Israel

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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Pick and Choose-daism

June 21, 2015

Jacob’s Ladder is my favorite weekend of the year. The spring version of the semi-annual music festival, which was held last month, presents an eclectic mix of country, folk, bluegrass and, lately, local indie rock bands over three days at Kibbutz Nof Ginosar north of Tiberius. Over the past several years, I’ve noticed an increasing […]

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In praise of datlashim

June 7, 2015

Datlashim are some of my favorite people. I admit I’m partial. All three of my kids are datlashim. That said, datlashim may represent the very future of Judaism or, stated with less hyperbole, may help an increasingly fractured Jewish community find common ground between religious and secular. Datlash is an acronym that stands for dati […]

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Israel’s Electoral System: the Best for Us?

March 9, 2015

As elections draw close, friends and family back in the old country often ask me how someone who grew up in the U.S. with a relatively simple and seemingly stable two-party system makes sense of Israel’s very different approach, with up to a dozen parties who have to be coaxed, coerced and wheedled together into […]

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Roman vs. Jewish Law: What Happened to Patrilineal Descent?

January 28, 2015

My January 9, 2015 column in The Jerusalem Post generated a higher than usual number of comments, many of which were not particularly complimentary. In the piece, which addressed the United Synagogue Youth (USY) teen leadership’s decision on relaxing the group’s policy on “interdating,” I posited that since assimilation is natural – indeed inevitable – in […]

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USY language change on interdating not a yiddishkeitastrophe

January 9, 2015

The headlines screaming across Jewish newspapers worldwide were an Orthodox kiruv professional’s wet dream. For a Jew whose job it is to bring other Jews closer to Orthodox observance, the dopamine rush of delight must have been overwhelming. Because if it’s your business to convince wandering Jews to become frum (religious) and one of the […]

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Crowdsourcing the Real Israel

December 28, 2014

If you were just to read the international press these days, you might think Israel was on the verge of catastrophe, with sanctions from Europe just around the corner, boycotts being adopted from academia and beyond, terrorism back in vogue on the streets of Jerusalem and tourism in a tailspin. You wouldn’t be faulted for […]

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