goal is to reach the subjects; to get to know and connect with them in such a way that part of their soul comes across in the photographs. This is my main goal when I photograph someone. This is something that comes from years of experience, from being able to control all of the technical elements in the photograph instinctively so as to concentrate on the most important, real part of the image – my subject. That, together with an intimate collaboration between me and my subject, leads to the creation of a meaningful image. The most emotionally moving and exciting part of portraiture photography is when the photographer has really captured the best of a person, the essence of a person, and is able to bring that across in the photographs. We often feel emotionally moved by images that achieve this. My ideal is to keep photographing a person until I reach the image that I feel is “really” that person; when I have succeeded in capturing a part of their true self, their soul.


This is a true collaboration between the subject and photographer. It’s part of the process of working together, helping the subject relax and feel comfortable with the camera until coming up with the final image. This is the essence and beauty of photography. In our modern, fast-paced high-tech world where everything is instantaneous, taking the time to create images that will be relevant for future generations remains invaluable. The secret to amazing photographs (both portraits and otherwise) is very simple. It’s about spending time – the opposite of cellphone photography. This simple ingredient in creating great photographs in our modern world is also our biggest challenge.

Debbie Zimelman is available for individual and family portraits, smachot, business portraits, and works with companies and nonprofit organizations. She has been the recipient of five prizes for her work, and her first photography book is in-the-making. She may be reached at 052-3610697, and her work may be viewed at Photos courtesy of Debbie Zimelman Photography

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on Events

Masa Bat Mitzvah By Yael Sedley, fifth grader, Shivtei Yisrael This year, in honor of my bat mitzvah, my Ima and I joined HaRabbanit Tali Sobol, Rachel Green and 12 other mothers and daughters for a Masa Bat Mitzvah (a bat mitzvah journey). Our year was divided into seven different trips, each trip with its own theme. Before each trip, we girls met with Tali. She prepared us for the outings, gave us background information about the people we were going to meet and a little bit

of history about Israel. We had interesting discussions and learnt a lot. We met lots of fascinating people on our trips, each with a story to tell and a lesson to be learnt. On each trip we met with one or two people. For example, before 17 Tamuz, we met a Holocaust

survivor at Yad Vashem. Before Remembrance Day, we met David Eisenhorn whose son was killed Continued on page 48

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on Events Continued from page 46

during the First Lebanon War. We met with an 80-year-old woman who, as a teenager, helped the Lehi fight against the British who used to rule Israel. On the same outing we met the daughter of Shula Cohen, who was a spy for Israel. While living in Lebanon with her family, she overheard a Syrian and Lebanese general discussing how they were going to attack Israel. Using invisible ink made out of lemon juice, Shula managed to send a message to Israel warning them of the


attack. Over the years, she was able to help many Jews escape from Syrian and travel to Israel. Eventually, Shula was arrested and spent time in a Lebanese jail until she was traded in 1967, for Syrian captives. One trip was about Jerusalem. We met with Puah Shteiner, the author of the book “Forever My Jerusalem�, who was five years old in 1948. She told us what it was like to live in the Old City under the British Mandate and how the Jews living in the Old City were expelled after the creation of state. She also gave us a tour of the Old City showing us where her family lived and where they British were posted. We met with an incredible woman who at the age of five woke up one day with a stutter. She talked to us about what it was like growing up in Bnei Brak being different. She talked about taking a disability and making it an ability. She now sings and acts. On one of our trips, we met with Avital Sharansky in her house in Jerusalem. She told us what it was like growing up in Siberia and living in a country that imprisoned people for wanting to leave Russia and live in Israel. She described what is it was like for her to come to Israel and leave her husband, Natan, there.

