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Thursday, June 30, 2011


It’s been an exhausting two weeks. It’s the end of the school year here in Israel and that means saying goodbye to all my own students.

I teach  English in a one  year college  preparatory course to help girls in their late teens- early twenties get their Bagrut, the school leaving certificate. These are girls who for one reason or another didn’t manage to get it when they left school.

It’s an intensive year. People here marry young and continue to study and work so I had several married girls and some with children. One gave birth to her second son ten days  before the final exam but she arrived wit her baby in a sling and nursed as she wrote and we babysat when she finished feeding him.


Another student who had been married for several years without children was visibly pregnant by the end of the year to everyone’s delight. We had celebrated  engagements and weddings together and became as close as family by the time we parted tearfully .

At the other end of the spectrum, I was invited to all my grandchildren’s end of term parties – and these are done in real style over here and can take hours – even for those in kindergarten.


Being blessed with a large number of grandchildren I have spent  many mornings and evenings recently in different schools and halls  ‘kvelling’ as we say…….. and also taking photos and videos of the proceedings.


I thought my job as family photographer would end as my status changed  from mummy to bubby but I guess my kids got used to me in that role and don’t want to let me give it up.


But now it’s vacation time and they, at least, can relax

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Thanks for the award


Seriously Cute Blogger Award

Thank you  Rosalind Adam of  Rosalind Adam is writing in the rain for naming me a ‘ seriously cute blogger’ and ‘tagging’ me and now I’m cheating and answering a combination of the two sets  questions that she sent my way.

1. Upload a recent wallpaper (from my computer I presume)

This is a gorgeous photo I took when I had lunch with my sisters recently overlooking the beach in Netanya. I just love the contrast between the sea in front and behind the breakwater.

Doesn’t it make you want jump in and start swimming?DSC00129

2. When did you last eat chicken?

Yesterday for Shabbat lunch – after the cholent of course, no matter that it’s 30 plus degrees outside– we still have to have cholent!

3. Do you have a nickname?

Yes  - Penny , that’s what my sisters all call me. How did it originate? Supposedly because that’s all I was worth –( I guess I ought to see a therapist to see why I’m not suffering from a terrible  complex after getting such a cruel nickname!)

Now I’m going back to the cute-blogger award and naming 5 of my all time favorite books. Some of them I can barely remember but at the time they made a tremendous impression on me!

1. The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand

2.Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

3. Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom

4.1984 – George Orwell

5. The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I am a Jerusalemite

 kotel ezrat nashim
I envy my two youngest  daughters one thing in their lives.
When they fill out any standard form, at  the question ‘birthplace’ – they can write -   Jerusalem.
That’s something I’ll never be able to say, even though I’m proud to be able to give Jerusalem as my address today. I am a Jerusalemite by choice – they are by birth.
shaar ha'ahspot and Mt Olives
However, not everyone feels constrained by reality  when stating their birthplace.

In 1966 Shmuel  Yosef ( Shai) Agnon was awarded the Nobel prize in Literature and  in his acceptance speech at the Nobel banquet he said:
"As a result of the historic catastrophe in which Titus of Rome destroyed Jerusalem and Israel was exiled from its land, I was born in one of the cities of the Exile. But always I regarded myself as one who was born in Jerusalem."

A copy of  ‘the sacking of Jerusalem’ on Titus’ Arch in Rome, on display at the Diaspora Museum.

I understand how he felt.
We named our first daughter who was born here, Shulamit which comes from the three letters  shin, lamed and mem  from the  name Yerushelayim, the Hebrew for Jerusalem.
ירושלים    שולמית

Since then we have been blessed with many grandchildren who will be able to fill in ‘Jerusalem’ when asked for their birthplace.
We pray that their number will increase  and that from now onwards we shall remain in our homeland, with Jerusalem it’s capital ,and that the streets will be filled with the happy sounds of Jewish children learning and playing.