empty Slice of Life

Strength And Optimism

Our friends Leah and Gabi Spitz were in the car with their children on their way to volunteer in...

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I was going to skip writing a column this week. I like to write about upbeat topics, but there is so much negativity in the air due to the rift about the judicial reforms.

In truth, life in Ramat Beit Shemesh goes on as usual. At least for me. Luckily, no one in my family has gotten stuck in demonstration-related traffic. We did not miss any medical appointments due to the strike. We flew to and from New York before the airport shut down.

I’m torn.  I’m not a big fan of nepotism, known in Israel as protectzia.  I think that people should be treated fairly and given the same opportunities.  However, I would be dishonest if I said that I don’t enjoy the perks of protektzia when they come my way.  So, as always, I’ll be honest with you and say that I enjoy reaping the benefits of protectzia even though I’m against it on an ideological level. This inner conflict comes to the fore whenever I travel.

Purim is behind us. The eating, dancing, and partying are now hopefully pleasant memories (Notice that I didn’t mention the drinking, which may have left other kinds of memories). You know what that means. Yes, you guessed it! Pesach is on the way. Close, actually. For those of you who are beginning to feel the pressure, this life-changing article is for you.

My son Aharon didn’t expect a happy response from me when he told me that he would be doing a two-week stint in the reserves.  And he didn’t get one. With the situation heating up of late, I could think of many places where I’d rather he’d spend his time.  When I asked where he would be stationed, he answered that he would be somewhere in the State of Israel.  That’s another way of saying, “You don’t really want to know.” Perfect.

The State of Israel is known as “the start-up nation.”  The OurCrowd Global Investor Summit, which took place in Jerusalem last week, made it abundantly clear why Israel was given that name.  OurCrowd, founded in 2013 by CEO Jon Medved, is a global investment platform through which investors throughout the world invest in start-ups.  It has grown into the world’s leading online venture investing platform. While it is a super-impressive creation in its own right, the fact that it is centered in Jerusalem and provides, directly and indirectly, so many high-quality prestigious jobs to Israelis is a point of great pride to me.

Beit Shemesh is a frequent destination for many who make aliyah to Israel. But this past summer, we were honored by the arrival of a special olah chadashah, a new immigrant. Judy Neiman, a resident of Florida, made aliyah to Beit Shemesh at the age of 100. I had the pleasure of speaking with Judy, along with her son and daughter-in-law, who are thrilled to have Judy living with them in their home. I was touched by the love that they clearly feel for Judy and was awed by their dedication to meeting her every need.