25Mar

Exploring Jerusalem with Kids

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I have spent a lot of time in Israel in my lifetime, and I have traveled to a lot of places.  Yet no matter where I go or how exotic the destination is, Jerusalem holds a special place in my heart.  When I started booking a trip to Israel that we took a few years ago, I knew we had to start in Jerusalem and spend a few days there.  The city also holds many special memories for me as I attended part of high school and college in the city. I know Jerusalem as intimately as I know my own hometown, perhaps even more so. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel Read More

14Jun

Review: Strangers No More, an Oscar Winning Documentary

Strangers No More

  I saw the most amazing documentary last night called Strangers No More.  My neighbor across the street told me about the film yesterday and I thought I would never make it.  It was to start at 7pm. When my husband walked in at 6:55, I ran out the door.  This was a film that I knew I had to see. I remember when it won the Oscar for documentary short last year, and it got my attention then.  I also love when there are documentaries and quality films playing locally, and the JCC in Scarsdale is a hop, skip and a jump away. The film is about a Read More

14Mar

Review: Compulsion at the Public Theater

Compulsion

  A long time fan of Mandy Patinkin, I was very excited to hear about his latest play, "Compulsion", which is part of my membership at the Public Theater.  I knew very little about it other than that it involved Anne Frank, the Holocaust, Israel and puppets, so naturally I was very curious. Upon entrance to the theater, we came face to face with a group of puppets soaring over the set. At first glace, they would appear to be central characters of this play as they are the cast of the Anne Frank story - all the families that were in Read More

07Dec

JNF Operation Carmel Renewal: From Black to Green

aftercarmel

Some of my greatest memories are of planting trees in the beautiful forests of Northern Israel.  I was 16 the first I went on a high school program in Israel.  I remember planting trees in memorial to my loved ones in the soil of the Holy Land and how much it meant to me.  I have been back many times and repeated the same experience.  There is no place as beautiful. That is why I am writing about what happened there last week.  On December 2nd, 2010, the worst fire in Israel's history broke out in the Carmel Mountains near Haifa in Israel. Losses Read More

09Oct

Can You Tell Me How to Get to the Land of Israel?

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I was so excited to receive both a copy of Shalom Sesame's Welcome to Israel and Chaunkah: The Missing Menorah.  My 5 and 7 year-old's quickly ran into the living room to watch them both.  Having just returned from a trip to Israel and also anticipating the upcoming holiday of Chanukah in our home, there was much excitement over these about to be released DVD's.  Both come from the creators of Sesame Street and feature well-known American and Israeli celebrities like Debra Messing, Achinoam Nini, Mira Awad, Jake Gyllenhaal, Christina Applegate, Greg Read More

30Jun

Home Away from Home

israelapartment

When we started planning our recent trip to Israel, we thought about all of our accommodation requirements and needs.  Since we were visiting family and friends in Israel, we wanted a different experience.  We wanted to live like locals and really immerse ourselves in the culture, rather than be outsiders looking in. Often, that's how I feel when I stay at a hotel.  You are truly a visitor in a city.  As you pass though the lobby with bell hops and desk attendants at your beck and call, you are constantly reminded. We had a town in mind.  My Read More

24Jun

A Day Out in Israel’s Caesarea National Park

caesaria

One of my most vivid memories of being in Israel for the first time at age 16 was being a very special place called Caesarea (pronounced Kaysarya).  Standing amongst the ruins from hundreds of years of ruling empires certainly left its mark on my memory. So, when a very good friend suggested we meet there during my recent trip to Israel, I jumped at the opportunity.  My two kids and one niece drove the 45 minutes from where we were staying down the coastal highway and were there by lunchtime. We met at the marina, the old harbor.  Since it is Read More

22Jun

Exploring Tel Aviv with Kids

telaviv

If you haven't visited Tel Aviv, you must put it on your list.  It is such a happening city, offering so much variety: great beaches, good shopping, restaurants of all kinds, easy access to all of Israel including Jerusalem in one direction and the north in another.  It’s bustling, absolutely thriving. Tourism is definitely up, as witnessed by the various accents throughout the city and a decent exchange rate.  The city has changed a lot since my last visit seven years ago, only for the better.  There’s also a lot to do with children, Read More

22Jun

Exploring Jerusalem with Kids

jerusalem

I have spent a lot of time in Israel in my lifetime, and I have traveled to a lot of places.  Yet no matter where I go or how exotic the destination is, Jerusalem holds a special place in my heart.  When I started booking our recent trip to Israel, I knew we had to start in Jerusalem and spend a few days there.   The city also holds many special memories for me as I attended part of high school and college in the city. I know Jerusalem as intimately as I know my own hometown, perhaps even more so. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and is Read More

21Jun

25 Reasons I Love Israel

israel

I won’t lie – every time I visit Israel, I come back pining to move there. This past trip was no exception. I have an attachment to the country. Here’s a short list of 25 reasons why I love Israel. I can already think of 25 more. 1. With my curly locks and dark skin, I fit right in. 2. I love it when hummus and tahini are acceptable foods to eat at all times of the day. 3. I love the way everything closes on Shabbat and a sense of tranquility covers the streets. 4. The mix of cultures. 5. You don't have to travel long distances to see Read More