Weekend Getaway

By Hagit Galatzer


Other people's vacation Photo by Pixabay

The summer season marks the beginning of vacation season. There is nothing like a short and relaxing hotel getaway in a different city or state for a change of atmosphere.

The first night is dedicated for getting acclimated to the foreign room. Getting used to the new bed and pillow, the AC humming and the hallway noises. It is really annoying when people return to their rooms late at night and disturb everyone. When we arrive late, we practically scream at the kids to be quiet and we make sure to slam the door ever so gently. read more

Living in Seattle


Blue sky! Photo by Hagit Galatzer

When friends and family come to visit from Israel, the undeniable truth comes out, we don’t really live in Seattle… It’s not that we lie, but Redmond and Bellevue are not the most famous cities in the world, not to mention the exotically named Sammamish and Issaquah.

Washington state itself is pretty obscure and is often confused with Washington D.C. Whenever a blizzard hits the east coast, I receive anxious phone calls at 6:00 am, “Are you guys ok? Oh, did we wake you up? Don’t you live near New-York???” read more

Cleaner Day

By: Hagit Galatzer


Israeli Couscous, food you eat before cleaner day

Although Passover is the ultimate spring cleaning opportunity, there is a more obscure cleaning holiday, celebrated by many around the world. In our household this holiday is celebrated a few times a month with ceremonies and praise to the cleaning ladies.

Like any holiday, cleaner day requires much preparation and cooking. My kitchen is usually tidy, how messy can you get making a salad and eggs for dinner? But every now and then my motherly conscious demands homemade meals for the children. My kids take one look in my culinary creations, a sensational symphony of vegetables, and ask for eggs. In any case, it is best to time these creative bursts to the day before the cleaner ladies arrive. read more

Etty Alony – Personal Trainer

By Hagit Galatzer


Photo by Adi Alony

I arrived to Etty’s home studio in Redmond, without really knowing what to expect. Etty welcomed me with a warm smile and a bottle of water and we got right to work. In my mind I’m in pretty good shape, I’ve got a gym membership, which I even use, sometimes. But nothing can test your fitness level like a personal training session…

After the warm-up we started the real workout. Etty demonstrates each and every exercise and then watches me like a hawk when I repeat. It’s a little strange to work out when someone is watching you, on the other hand, you can’t cut any corners. Every exercise is done in the most precise way, both important to the health of your muscles and joints and also to get maximum results. Every set of exercises is repeated a couple of times with colorful aides like rubber bands, fitness balls, and weights. With the music going on in the background, time flies by and in one hour we covered the entire muscle groups including special physical therapy exercises for my left wrist injury. read more

Purim existential thoughts

By: Hagit Galatzer


Curls rock! Photo by Pixabay

Purim is almost here and I still don’t have any idea which costume to wear this year. Unlike most people, I can’t just throw on a colorful curly wig on my head. I did try once, it just didn’t fit. Also, I fail to see the joke…

Purim is probably the most beloved holiday amongst kids in Israel, however, if your kids were born here, it might be a good idea to verify that they actually know what Purim is all about. My junior, for instance, was pretty certain that this is the holiday where you don’t eat and don’t drink all day…When I explained the difference between Purim and Yom HaKipurim (Yom Kipuur), he was relieved that we are talking about the Jewish Halloween, where you get to dress up and eat ear (shaped) cookies. The famous cookies, Hamentashen, or “Haman’s Ears” are fashioned in the form of triangles and filled with sweet poppy seed filling. Haman, is the bad guy of the Purim story, he devised a plan to kill all the Jewish population in ancient Persia and in a miraculous turn of events ended up hung on a tree along with his entire family, while the Jews celebrated their victory. read more

Gani Preschool of the Arts

By: Hagit Galatzer


The sandbox Photo by Nechama Farkash

Today we are meeting Nechama farkash, administrative director, and Dorit Hayardeni, a senior teacher at Gani Preschool of the Arts, a nurturing Jewish preschool in Issaquah. The preschool is located on a 3 acre green area, surrounded by trees and nature trails and conveniently located only minutes away from the I-90 freeway.

Nechama, the director, resides in the adjacent house; she greets me with a steaming hot cup of tea and takes me on a tour. The preschool was established about 5 years ago, filling the need for a Jewish preschool in the area. Since then the preschool grew and developed, moved into a designated building with state-of-the-art equipment, housing 21 children. The children aging 2 – 5 years old, are divided into a few age groups. Group sizes are kept small to allow for personal attention for each and every child.  read more

Let it snow

By Hagit Galatzer


Winter has already came, photo by Efrat Gilad

As people who originated from a hot and sweaty country, we have a soft spot for snow. To us this is a magical white substance, falling gently in light flakes and covering everything in a majestic white blanket. Especially alluring are the mountain tops we see all around us, so we ignore the fact that snow also means bitter cold, and decide to go skiing. Since we ski a lot, at least once or twice every season, every ski trip requires searching and sorting through mountains of gear. read more

After the Holidays, finally

By Hagit Galatzer


Hummus, photo by Dana Berenson

“After the holidays” is what procrastinators say in Israel when they finally run out of excuses. It is that time of year when people finally go back to work, school and reality and it arrives around mid-October, after a whole month of high holidays. For us, Israelis outside of Israel this time only arrives on January, after two intensive holiday seasons and quite a few extra pounds. But before we say “talk to me after the holidays” we have to brave the longest holiday of them all: winter break. There are three main options to tackle this 2-weeks disaster, a visit to the motherland, an all-inclusive vacation in a sunny destination or a “stay-cation” – where you get to stay home and have no vacation. Calorie wise, the most dangerous option out of the three is of course the family visit to Israel. read more

Anat Barak – Nutritionist

By Hagit Galatzer


Come and meet members of the Israeli community who are also local business owners. Why search far? Everything is here close to home, with a friendly and welcoming smile

Today we are meeting Anat Barak, certified nutritionists. I’ve seen Anat in a couple of lectures and was always happy to learn new facts about the food we eat and feed our children. I was surprised to learn that olive oil, although great for salads, is not recommended for frying or roasting, for high temperatures, avocado oil is best. Or that you don’t have to buy everything organic, stick to a list of 12 fruit and veggies (topped with apples and greens) and you are good to go. read more


The Seatelon writers in alphabetical order:

Nurit Asnash – “A cake for Shabat”, delicious cakes and little stories.

Erez Benari – “It rains here”, a guide for newcomers to the Seattle area.

Erez, originally from Haifa, has been a resident of Puget Sound since 2008. He works for Microsoft as an information security engineer and is an avid writer and artist. Back in Israel, Benari has written for many popular publications including Maariv, Calcalist, Walla and Mako. In the US, Benari has written for JTNews, TechFlash, Bellevue Business Journal and the Federation’s Jewish in Seattle Magazine. In his spare time, he volunteers for Akim, creates steampunk art works and performs stand-up comedy. read more

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