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My favorite trip was the last one when we spent the day in Hevron with Orit Strook who used to be a member of Knesset with HaBayit HaYehudi in the last government. Orit told us what it was like living in Hevron and even during difficult times, she refused to leave. I enjoyed going to Me’arat HaMachpela and seeing where the Avot and Imahot were buried. I loved meeting these fascinating people. Even when times were hard, they managed to overcome their challenges and continue living. Their emuna in Hashem helped them with their struggle. As I become bat mitzvah, I hope to be able to carry their stories and learn from them.


on Events

One of a Kind Weddings in Israel By: Abigail Klein Leichman, ISRAEL21c Have your nuptials on the beach, atop a historic tower, in a cave, forest, desert, winery or national park, as fancy or as casual as you like. Israelis love come-as-youare weddings where guests are welcome to bring along a friend, there’s no color scheme and the groom wears an open-necked shirt. But whether it’s a jeans or blacktie affair, in many

Tourism and Family Celebrations in Israel Lev Ha’erua (the heart of your event) is a tourism and vacation agency in Israel which specializes in organizing Shabbatot, Chagim, weekends, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, weddings and Sheva Brachot. At Lev Ha’erua we will accompany you from the beginning until the end of your Simcha. Our agency is known for its high service standards, personal relationships and for its deep understanding of our clients’ needs. Lev Ha’erua has more than 15 years of experience with preparing events for groups from overseas. Our agency will advise you throughout the process – from your big


cases the venue itself provides the Israeli wedding’s wow factor because of its great religious or historical import or its stunning natural backdrop. “I find most people who do an event in Israel want it to be more meaningful and significant, as opposed to focusing on décor and other extraneous values,” says Judy

decisions, such as hotels and catering, to the slightest details, such as flower design and table centerpieces. In addition, Lev Ha’erua specializes in celebrating the Chagim with both a fun and a meaningful atmosphere, including services, Torah lessons and beautiful hikes around the country. Celebrating and touring Israel with Lev Ha’erua will give you an unforgettable experience. Lev Ha’erua - your event, our heart. Fo r m o r e d e t a i l s, s e e o u r w e b s i t e : w w w . l e v e v e n t s . c o . i l Phone:+972-3-909-2133/+972-50-844-6510 Or call Yael (group coordinator):+972-52-834-9253

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Krasna, copartner in Celebrate Israel. In addition to plentiful wedding halls, wedding gardens and hotel ballrooms across the country, Israel offers many one-of-akind places to get married. For engaged couples abroad, wedding planners who speak their language can take care of all the arrangements. “We have an insane amount of gorgeous ideas for parties in Israel,” says Adena Mark of A to Z Events Israel. Mark has hung chandeliers in Zedekiah’s Cave under the Old City walls of Jerusalem, creating a fancy festive wedding inside this legendary 2,000-year-old limestone quarry. She has staged weddings among the ancient Roman ruins in Caesarea, and decorated forest clearings with twinkling lights in the trees and straw mats on the bare ground. Mark has schlepped flowers and portable air-conditioners or heaters to marriage ceremonies on the cliffs of the Judean Desert. “At night it’s magical, with a view of the Dead Sea and the rolling hills,” she tells ISRAEL21c. Krasna especially loves weddings at wheelchair-accessible Genesis Land  (Eretz Beresheet) in the Judean Desert. “The view from the chuppah [wedding canopy] over the desert at sunset is the most spectacular backdrop for a wedding ceremony I’ve ever seen,” she tells ISRAEL21c. “You can choose to do an upscale wedding or a funky one with

camel rides for the guests and waiters in biblical garb. For guests coming from outside Israel, it’s a really Israeli experience.” It’s possible to arrange a wedding on just about any Israeli beach or national park, says Krasna. She recommends a beachfront with a hotel or restaurant in which the reception can be sheltered from the strong sea winds – such as Herzliya’s Daniel Hotel, Al Hayam  in Caesarea or the Rimonim Palm Beach Hotel in Acre (Akko). For nuptials in nature away from the waterfront, Krasna likes the historic Hulda Forest  in central Israel, the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens or Ein Gedi Botanical Garden near the Dead Sea. What about a wedding in a winery? Several Israeli wineries can accommodate parties of different sizes, including the Tishbi and Binyamina wineries in the Zichron Ya’akov area and the Psagot Winery overlooking the mountains of Jordan. Krasna’s favorite spot for a dream wedding in Israel is the Bell Cave at Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park. “It’s so incredibly different! The guests always rave that they’ve never been to such a cool wedding,” says Krasna, though she warns that the venue does present limitations. “Because it’s a national park, you can only have acoustic music, and the terrain is uneven so if you have elderly guests they might have trouble walking,”

