Friday, February 28, 2020

Redeeming Israel in the public affairs world with Alan Dershowitz and US National Library of Congress to accept book of Talmud for first time and Israel is first country to urge halt to all overseas travel

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money,  and spiritual engagement. Now also a Blogger on the Times of Israel. Look for my column

Love Yehuda Lave

A Better Boycott


A Rabbi is walking down the street in New York when he is shocked by a sign hanging in front of a building.


Enraged, the Rabbi walks up to the building to go inside and yell at the owners, but he is stopped by a smaller sign saying, "THE CHEVRA KADISHA (Hebrew Burial Society)."

Israel is first country to urge halt to all overseas travel

In an unprecedented move, Israelis advised to avoid all travel abroad over virus Health Ministry warning sees 'high probability' pathogen has now spread worldwide and is no longer containable; Israelis returning from Italy ordered to a 14-day quarantine

In a dramatic statement Wednesday, Israel's Health Ministry urged Israelis to seriously consider refraining from traveling abroad, as the country looked to isolate itself from the novel coronavirus outbreak rapidly spreading across the globe.

"If you don't genuinely have to fly — don't do so," the ministry said in a travel warning.

In making the announcement, Israel became the first country to urge its citizens to refrain from international travel entirely because of the outbreak, which started in China in December and has since infected over 80,000 worldwide and claimed well over 2,000 lives, almost all of them in China.

The move comes after a series of additional countries announced they had identified cases of the virus on their soil over the past two days, including Brazil's announcement of the first confirmed case in Latin America and uncontained outbreaks in Germany, Italy and other European countries.

Tuesday marked the first day since the start of the outbreak that more new cases were recorded abroad than in China, which has been the epicenter of the epidemic.

The statement also expanded a previous travel warning for northern Italy to the entirety of that country and ordered all Israelis returning from Italy to a 14-day home quarantine, effective immediately.

Israel has already banned the entry of any foreigners who have been to China, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand Singapore, South Korea, and Japan in the 14 days prior.

Israeli officials said the new reports of coronavirus cases in Greece, Austria, Switzerland, and Croatia, all announced over the past two days, appear to have arrived in those countries from travelers originating in Italy.

Other hotspots have been identified in South Korea and Iran.

"The current assessment is that there is a high probability that the pathogen has spread to additional areas in Europe and in many other places around the world," the travel warning said.

The Wednesday statement advised the cancellation or delay of all international conferences and gatherings in Israel in the coming months, and to refrain from traveling to such events abroad, where the threat of contagion from multiple countries is higher.

It also urged the avoidance of travel to "events of a religious character at which people from many different nations gather together," an apparent reference to Hajj, which falls in July.

Israel's Health Ministry has taken an active approach to combating the spread of the virus here, going far beyond other countries in banning visitors from some countries and forcing Israelis returning from there into self-quarantine.

The ministry has faced some criticism for unnecessarily panicking people and causing economic and diplomatic damage to the country.

Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman-Tov told Channel 12 News that the ministry preferred to take harsher measures now than be sorry later.

The Foreign Ministry declined to comment on how the new directives could affect diplomatic work in Israel and abroad.

The Israel Defense Forces did not immediately respond to a question on whether the measures would affect any planned exercises with international partners.

So far, there have only been two confirmed cases in the country — both of whom were on a cruise ship where hundreds were infected and were already in quarantine when diagnosed.

However, over the weekend South Korea informed Israel that several members of a group of pilgrims who returned from a recent visit to the country were found to have the disease. Another four Israelis were being treated in Japan, where they were diagnosed as having the virus while still on the ship. On Tuesday one of the Israelis was given the all-clear to leave the hospital.

On Saturday authorities instructed some 200 Israeli students and teachers to self-quarantine due to their contact with the group of South Korean pilgrims. It is not clear whether the Korean tourists were already infected while in Israel.

Ideas, that help explain how the world works

Skill Compensation: People who are exceptionally good at one thing tend to be exceptionally poor at another.

