Overnight summer camp is an All-American tradition. Imagine a clear lake, surrounded by reeds and water lilies, with a private sandy beach and all the amenities: diving board, pedal boats, kayaks, water trampoline, and SUPs. To get to the beach, you walk through a large lawn shaded with beautiful trees. Now add a soundtrack to this idyllic scenery – laughter and joyful cries in Hebrew and English of kids having the time of their lives in an unforgettable summer. Welcome to Camp Solomon Schechter, one of the oldest and largest Jewish summer camps in the state of Washington.
Spring is here, a sense of hope and optimism fills our hearts as the sun shines, and the flowers begin to bloom. But then we recall that spring is followed by summer and summer contains the time of year busy parents fear most – Summer Vacation.
Summer camps seem like the best option but can have their own set of challenges. Most of the camps in the area have weekly sessions. So, each week is basically a new camp. This is great if your kids like variety and constant change but may require some adjustment for others. Another challenge is the cost. Summer camps are expensive, most will cost hundreds of dollars per week. Multiply that by 2-3 kids and you end up with quite an expense.
In Seattle’s gray weather, Jordan River’s bright yellow trucks are a ray of sunshine in a cloudy day. You can see them crossing the local highways, on their way to Oregon, California or any other state, filled with people’s lives and hopes, on their way to a new beginning.
Owners, Sharon Joseph and Kobi Bracha, arrived to the US in the 90’s as part of their post-army big trip. After traveling they started working in the east coast moving industry, a must-stop for any IDF veteran. The moving industry suffered from a bad reputation at the time. “Unfortunately, I still hear stories even today. This just makes us work harder and be committed to high standards” says Sharon.
Just a little over two years ago, Meital Golan-Schwartz and her family packed their Kirkland, WA home and moved back to Israel after more than a decade. They replaced Mount Rainier snowy peaks and the clear waters of Lake Washington with the green slopes of Mount Carmel and the sunny Mediterranean waves. Today Meital is the proud owner of “Makom Bamoshava”, a local real-estate agency specializing in the picturesque area of: Binyamina, Pardes-Hanna, Karkur, Zikhron Yaakov and Caesarea.
Meital, how did you become a real-estate agent?
By: Hagit Galatzer
‘Tis the season, to be merry and thankful, celebrate the joys in our lives with people we love and some good food. Among the holidays that begin in November and continue through the end of December, there is one holiday that is so formidable and universally loved, it is celebrated with devotion by literally everyone. It is known as the “Black Friday”.
The shopping fever spreads like wild fire and affects even those with the best immune system and the strongest will power. It all starts with shiny pamphlets that land in our mailbox sporting magic words like “SALE!”, “50% OFF” and “While supplies last” in big red letters. The attack on our senses continues with emails, ads, commercials and the worst of all, peer pressure.
I met with Dafna Chen, a licensed mental health psychotherapist and substance use counselor, for an interview. I ended up experiencing a mini-session, and left with new insights about myself and some useful advice. Dafna has a practical and direct approach to therapy. More than nodding sympathetically, she pushes and motivates for action and change.
“We all have challenges and difficulties and we deal with them daily to the best of our ability. Often talking and sharing with another person can help and offer a different perspective. Being heard and understood provides strength in the ability to cope. Patients keep saying to me: “I never thought of this like that, until I said it out loud”, “It helped to get this of my chest”, “Discussing this made me see it in a different light.”
By: Hagit Galatzer
During the fall months, it is not rare to hear a bloodcurdling scream, followed by loud banging noises in our house. When family members rush to the disaster area, they discover me, standing triumphally over the body of the monstrous intruder that caused the havoc – a spider. Many of you may be chuckling dismissively now, but others, 30% of the population, know exactly what I'm talking about.
For those of us that suffer from Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, the mere thought or even a picture of a spider, let alone the presence of an actual one, can invoke real fear or a life-threatening sensation, that may seem unreasonable to others. As in many other cases, size does matter. As long as the diameter is smaller than a quarter coin, it is simply a disgusting nuisance. However, bigger models require immediate termination, otherwise I won’t be able to go to sleep. An appropriate weapon is needed of course. I find that a flexible shoe or flip-flop works nicely. If the target lurks in high altitudes, you will also need a broomstick.
By: Hagit Galatzer
If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding! Sang Pink Floyd. Back in the olden days, or when we were kids, we ate most of our meals at home, we had to finish our plate or else… Snacks and candy were not as common and eating out was a rare treat. Today’s environment offers rich and easy temptations everywhere you look with take-out, junk-food, and processed snacks that are designed to make us crave more. It is hard enough to make smart and healthy choices as adults, but how do we convince our kids to try new and healthy foods and not just the standard fried kids’ meal?
Erez Benari is known as a calculated person who doesn’t like to waste money. In his column “There’s rain here” in the Seatelon he teaches new residents, as well as veterans to the area, how to save when shopping for cars, insurance and even furniture. In fact, being frugal is what led him into art and creating. “A jeweler was offering a pendant looking like Han Solo frozen in carbonite. As a geek and a fan of ‘Star Wars’, I was interested in the piece, which was pure gold and cost a fortune. I decided to try and make something similar myself.”
By: Hagit Galatzer
The High Holidays are upon us, again, and with them the pleasure of explaining our holidays and their interesting traditions to our children. Take Sukkot for example, this is the holiday where we are required to construct a roof-less hut in our back yard, decorate it and dwell in it, or at least eat there for a whole week.
Today you can construct your Sukkah by downloading instructions and ideas from Pinterest, and if you are DIY challenged you can even order a pop-up Sukkah that pops instantly like a quick setup tent. For the roof, you can use leaves, bamboo or any other organic material that it is not water proof