Photography from a Different Angle

Continued on page 52 m 052-261-4768 (Israel) 9177756662 (Usa Direct) 51

on Events Continued from page 51

she says. For those who prefer to be above ground, Alon Rosenberg of Danny Marx Productions recommends the Ottoman-period

Tower of David Citadel in Jerusalem and the historic Masada cliff on the road to the Dead Sea. Rosenberg says a wedding at the Tower of David is “very, very expensive and you need to bring everything in,” but for those who can splurge, “it’s like you’re entering a castle surrounded by the Old City walls. It’s a historical site that enables you to have an amazing event in an enclosed structure.” Danny Marx, who often arranges celebrity affairs including actress Gal Gadot’s nuptials five years ago at the David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv, adds that venues combining an atmosphere of history with modern elegance make Israeli weddings unique.


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Biblical weddings Jerusalem resident Reuven Prager aims to put some history back into the ceremony itself. His Biblical Weddings recreates the ancient custom where every bride in the land of Israel wore a Jerusalem of Gold crown and was carried to the ceremony on a royal litter called an aperion. Prager built a replica of the crown and the aperion as described in the biblical Song of Songs and Talmudic sources. Ten strong men carry it to the accompaniment of shofar-blowers and harpists. (Prager charges $1,500 but says he never turns anyone away for lack of funds.) “We dedicated the aperion in a ceremony at the Bible Lands Museum during Hanukkah 1992, and the next day we used it for the first wedding,” Prager tells ISRAEL21c. About 100 Israeli and foreign Jewish couples have used Prager’s aperion for their weddings, while Christian couples from abroad have made Biblical Weddings the highlight of their honeymoon or anniversary trip. Prager hopes to work with the Tourism Ministry to launch a national competition encouraging the creation of hundreds of aperions and golden bridal crowns across Israel to broaden the availability of this unusual package. The Jerusalem municipality and the Israel Museum stand ready to host the competition. If Prager’s dream comes true, the aperion could usher in a unique wedding startup industry that could only happen in Israel.

For a list of eight great reasons to have a wedding in Israel, and lots more on Israeli wedding venues, gowns and decor, see the MyDay (Hatunot) blog. This article was printed with permission of ISRAEL21c,


on Events Kos he r M e h a dr in

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Taking Time Out of Your Celebration to Help Those Less Fortunate It is always exciting to plan a simcha, no matter what type of event or party. It is also a time to give back to the community and help those less fortunate. There are many volunteer and chessed opportunities to share with your family or your guests when you make your next simcha. A bar/bat mitzvah celebration is an ideal time to teach your budding adolescent the importance of thinking of others. It is an opportunity for a bar/bat mitzvah to help those who are the same

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age but have different circumstances. AMIT Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program AMIT’s unique program gives a bar/bat mitzvah child the opportunity to ensure that underprivileged children at AMIT Frisch Beit Hayeled, a child haven in Jerusalem for Israeli children who come from abusive and neglectful families, receive a proper bar/ bat mitzvah. Donations made in your child’s honor are placed into Beit Hayeled’s bar/bat mitzvah fund and will be used exclusively for these needy c h i l d r e n . Additionally, your family can choose to have a tour of Beit Hayeled and sponsor an outing or activity together with some of the Beit Hayeled children and their surrogate family unit. This program gives children coming of age the opportunity to celebrate their milestone by sharing their bar/ bat mitzvah with those who are less fortunate. Other customized dedication opportunities in AMIT schools throughout the country are also available. AMIT enables Israel’s youth to realize their potential and

