Articles From May 2017

Dreams Come True : Journey to Rechavia : The Aliyah of the Even-Israel Family


When I think of Rechavia, my mind conjures up an upscale neighborhood in the heart of Yerushalayim with tree-lined streets, green parks, and beautiful, often palatial, buildings surrounded by neat gardens. Although but a few minutes walk to shops, hotels, and restaurants on Keren Kayemet Street, Rechavia is almost purely residential, with a mixture of both secular and religious Israelis as well as chutznikim (immigrants) interspersed throughout the neighborhood. Meni and Liza Even-Israel and their four children are one of the many families living in Rechavia, and Liza graciously agrees to share her story of how they landed there.

Liza Ferszt Even-Israel was born and raised in Los Angeles until age eleven, when her parents decided to move to Israel. Intending to make their move open ended, they did not sell their house or their business immediately. A few years later that they actually made aliyah. Since they had come in 1986, before the first intifada, Liza has happy memories of life in Israel.

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Making the Call: Preparedness and Efficiency: How to Field Shidduch Calls and Conduct Effective Research, Part 3


In the previous segments of this series, we discussed how to choose references for a shidduch resume and reviewed the skills necessary to be an effective and helpful reference. In this final segment of the series, we will consider those making the shidduch call and how one can successfully gather information that is both useful and pertinent.

Whom to Call

To accomplish the task of successful shidduch research, rather than “winging it” or asking standard, run-of-the-mill questions, it is highly beneficial to first put together a prioritized list of questions. When one knows in advance what information is most important to them, what requires in-depth answers, and what can be answered quickly or even left unaddressed if time does not allow, the caller can better create a conversation which will provide significant value and meaningful information.

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Shavuos Recipes

cheese cake

Shavuos is coming! I know, because we’ve been counting the omer day by day – each day meaningful, each day a chance to accomplish good. This counting of the omer reminds me that, every day, I am supposed to improve my character traits. Every day I can accomplish mitzvos and help people, even if it is only sharing a smile, and make someone else’s burden just a little bit less.

One of my favorite things to share is food, and the holidays always bring many opportunities! Shavuos! It is very easy to share cheesecake, it turns out. Cheesecake is an extremely versatile “cake,” but it’s really not a cake; it should be considered a custard. In fact, if you place a water bath in your oven (a pan filled with about an inch of water under the rack where the cheesecake is), this will make the temperature in your oven more even (and humid) and help the cheesecake cook more evenly.

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Jews by Choice


Tzadik Lev and Tikvah Womack were married three times. The first wedding was Christian, the second Conservative Jewish, and most recently, over two years ago, they were once again married as Orthodox Jews.

The Womacks live in Baltimore and daven at Ner Tamid. Tzadik Lev, a lawyer, is an associate at Snider & Associates, LLC, in Baltimore. Tikvah is raising their toddler and also works full-time as a school-based therapist at a Baltimore charter school. The story of the Womacks’ journey to Yiddishkeit is one of idealism and truth-seeking, reflecting that of their spiritual forebear, the biblical Rus.

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Giving Care, Needing Care The Shomrei Ahuvim Support Group


Chanah loves her father deeply. She does her best to honor him and has always tried to be open and honest. She loves him so much that this afternoon she is deliberately telling him a lie.

Boruch is learning with his rebbe. He is not learning from his rebbe, rather, he is the one doing the teaching. Today he is showing his rebbe how to find Shema and Shemoneh Esrei in a siddur.

Yaakov has always been devoted to his evening learning sessions with his chavrusa. He is careful to let nothing interfere with this long-term commitment. Tonight he is staying home to spend some time with his wife.

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The 28th of Iyar An Excerpt

six day war

Editor’s Note: Rabbi Emanuel Feldman, on sabbatical from his Atlanta pulpit in 1967, was living in Bnei Brak and teaching at Bar Ilan University. Rabbi Feldman’s daily journal of the tense weeks before the Six Day War and during the war itself was published soon after. The dramatic story of an American family living through the frantic and historical days of June 1967, the book has been republished by Feldheim in advance of the 50th anniversary of the war.

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Ordinary Heroes: Fear, Unity, Victory


It’s hard to believe that 50 years have gone by since the emotion-laden days of June, 1967. Anyone old enough to recall the Six Day War will remember the unbearable tension in the weeks before the outbreak of fighting. President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt and other Arab leaders held no politically-correct inhibitions preventing them from announcing what they planned to do. As one typical Radio Cairo announcement declared, “All Egypt is now prepared to plunge into total war which will put an end to Israel.” With his blockade of the Straits of Tiran, at the entrance to the Red Sea, and the massing of Egyptian troops on the Sinai border, there was no reason not to believe Nasser’s intentions. In Israel, there was a real fear that Israel’s Arab neighbors would join together to fulfill the old threat to “drive the Jews into the sea.”

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It has been over six months since the petira of my mother, Greta Schlossberg, Gelah bas Ze’ev, a”h. I experienced a year of aveilus (mourning) when my father passed away 15 years earlier, and now I am in the year of aveilus for my mom.

The purpose of this article is to discuss general issues on the practice of aveilus and describe my experience. However, I would like to stress, before I begin, the importance of always discussing any questions and issues with one’s own rav to receive proper guidance on halacha and minhag. In Pirkei Avos it is said, “Asei lecha rav – Establish a rav for yourself. A strong relationship and rapport with one’s rabbi is always important, but it is during aveilus, especially, that one needs clarity on how to observe it properly.

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Tax Disasters

Every once in a while, I see someone in a tax pickle for which there is no solution. The “pickles” may differ, but there is one common denominator: Most of the time you did it to yourself. Naturally, it is extra painful when you realize that you have only yourself to blame for the mess. Here are some examples of situations that can happen when you least expect them.

The Earned Income Credit

This is a classic. The earned income credit is the great money giveaway. Essentially, if you are poor with children, you will get back extra money – lots extra. Let’s take the following case: Family A has three children and an income of $25,000. They will be handed a gift by the government: $10,445, to be exact. Yes, over $10,000 in free money! There is a catch, however: Your investment income (interest, dividends, and capital gains) must be under $3,400.

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Our Residency Adventure

Sitting in the darkened theater next to my husband, I watched the school staff ceremoniously draw one envelope after another from the large decorative chest in the middle of the Hippodrome stage and call out a name. The tension in the room was thick. Each student walked to the stage to retrieve his or her envelope and read the long-awaited contents out loud. Finally, after waiting for over an hour, we heard my husband’s name. To the accompaniment of a fast-paced song, my husband and four-year-old son ran on stage to be congratulated and to receive his envelope. He quickly ripped it open and whispered something to my son, who then yelled, “VCU Richmond!” into the microphone. The words reverberated around the room, and my heartbeat quickened as I tried to make sense of what I had heard. The next hour felt surreal. We called and texted our family and close friends to let them know the news: We would be spending the next three years of our lives in Richmond, Virginia!

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