Redeeming Israel in the public affairs world

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) is an Israeli research institute specializing in public diplomacy and foreign policy founded in 1976.

Currently, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs' research portfolio consists of five primary initiatives: the Institute for Contemporary Affairs (ICA), Defensible Borders Initiative, Jerusalem in International Diplomacy, Iran and the New Threats to the West, and Combating Delegitimization. More broadly, the think-tank concentrates on the topics of Iran, Radical Islam, the Middle East, Israel, the Peace Process, Jerusalem, Anti-Semitism, and World Jewry.

Its publications include the academic journal Jewish Political Studies Review and the email-distributed Daily Alert, a daily regional news summary.

Combating delegitimization and BDS

A core component of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs concerns efforts by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement to delegitimize Israel.

According to the organization's website, the initiative "is a major multilingual public diplomacy program" which seeks to expose those who undermine Israel's very legitimacy.

This programme entails reinforcing the connection between "the Jewish people and their historical homeland including Jerusalem."

Many of the institute's scholars, including Dan Diker and Ambassador Alan Baker, have published extensively on subjects pertaining to this initiative. This includes Dan Diker's BDS Unmasked: Radical Roots, Extremist Ends as well as Ambassador Baker's Palestinian Manipulation of the International Community.

On Wednesday night (02/26/20), the Center sponsored a discussion with Prof. Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, of Harvard Law School, Ben-Dro Yemini, Israeli Journalist at Yediot Ahronot, and moderated by Dan Diker, Director of the Program to Counter Political Warfare and BDS at the JCPA on Dan Diker's new book, "Israelophobia: The Dangerous Dance between BDS and Anti-Semitism.

The program was held at Mishenot Sha'ananim Conference Center.

Dan, as the primary author of the new book, moderated the discussion. Professor Dershowitz, who contributed to the book with one of its chapters handled most of the points and Ben-Dror Yemini held his own in the discussion.

Ben-Dror pointed out that much of the Anti-Israel Anti-Semitism comes from our own Israeli Professors who work oversees at many major colleges, in both their regular programs, but especially in the Colleges Jewish Studies programs.

He gave the simile of the Talking Dog. Because of the fact that not too many dogs talk, when one does he is special. Many of these professors in these oversees colleges, make it their bread and butter to attack Israel.

Since they are Jewish and Israeli themselves, they feel they have the right to do so and because they are "talking dogs" they get a job and important status at the Universities where they work. Ben-Dror felt these Israeli traitors were as important as the Anti-Semitic and Anti-Israel American Colleges that have crossed a line in the modern world.

Professor Dershowitz talked of his long history in fighting Anti-Semitism. As a liberal Democrat, he is like a fish out of water, among his peers. As he was a main participant in the recent Trump Impeachment trial, he is now considered a traitor to the Anti-Trump Jewish media and establishment. His wife and daughter are shunned because he had the audacity to Support Trump in his Impeachment fight.

Professor Dershowitz warned, that his experience has taught him that the world has become so polarized that no one looks at the arguments anymore, they just advocate by insulting the other party. This is especially difficult for Israel and Jews, because we rely on Truth to win our arguments. Once emotion takes over, we no longer will be to defend ourselves.

For that reason, he said we have to not rely on the US always having our back and we have to be able to defend ourselves.






Let it be clear as it could possibly be:  The main motivation behind the extraordinary, demonic drive for a change in the Israeli political system is the desire and passion to destroy the political power of the religious parties and community in Israel.


Disgust with the present system of corruption and bribery and stealing from the public trough?  Indeed, there is that and more, but for thirty years as Mapai and Labor-Left and its Mapam and kibbutz allies ruled the country with all the arrogance and contempt of some Stalinist Boss Tweed, corruption ran rampant and bribery was the order of the day, and they stole shamelessly by the light of the day.  The Histadrut ran the country and ran the money and took the money and created a cadre wealthy arrogant political leftist labor leaders.  The kibbutzim received the best land in the country and fully 30% of the water despite the fact that they totaled three percent of the population, at best.  Parties decided how much money to take for their expenses and needs – at will.  Never in Israel's history was there ever a single party able to form a government without a coalition, and how much political bribery was paid then!  Knesset members switched parties, and all that the liberals and leftists suddenly find disgusting began and flourished for decades under the liberals and leftist.  And no one shouted:

Change the system!