strengthens Israeli society by educating and nurturing children from diverse backgrounds within a framework of academic excellence, Jewish values and Zionist ideals. Founded in 1925, AMIT operates 110 schools, youth villages, surrogate family residences and other programs, constituting Israel’s only government-recognized network of religious Jewish education incorporating academic and technological studies. AMIT schools, whether in peripheral areas, development towns, or major cities throughout Israel such as Modiin - aim to empower, educate, and inspire students to become contributing members of society and our future leaders of tomorrow. For more information about AMIT’s bar/ bat mitzvah program please contact Karen Americus at Yad Vashem Bar/Bat Mitzvah Twinning Program Enrich your child’s coming-of-age experience with a unique visit to Yad Vashem that resonates with the past, present and future. The program includes a customized tour of Yad Vashem, twinning ceremony and special certificate of participation. Continued on page 57

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Continued from page 55

For pricing, information and reservations: Tel. 02-644-3802 or Emunah Bar/Bat Mitzvah Twinning Program The bar/bat mitzvah twinning program is just one of the many ways you can become involved in Emunah and the lives of our very special children. Every year in the spring, their five residential children’s centers each hold a spectacular bar/bat mitzvah celebration for some 15-25 bnai and bnot Mitzvah who have come of age. If you have a son, daughter, grandson, or granddaughter soon to celebrate their bar/bat mitzvah, Emunah invites you to share your simcha with one of their wonderful bar/bat mitzvah. Twinning a bar/bat mitzvah `can be tailored exactly the way you like it. Initially, your child would receive a photo and information about one of their bar/bat mitzvah children (they can match children based on interests, etc). In addition, they can make a

special party in their home, with your ‘twin’ or you could invite him/her to a party or tiyul elsewhere in Israel. You may decide a more formal approach is more fitting, and your child may work to raise money for tefillin, bar/bat mitzvah clothes, siddurim and chumashim, candlesticks, etc. The opportunities are endless and the benefits could last a lifetime. For the Emunah children, it reinforces that there are people who care, and gives them hope. For your children, it’s an opportunity to understand that there are Jewish children their own age who are less fortunate, giving them an opportunity to give to others, and doing their bit in Tikkun Olam. It’s a unique opportunity where everyone benefits! For more information, please contact the World Emunah office 02-566-0414. Zichron Menachem Hair4WIGS Program Zichron Menachem, the Israeli organization for the support of children with cancer and their families, is reaching out to enlist support for our HAIR4WIGS program. When a child receives treatment for cancer Continued on page 59

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on Events Hours:

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July & August at Ir HaYeladim Details soon Amusement park equipment

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The Most Successful Bar & Bat Mitzvah Dance Club in the Country Come and celebrate with It! | us at Move | 58

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Continued from page 57

one of the main side effects of chemotherapy is hair loss. Hair loss is a traumatic experience for children and it is particularly devastating for teenagers. The organization is in great need of hair donors for their HAIR4WIGS hair growing/ hair cutting program. At Zichron Menachem they provide any child with cancer a custom wig at no expense to them. Making a custom wig for children with cancer is very expensive and takes a lot of hair donations to make one wig. With your help Zichron Menachem can continue their wonderful hair growing program that allows you to personally connect with children by growing and donating your hair. It is an incredibly rewarding opportunity for both you and your children. For further information please contact: HAIR4WIGS@ Leket Projects Leket Israel works to alleviate the problem of nutritional insecurity among Israel’s poor. With the help of 55,000 annual volunteers, Leket Israel rescues more than 1.5 million hot meals and 24 million lbs. of produce and perishable goods. This food is then redistributed to 180 nonprofits, reaching 140,000+ people. Leket Israel’s personal charity registry, B’Simchas, is a way to help organize your event in conjunction with Leket Israel. You can use this customized website as a way to invite your guests or provide details for the bar/bat mitzvah and have your friends and family donate to feed Israel’s needy in honor of your simcha. Check out to view examples of B’Simchas pages posted by other bnei mitzvah. If this interests you, Leket would be glad to help you set up a page.

