Only in Israel

Is “Foreign Language Learning Disability” real?

April 6, 2017

Fluent in English but can’t seem to master a second language? You may have Foreign Language Learning Disability. That’s my experience with Hebrew

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Lowest common denominator

November 6, 2016

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu buckled under haredi pressure in September and canceled 20 long standing Israel Railways permits to do regularly scheduled repair work on Shabbat (leading to the cancelation of train service the following Sunday morning that inconvenienced tens of thousands of commuters and soldiers), he probably wasn’t thinking it would reignite Israel’s […]

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“Trading down” – must aliyah always mean a career decline?

June 21, 2016

As I was researching The aliyah premium – how much more does it really cost to live in Israel?, I quickly realized that the only fair way to deal with the wide variances in individual earnings and tax rates was to stick with official and presumably impartial government sources like the Israeli Central Bureau of […]

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The “aliyah premium” – how much more does it really cost to live in Israel?

May 23, 2016

It’s no secret that immigrants to Israel from North America take a financial hit. But as I finished up my U.S. taxes last month (as an Israeli with dual citizenship, I am required to file in both countries), I stopped for a moment to ponder exactly how big that hit has been. What is the […]

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Rebranding Zionism (Zionism = Calendarism)

March 21, 2016

I interview people for a living. Many of the articles I write are for publications outside of Israel. For those conversations, I don’t usually identify myself as living in Jerusalem – I want the person I’m speaking with to be the focus of the article, not me. I have a U.S. phone number, so there’s […]

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Rekindling the romance in a love-lost marriage

February 2, 2016

I’m not sure when it happened or even when I realized it. But something had shifted. After 20 years, we both had changed so much. Everyone and everything does of course. Why would I expect that we’d be exactly the same as when we first got together? We evolve, we grow; hopefully together. But in […]

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Re-entry syndrome and the five stages of aliyah

September 27, 2015

“It’s called re-entry syndrome,” my therapist friend Nomi explained to me as I was describing the difficulty I was having returning to Israel after our recent vacation abroad. “It happens to everyone.” It’s especially acute, she added, when you’ve just come from an especially polite country such as Norway, where we’d just spent two weeks […]

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Silence, Mindfulness and Recovering from Election Obsession

April 20, 2015

After months of election obsession, rapaciously reading everything I could, poring over polls and talking with anyone and everyone I could for the better part of the winter, I did the only thing left to do. I shut up. Literally. Just a few days after the votes were tallied, my wife and drove up to […]

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Embracing the Third Culture

June 13, 2014

Ever since we moved to Israel 20 years ago, I’ve always felt like I don’t quite fit in anywhere. I’ll never be truly Israeli, since I didn’t grow up with all the pop culture references someone born in the country knows intuitively. And I’m not fully American anymore either, since I haven’t resided in the […]

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Eddie and the White Smoke

February 18, 2014

We love our 1995 Toyota Corolla. It’s in fantastic shape and is our only car for driving out of Jerusalem. (Our other car is a Better Place electric vehicle which is now essentially a very expensive “city car” – but that’s another story.) So, when a car repairperson rolled down the window in his vehicle and […]

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