More, in those days they not only stole money, the stole people.  They not only killed democracy, they kidnapped children and destroyed souls.  The Sephardic immigrants who came to Israel were treated with contempt and with strong-arm tactics that were worthy of the Bolshevik Mafia that ran the country.  The earlocks that were ripped from Yemenite children's heads went along with the forced irreligion that was thrust upon them in the Kibbutzim and Youth Aliyah institutions so proudly boasted of by the same Hadassah which, today, demands a change of the system.  Six hundred Yemenite children, kidnapped after being born, and given to elite members of the political Mafia establishment, are still missing, and the results of the deliberate destruction of Judaism within hundreds of thousands of Sephardic Jews by the left-liberal Mafia can be seen today in the crime, violence, pornography and general destruction of values of the grandchildren of the Jews of Spiritual genocide.  And no one shouted then: Change the system!


What was done to the religious Sephardic Jews then was deliberate, just as what is being done today is deliberate. Just as then the left-liberal Mafia feared the growth of the religious political power in the "democracy" that was Israel and so they went about destroying it, so, too, today the motivation behind the hypocritical call for change in the system in the name of "democracy" is an obscene fear that in a democracy the religious will win the day because of their population growth.


And so, the Nazi-like caricature that appear in the papers and the blatant incitement to hate against the religious.  And the outrage over ten of millions of shkalim to religious institutions when the kibbutzim just had debts of billions wiped away, and the Histadrut's corrupt institutions are bailed out with hundreds of millions of shkalim from the Treasury, and the Likud – a partner in corruption ever since it got a taste of power – decides to raise the amount of money for the parties since it is deeply in debt.


If all that was troubling the "moralists of democracy" was the power of small parties, there is a simple solution to it and that is to raise the percentage of votes needed for a Knesset seat from the present 1% to three or four or five.  That would eliminate all small parties and produce four major ones, as blocs are formed – right, left, cent and religious.  Ah, but that is the problem.  The religious would still be there and still be in a position to grow, through babies, and become more and more powerful and that is what disturbs all the "moralists" of the left.  If instead of the black-garbed Rabbi Shach and others, the small parties that held the government captive were those of Ratz and Mapam and Shinui – that would have never led to the hysterical demands of "Change they system!"  But it was the religious.  And that brought out all the hate and racism that the moralists so deplore when used against Arabs.


It is difficult to understand the sheer bile that possesses the left-liberal secularists when they discuss the religious.  It is an obsession with them.  It is a war – not of culture but of belief, of being.  Those who destroyed Jewish values and found themselves with a morally rotting state and children who are neither religious nor Zionist, but empty of all values except "Me," can never admit their failure.  And so they hate the religious and they hate Judaism and they hate themselves. What did the Rabbis say (Psachim 49b)?  "Greater is the hatred of the ignoramus for the scholar than the of the gentile for the Jew."  And we see it daily in Israel.


Are the religious parties corrupt?  Of course they are; shamefully so!  Are they a disgrace to Torah?  Of course they are, and in the words of the prophet Isaiah (1:6): "From the sole of the foot to the head, there is no soundness." And let the wise man understand . . . . But Labor and Likud make them look like pikers in comparison.


Change the system?  And then things will be better?  Has not history proven a thousand times over that it is not the system but the people who bring evil and corruption into the world?  The same thieves and corrupt politicians with their money and power will create the same abomination in Israel under any system.


Do you know what they wish to do?  They wish to create districts from which individuals can be elected.  Districts that will guarantee that the religious, despite their larger population, will always be limited to 3-4 seats since they live together in 3-4 districts.  Districts that make the vote infinitely less democratic (if that is what bothers you) than the present system of proportional representation.  For under the present system, every vote counts.  Under district voting, all those who did not vote for the winner see their votes go down the drain.  Indeed, that is why in England today there is a great demand to change the system from district voting to proportional representation, as in Israel . . . . Democracy?  They are not interested in democracy except that it will help them keep or get power.