In addition to the charity registry, there are other unique and meaningful volunteer experiences. Project Leket: pick fresh fruits and vegetables for distribution to the needy. The picking takes place all year round at two locations: Kvusat Shiler and Moshav Nahalal. For details and scheduling, email: Another option is sorting and crating produce in Leket’s logistics center in Raanana. Groups of up to 20 people are welcome Sunday thru Thursday from 9am-4pm. Please allow 1.5 hours for this activity. Email: Both activities are suitable for all ages. Pantry Packers Project At the Pantry Packers® production facility in Jerusalem, volunteers aged 8-80 are given a brief orientation session that includes watching a short movie, before donning gloves, aprons and caps in order to fill bags of rice, beans and other commodities. These bags, which bear a sticker with the name of the packing group, will later be included in large food baskets destined for needy families throughout the country.  A wonderful chessed project you can do is to spearhead a personal Pantry Packers Virtual Food Drive among your family and friends. It’s simple. It’s fun. It’s enormously rewarding. And it does a world of good. Here’s how it works. Choose an occasion – any occasion such as a wedding, birthday, anniversary, bar/bat mitzvah, graduation or yahrzeit. Decide on a sum of money you would like raise among your friends, relatives and business associates in honor of this occasion. The rest is ‘virtually’ automatic. For more information, contact, Rabbi Menachem Traxler, 02-626-0035,

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on Events

Events Index


Amichai Dimbort, 054-491-3068 See ad page 30 Beverly Catering, 02-993-2026; 050-527-5898 See ad page 59 Carmi’s Pizza Pasta, 08-975-5-975 See ad page 49 Giant Pizza (dairy), 1-700-70-79-80 See ad page 54 Hamitbachon Shel Sima, 08-926-5368 See ad page 33 Holy Bagel (dairy), 1-700-50-11-10 See ad page 34 Maccabis, 08-926-2971 See ad page 38 Signon Acher, 02-579-6866 See ad page 43


à la Mode, 050-880-5096; 054-943-9457 See ad page 41 Cake Away, 054-635-6758 See ad page 30 Candy Corner, 052-616-3433; 054-942-1188 See ad page 57 Eini Bakery, 08-648-0070; 050-650-0569 See ad page 47 Gelarte, 08-926-7595 See ad front and back cover Mamtakei Koby, 08-995-5950; 050-404-4605 See ad page 37


Batya Sharabi, 055-660-9954 See ad page 32


Lilac, 08-971-9714 See ad page 32 Orit Aviezer Millinery, 050-577-5342 See ad page 53

Invitations/Printing Linear Paper, 077-234-6335; 054-522-8426 See ad page 55


Canaan Jewelry, 08-972-1571 See ad page 52 Candy Corner, 052-616-3433; 054-942-1188 See ad page 57 Nekudat Chen, 08-926-5654; 052-259-7290 See ad page 31


Elevators, 08-926-4676; 052-638-0828 See ad page 54 Symphonia, 08-976-2423; 054-453-2404 See ad page 57


Party Equipment & Supplies Eini Bakery, 08-648-0070; 050-650-0569 See ad page 47 It’s My Party, 050-227-1322 See ad page 48 Plastic Shop, 08-910-4720 See ad page 36 Shulchan Mevorach, 072-234-5416; 050-205-0895 See ad page 46 Signon Acher, 02-579-6866 See ad page 43

Party Planning/Styling

à la Mode, 050-880-5096; 054-943-9457 See ad page 41 Canaan Event Design & Production 050-658-5713 See ad page 52 Lev Haerua, 03-909-2133; 050-844-6510 See ad page 50


Debbie Zimelman Photography, 052-361-0697 See ad page 67 Shabi Kedem Photography, 052-261-4768 See ad page 51


Rachel the Dressmaker, 077-464-7040; 052-549-5581 See ad page 67


Beni’s Service, 052-859-5599 See ad page 49

Tourism and Organized Events Lev Haerua, 03-909-2133; 050-844-6510 See ad page 50