And they tie all this to a demand for a constitution that de facto will turn Israel from a Jewish state into a Western democratic one in which Jewishness will not matter, and it will be "Israeliness" that will be the equal common denominator, with the non-Jewish Israeli equal common denominator, with the non-Jewish Israeli equal to the Jewish one and the very reason for a "Jewish" state destroyed.


When the All Mighty created the Torah He understood that it is not the "system" that makes things good or bad.  It is the people.  And that is why the same Torah that is so stringent concerning seemingly minor matters in a person's life has no definitive system for political organization or economic structure.  For these things are not the important ones in building a society.  Times change and structures change, but good and evil in the world come from Man.  And the same corrupt, hypocritical thieves will continue their dirty business in any system.  For a cesspool by any name remains just that.


And one final word.

As I watch the enormous success of the liberal-left drive to change the system.  I will never forgive, until my dying day, those thousands and more "supporters" of mine who helped us lose Israel when we had a divine opportunity to save the land.


Watching the large rallies demanding a "change," I know that it is Kach that could have had the crowds and the rallies and the momentum in a demand for a Referendum.  The disgust of the people with all the parties, our unbelievable popularity as the only clean and honest group – all this made for a golden opportunity to demand People Power, a Referendum!  But we did not have the money that the liberal-left has, and so we lost the opportunity and I doubt if it will ever come again.  And the reason we had no money was that the ones who cheer me and condemn the Left and the traitors and Peres and Likud, and thus get their pious preaching jollies so that they can feel pure and good and righteous, never made the sacrifices.  Never gave me the money at a time when I saw the events coming.  Again. Once again, the betrayal by the supporters and cheerers.


The country is falling apart.  As small people haggle over seats and money and power, Iraq speaks of missiles and chemical warfare and Egypt nears a nuclear bomb and I sit in frustration knowing what might have been if my supporters and cheerers had cared enough to do more than gleefully condemn Peres.


And for that, for what they did to Israel, I will never forgive them.

Written:  May 1990


US National Library of Congress to accept book of Talmud for first time

US National Library of Congress to accept the book of Talmud for the first time

The translation from Hebrew to English took world-renowned Rabbi Steinsaltz 8 years to complete. By CELIA JEAN

For the first time ever, a book of Talmud will be accepted into the US's National Library of Congress, the largest library in the world. The book of Talmud, translated by world-renowned scholar Rabbi Adin Even Israel Steinsaltz, will be released to the library in a celebratory event due to be held on Thursday. The translation from Hebrew to English took Rabbi Steinsaltz 8 years to complete.  Read More Related Articles

The event, first of its kind, will feature Jewish elected officials Congressman Eliot Engel, member of the United States House of Representatives, and Carla Hayden, Principal Director of the Library of Congress. During the event, representatives of Steinsaltz's family will grant the library the full volume of the translation, followed by a certificate of honor which will be given in return to Steinsaltz's family which is said to be one of the most influential in contemporary Judaism. According to Rabbi Steinsaltz's legacy knowledge is something that connects and mediates cultures and peoples. Translating the Talmud became the center of Rabbi Steinsaltz's life after he founded the Israel Institute for Talmudic publications in 1965, together with the Israeli government.

Steinsaltz is considered by the Chabad as one of the most important rabbis of our time. His work is devoted to addressing education, the study of Talmud, Chassidism and philosophy. He has published over 60 books in many languages, and won the Israel Prize, as well as the President's medal and the 'Worthy Citizen of Jerusalem' award."It's a great honor for the both Diaspora and Israeli Jews to receive such honor from a great institution as important as the US National Library of Congress. For all the Talmud's thousands of years of existence, it is very exciting and meaningful for us, especially during times like these, when Judaism suffers from antisemitism," announced Mani Even Israel, the head of the Steinsaltz center. 
The library is a research library that serves members, committees, the staff of the US congress and offers general lectures, concerts and exhibitions to the general public. 

See you Sunday Bii-neder Shabbat Shalom

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

PO Box 7335, Rehavia Jerusalem 9107202


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Thursday, February 27, 2020

How to retire to Israel BY RENEE GHERT-ZAND and Burger Market one of the Burger Joints in Jerusalem and my trip to Tel Aviv for Bodega Hamburgers, the kosher bacon Cheeseburger and our Tel Aviv Ramblings and Is there Truth in Court Cases or only emotion? and Purim is here: Tibi said no attakcks on Gaza and Republican Jewish Coalition Victory Fund: Voting for Sanders would be insane

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works  with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money,  and spiritual engagement

Love Yehuda Lave

Now that we are approaching Spring, being the 2nd day of Adar (Purim and Passover are approaching soon), I have done a little review of a couple of Hamburger places I tried in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. You don't have to go to Tel Aviv for a burger. We have several great places here. You have to remember, however, that price is part of the equation when going to a restaurant.

It is an art to make good food, no matter the price. However, if one makes good healthy tasty food and the price is 1/2 of what your neighbor charges, that has to factor largely in your decision of what you should eat. Eating is a very temporary pleasure, but the old saw that says, a moment on the lips, but forever on the hips is certainly true.

There are a lot of great places to eat in Jerusalem, but many are pricey. New Deli, that I have been going to for years, gives a great tasty product at about 1/2 of the price that these fancy hamburger and kosher bacon sandwiches offer. Crave is also a tremendous experience for food, but again pricey for a sandwich. If money is no object, have fun with the experience, but if you like me belive that part of the valuation is the price, take a look before you buy.



On the Origins of "They Tried to Bury Us, They Didn't Know We Were Seeds"


After the Families Belong Together protests this past weekend, we talk to Greek media scholar Alexandra Boutopoulou on the widely used phrase, "They tried to bury us, they didn't know we were seeds," and its poetic origins.

"One out of 516 people in the world are Jews. For some reason you were created a Jew. Nothing just happens by accident. This is what you are." - Gutman Locks

Purim is Here, Tibi admits no attacks on Gaza if he is the Government and Republican Jewish Coalition Victory Fund: Voting for Sanders would be insane

When I opened the Jerusalem Post yesterday, I knew Purim had come. It was no Bibi stating the obvious, but Tibi from the Arab league. If he joins Ganz in the government, he would not allow attacks on Gaza.

It doesn't matter how many rockets they shoot at us, when you let the fox into the chicken coop, he rules.

Please realize the danger we are under with an Arab league who wants to destroy us in the government and vote for BiBi.

Things are also Purim  like in America:

RJC's victory fund will run the ad during tomorrow's Democratic debate in key swing states such as Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Arizona. "This is part of a $10 million effort being undertaken to target Jewish voters in the upcoming election," the fund said in a statement.The ad opens with the words "How bad would Bernie Sanders be for Israel?" then features past statements by Sanders which are critical of Israel.

Among the statements are: "Israel should be condemned," "our policy cannot just be pro-Israel, pro-Israel, pro-Israel," and "if you want military aid, you're going to have to fundamentally change your relationship with the people of Gaza." The ad also quotes Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who said: "Bernie Sanders makes me feel less insane."The Jewish community faces the very real risk that we could end up trading the most pro-Israel president in history for the first enemy-of-Israel president in history," RJC Victory Fund CEO Matt Brooks said in a statement. "The stakes for the Jewish community and the nation with Bernie Sanders as president could not be higher."

Is there Truth in Court cases or only emotions?

The standard model of legal education treats law as a science, legal reasoning as a purely deductive process and emotion as the enemy of reason.

Emotions are individual, arbitrary, unanalyzable, and ultimately a threat to the proper functioning of the legal system. They are, in the words of one prominent legal scholar, "inconsistent with the very norms that govern and legitimate the judicial power"

This attitude is still pervasive in law. The current Federal Rules of Evidence, for example, declare that evidence should not be admitted at trial if it encourages the jury to decide on an improper basis, "commonly…an emotional one" (Federal Rule of Evidence 403).