Venues/Event Halls

Blue Moon, 08-971-9880 See ad page 35 Carmi’s Pizza Pasta, 08-975-5-975 See ad page 49 GlobusMax, 052-3000934; *2235 See ad page 56 Habria, 08-930-1033; 050-780-1033 See ad page 45 Ir Hayeladim, 08-621-6471; 054-205-1313 See ad page 58 Maccabis, 08-926-2971 See ad page 38 Maccabim Sport Center, 08-926-1870 See ad page 28 Move It, 08-621-6471; 054-747-4926 See ad page 58


Yekev Naim, 050-415-6561 See ad page 55

To Advertise: 052-3868768 | 054-9416366 | |

Have You Met This Teen? By: Danielle Salber, MSW “Hey I’m Jake, when I moved here four years ago, I thought it would be cool. Yeah sure I missed my friends, but I thought it’s ok I’ll make new ones. I’m in 9th grade now and I still don’t feel like I fit in. I finally learned Hebrew, but still feel more comfortable speaking in English. Sometimes, I get made fun of because I don’t sound the same. And very often I sit in class and space out or feel frustrated because I still don’t understand everything.” “Hi, I’m Dave. When I moved here last year I decided I would never give my parents the satisfaction they wanted from me liking Israel. I was popular back home in Los Angeles; sure my friends weren’t the best influence, but I was happy. Then one Sunday afternoon my dad, said, ‘Dave we are finally moving to Israel.’ As if that was supposed to make me happy. I’m still just so mad at them for making me come to this place, that I refuse to learn Hebrew, or try anything at all.” “Hi, I’m Sarah, I was born here, but my mom is from NY and my dad is from Canada. Most of their friends are like them, from other countries and most of my friends have Anglo parents too. Sure I speak Hebrew, and am fine in Hebrew environments, but I still prefer

America. I went there every summer to be with my grandparents since I was little. I love the shopping there and there is nothing like Dunkin Donuts or Target. Might sound funny, but I still don’t feel the same as my Israeli classmates. And sometimes, when I look around at all of my Anglo friends, I wonder what’s so great about Israel anyway?” What do Jake, Dave and Sarah have in common? They are Anglo teenagers living here in Israel, but that is not all. They are also each Continued on page 62

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suffering from feeling different than those around them and lack a sense of belonging to the world around them. For a teenager this can be particularly alarming. It is specifically during the teenage years that youth become focused on how they are the same or different than others. It is the time when being a part of a group directly affects an individual’s self-esteem; a time when feeling different can raise questions like, “Am I good enough? Or what’s wrong with me that he doesn’t like me?” It is with these initial feelings of self-doubt and longing for others that can lead a teen to find unhealthy solutions, many times in the forms of risky behaviors. Crossroads decided that after almost 15 years of service to these teens who found themselves looking for these unhealthy answers on the streets of Jerusalem, that it was time to go into the communities and meet the teens before they got there; while they were still at the beginning stages of difference, loneliness,

or isolation. As well as try and direct those already engaging in risky behaviors back to their communities, where it is much safer for them. As a community with a high percentage of both recent and old olim, Crossroads was welcomed into Modiin to help the Anglo teens find acceptance and belonging before it was too late. In the beginning stages, Crossroads met in the Modiin parks and set up shop right in the local mall for teens to get pizza and hang out with professionals at the food court. Today, two years later Crossroads is a part of the fabric of teen options in Modiin, with a wide variety of services for the entire teen community to benefit from. Crossroads now works hand in hand with the Iriya, Revacha (Social Services), Misrad Hachinuch (Education Department), Misrad Hakilta (Absorption Department), Kehillat Shaarei Yonah Menachem and the Yachad school to provide healthy outlets, free group and individual therapy as well as job And academic