This attitude is at odds with the growing consensus in other disciplines that emotions are deeply intertwined with the reasoning process

Until recently, legal scholars and jurists have taken the attitude that knowledge from other disciplines is irrelevant to the law—that the legal system is and should be a self-contained system.

This attitude has helped perpetuate the legal system's antiquated attitude toward emotion despite all evidence contradicting its accuracy; a state of affairs that is deeply problematic. When legal rules or decisions are based on unsupported or mistaken notions of how people behave, justice may be compromised.

The traditional assumption that those trained in the law should not traffic in emotion has led to large gaps in our knowledge about a whole range of legal actors, including prosecutors, defense attorneys, and legislators. Although jurors are often studied, these studies rarely focus on their emotions, and even more rarely on their emotions as a collective body.

The emotions of judges receive even less attention, in large part because judges, unlike jurors, are viewed as emotionless practitioners of pure reason. The belief that emotion plays no good role in reasoning has also had a powerful, and often pernicious, the effect on the education of law students.

Working with the law, in general, raises a host of other emotional issues. For example, client relationships may raise issues of loyalty, empathy, anger, frustration, and sadness.

Capital defense attorneys must address their clients' hopes and fears and establish a trust under difficult circumstances; they must also deal with their own emotions when a client is sentenced to death or executed.

These are just a few of the emotions evoked by lawyering, and yet law school and the legal profession, for the most part, proceed on the assumption that the tools of the trade are purely cognitive.

Law and Emotions show that the law should not rely on untested or inaccurate assumptions about how emotions work, but should make choices, and design institutions, in light of the best available knowledge. There is a threefold problem.

First, to identify and illuminate the assumptions about emotion that pervade the legal system. Second, to evaluate whether these assumptions are accurate in light of the available knowledge about how emotions work. And third, where legal practice is based on erroneous assumptions, to determine what steps the legal system ought to take in light of the disconnect.



Burger Market one of the Burger Joints in Jerusalem

With all the burger hype in Jerusalem these days, it's hard to believe that most Jerusalemites can remember the days when you had to go to Tel Aviv if you wanted a mouth-watering juicy burger cooked to order with your favorite toppings.

Burger Market has legitimately taken the city by storm since it opened up in the trendy Mahane Yehuda Market and quickly become the joint of choice among the city's kosher burger aficionados.

With thick, juicy patties, a vast choice of toppings from portobello mushrooms to foie gras, your choice of classic fries or thin and crispy sweet potato fries and a lunch deal that will have your head spinning — it's easy to see why this is the hottest burger joint in town.

Head over during lunch hour and get a burger, choice of fries and a beer for just 49 NIS (toppings not included), and you definitely won't have any regrets about your day.

Where: 3 Haarmonim St., Jerusalem

You can also visit the new branch of the Burger Market located even closer to the City Center. For more details >>

  • 072-3290701


Another hot spot in Mahane Yehuda Market area – Memphis. It belongs to Uri Melamed who traveled the world, experienced the finest meats, and finally decided to create a place that will serve delicious, juicy, and perfect hamburger that is also kosher. The menu was hand-picked by Melamed in cooperation with the chef Amir Ilan and the butcher George Abdu.
These three enthusiasts put the cutlet in the center of attention. Together they tasted, checked and compared, mixed and grilled until they found the perfect recipe that is a combination of four chunks, 100% prime beef.

The result of this hard work is no less than perfect. You can devour it with some hot fries or crisp onion rings on the side. If that won't satisfy you completely, you can add mushrooms, an egg, or even an entrecote steak. Also, all this sinfulness can be washed down with various soft-drinks or a chilled beer.

Address: Agripas Str. 68.

Tel Aviv Hamburgers One of Two

Tel Aviv Hamburgers Two of Two Jan 29 2020

The lovers go to Tel Aviv on Jan 29, 2019, the day of the Deal of the century. We see the art exhibit at the Czech Embassy and have a double cheese bacon kosher burger at Bodega next to the Cinimatech

All Hamburger joints in Jerusalem

It is not all of them, and it includes the non kosher place on the list. There is no gurantee for Kosher, even in Jerusalem unless you check

Bodega Hamburgers, the kosher bacon Cheeseburger

Watch: Kosher "Bacon Cheeseburger" in the middle of Tel Aviv

Sitting right across from the Cinematheque, Bodega is Tel Aviv's newest, American-style burger joint.

That's where Todd Aarons and James Oppenheim serve kosher Philly Cheese Steaks and B.L.T.s, and everything is certifiably, mouth-wateringly delicious.

Todd Aarons grew up in LA and has been a professional chef for over 20 years. He has worked in kitchens in Italy, NYC, San Francisco, LA, and Israel, and was founding executive chef of Tierra Sur in Oxnard, CA. James Oppenheim has been working in high tech for over 20 years before entering the food business.

We are super excited to host Todd Aarons and James Oppenheim on the podcast today.

In 2019, some 500 of 3,500 immigrants to Israel from North America were retirees. (Jonny Finkel Photography)

How to retire to Israel BY RENEE GHERT-ZAND

JERUSALEM – For a growing number of Jews in the Diaspora, turning retirement dreams into reality also means realizing a lifelong dream of living in Israel.

Over the past decade, more than 6,000 Jews from North America and Britain have retired to Israel. In 2019, some 500 of 3,500 immigrants to Israel from North America were retirees. For some of these new "olim" it was the culmination of a lifelong Zionist dream. For others it was a practical move to be closer to children and grandchildren, or to enjoy their golden years in a warmer climate.

Regardless of motivation, the key to a successful retirement in Israel is careful advance planning, as well as an open attitude toward the challenges of entering a new stage of life in a new country.

"We have an amazing life here and are very happy, generally speaking," said Sydney Faber, who retired to Jerusalem from London with his wife, Rose, 11 years ago. The couple have two children in Israel and two others living in New Jersey.

The Fabers credit their contentment in large part to their having made good decisions about important elements like housing, learning Hebrew and becoming involved in their community. Those choices, they said, made all the difference in building a happy retirement 2,000 miles away from where they had lived most of their lives.

While retiring to Israel may seem like a bigger step than retiring to Florida, many of the same considerations come into play. Here are some of the main issues to consider.

Financial planning

"Retiree olim need to think about how their lifestyle will or will not translate to Israel," said Marc Rosenberg, vice president of Diaspora Partnerships at Nefesh B'Nefesh, the organization that assists with immigration to Israel from North America and the United Kingdom.

Rosenberg advises retirees to be realistic about the kind of life they'll be able to afford in Israel on passive income like pensions, Social Security and investments. (A sample budget on Nefesh B'Nefesh's website can help retirees figure out their likely monthly costs.) For those with children or parents living outside Israel, retirees should remember to plan for the costs of flying back and forth to see them.

These days, many retiree immigrants split their time between Israel and their countries of origin in "snowbird" fashion, allowing for all kinds of creative financial arrangements. Prospective immigrants should seek the advice of an Israeli accountant who specializes in U.S. taxes about the implications of dual citizenship and dual residency. A financial adviser can help with financial planning and offer guidance for living within a budget.

Health care

Israel has universal health care. Retirees must pay into its National Insurance system, but the sum is minor compared to what most Americans are used to paying for insurance premiums and copays.

All Israelis must join one of Israel's four HMOs, known as "kupot holim," in order to receive medical services. While membership is covered by one's National Insurance payments, the kupot offer optional higher levels of coverage for relatively modest additional fees. Many retirees also choose to buy supplemental private health insurance, which covers drugs not included in the medications made available by the Health Ministry as well as private surgeries, transplants performed abroad and other benefits.

Dorraine Gilbert Weiss, who moved to Jerusalem from Los Angeles with her husband, Barry, recently underwent chemotherapy for breast cancer at Hadassah Medical Center.

"I couldn't have asked for better or more personalized care," Weiss said.