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support. Since the Crossroads social workers are specifically trained to engage teens, many teens that wouldn’t have gotten support from the city options are finding that they themselves are choosing to get it from Crossroads staff. The community has benefited from Crossroads projects such as partnering with the Matnas for teen moadons and basketball tournaments; Misrad Haklita for collaboration and support for olim families with teens; Revacha for providing free therapy in English; Misrad Hachinuch for working together with more difficult olim teens to help them stay in school even when Hebrew is a large barrier; Yachad from having Crossroads right in their school to offer creative group therapy and have an open door policy for teens to come and receive extra support during the day. Every week Crossroads engages with teens like Jake, Dave and Sarah allowing the safe and welcoming space to feel a sense of belonging and find hope towards healthy integration here in Israel. Since coming to Modiin, Hashmonaim has also requested our services and are also benefiting from a teen moadon and supportive services. It is evident that the close proximity of Modiin and Hashmonaim leads to inevitable mixing of the youth, which makes it even more important to spread services there as well. The moadons are truly unique and special. Our workers sincerely know how to speak the teenage language and help the normative

to the at-risk teen learn how to make healthy choices and integrate into Israel. Many of the teens in the moadon, after opening up about their struggles with the social workers also benefit from the Crossroads individual and free group therapy. Often the teens, even with healthy and supportive families find it helpful to have a professional and neutral party to speak to and understand more successful ways to cope and eventually thrive in Israel. What Jake, Dave and Sarah didn’t yet mention is how much they don’t like to be bored. Anyone with teens can vouch that the statement “I’m bored” is a recurring one – especially in the summertime. Just as lacking a sense of belonging, boredom can also lead to finding many unhealthy and risky outlets. To combat this phenomenon Crossroads is offering two summer programs, a camp with activities, volunteering and hikes and a summer apprenticeship program for teens to benefit from a supportive work experience. Let’s all keep our eyes and ears open for the Jakes, Daves and Sarahs around you. Embrace them and help them feel not so different from everyone else by simply listening, accepting and providing safe and encouraging environments for them to flourish in. Danielle Salber, Coordinator of the Crossroads Communities, can be reached at, 050-868-9209.

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LifeStyle By: Roni Rabino, 050-555-4601 Carters Girl’s shoes 59.90 NIS Photo credit: Tal Terry

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Gali Shoes and travel bag 59.90 NIS Photo credit: Menachem Oz

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Cake Away Wedding party cookies 65

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all photos were taken by Debbie Zimelman

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Entrecote Steak with Avocado Salsa By: Sunset Grill Salsa 2 ripe avocados, finely diced or mashed 1 cup finely diced tomato 4 scallions finely chopped 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or Coriander 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno chili pepper 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper Steak 2 tablespoons roughly chopped garlic 2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided 2-4 Entrecote steaks 1,1/4 inches thick Olive oil 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

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Instructions: 1. Mix the salsa ingredients in a bowl. 2. Make a little pile of garlic on a cutting board. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of salt over the garlic. Finely chop the garlic and use the side of the knife to crush the garlic and salt in to a paste. 3. Prepare your BBQ for high heat. 4. Lightly coat the steaks on both sides with oil. Smear the garlic paste over both sides. Season evenly with the remaining teaspoons of salt and pepper. 5. Grill the steaks to your desired doneness. (10 min for medium rare flipping occasionally) 6. Serve warm with the salsa and tortilla chips. 7. Enjoy! Sunset Grill is a professional, boutique BBQ caterer that incorporates a fusion of the authentic American BBQ with Middle Eastern Asian flavoring and spices. For more information,; 054-636-0340; 054-660-2855.

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CANDLE LIGHTING June 19/2 Tamuz Parashat Korach Candle lighting: 19:27 Shabbat ends: 20:32

July 5/17 Tamuz Fast starts: 4:02 Fast ends: 20:19

July 24/8 Av Parashat Devarim (Chazon) Candle lighting: 19:22 Shabbat ends: 20:24

June 26/9 Tamuz Parashat Chukat Candle lighting: 19:29 Shabbat ends: 20:34

July 10/23 Tamuz Parashat Pinchas Shabbat Mevarchim Candle lighting: 19:28 Shabbat ends: 20:32

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July 17/1 Av Parashat Matot-Massei Candle lighting: 19:25 Shabbat ends: 20:29

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ModiInfo Summer 2015 Modiin News Magazine for English Speakers


ModiInfo Summer 2015 Modiin News Magazine for English Speakers