In addition to hospitals, Israel also a network of urgent care clinics in most cities, many of which are open 24/7.

Norman and Doris Levitz made aliyah in their 90s, moving from the United States to Jerusalem in 2018. (Tomer Malichi)


Choosing your new home wisely is a key component of successful aliyah. Experts advise new immigrants to rent for at least a year or two before buying, mainly to make sure they choose the right location.

Many retirees automatically assume they will want to be near their children, but some find that living in suburban communities geared toward young families is not the right fit.

"They realize that living in Israel is different than visiting," Rosenberg said. "When you are here for 10 days over a holiday, the grandchildren will be off from school and have lots of time for the grandparents. It's a different story when they are in their usual routines."

Older olim tend to gravitate toward cities with large "Anglo" communities and a plethora of social and cultural opportunities for English-speaking retirees, such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Raanana and Netanya. Many haredi Orthodox immigrants favor Beit Shemesh.

Housing will comprise the largest chunk of a retiree's monthly budget. As with real estate anywhere, location determines price. Those moving from low-cost U.S. locales to expensive cities like Jerusalem might have to downsize homes or number of cars. It's generally cheaper to rent in Israel than in the United States but more expensive to buy.

Those seeking to move into a senior residence or assisted-living facility will find many options throughout the country offering accommodations, amenities and services comparable to North American standards.

A common question retirees have is whether to sell the U.S. residence they are leaving behind or rent it. That's less an immigration question than a financial one best addressed to a financial planner.


The upside of transportation in Israel is that the public transit system is very inexpensive and well developed. Buses inside and between cities run frequently, reliably and inexpensively, and seniors pay half fare. The train network is growing, including new high-speed rail service between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv that has reduced travel time to 32 minutes. Taxis also are relatively inexpensive and can be summoned like an Uber using the Gett mobile phone app.

The downside is that private transportation is expensive: Owning and maintaining a car costs roughly double what it is in the States.

"If you can do without a car, you should try it," said Hezy BenTzur, founder and owner of the iAnglo Auto Association, which assists English speakers in Israel with the leasing, importing and purchasing of new and used cars. "Retirees don't have the burden of having to commute for work, so I would recommend not taking the expense on if you don't have to. It's more cost effective to occasionally rent a car."

Another thing to keep in mind is that cars are generally smaller in Israel, and that the Israeli car market includes makes and models unfamiliar to Americans. Best to do your research and choose appropriately.

Recreation, volunteering and learning Hebrew

There's no end to the opportunities for retirees to get involved in their communities. Local community centers offer cultural events, educational classes and fitness activities for free or at a low cost for seniors. There are also private sports and country clubs, and golfing is available near Caesarea.

Some community theater companies put on English-language productions, and many plays and operas performed at major arts venues like the Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv and The Jerusalem Theater offer English supertitles.

Volunteer opportunities abound; the key is matching your interests to one of Israel's countless nonprofit organizations. Popular choices include working with people with disabilities at Yad Sarah, mentoring children and teens affected by terror with One Family, or preparing care packages and holiday meals at the Lone Soldier Center.

Some volunteer opportunities are geared toward English speakers, like English tutoring or working as museum docents. Most, however, require a working knowledge of Hebrew. Taking advantage of the free Hebrew lessons (called ulpan) provided by the government to new immigrants is a good idea.

Ricki Lieberman, who retired to Jaffa from New York in 2009, raises money for an Arab-Jewish women's choir in Jaffa, volunteers with children of African refugees in South Tel Aviv and does political organizing.

"I grew up believing in democracy and Jewish values, so I am compelled to do what I can," Lieberman said. "For me, my retirement is not a time to turn away."

This article was sponsored by and produced in partnership with Nefesh B'Nefesh, which in cooperation with Israel's Ministry of Aliyah, The Jewish Agency, KKL and JNF-USA is minimizing the professional, logistical and social obstacles of aliyah, and has brought over 50,000 olim from North America and the United Kingdom over the last 15 years. This article was produced by JTA's native content team.

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