Passing the Baton

Although I have enjoyed writing this blog for the past year and a half, I am passing the baton to my son, who is, indeed a truly excellent (and popular) writer.  His blog, Israel’s Good Name can be found here >

Between both blogs you should be able to get a feeling of what life is like in Ma’alot and the Galil.

Thank you for coming and enjoy your stay (because there’s a lot of good thing to read about)!

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The 5th Aliyah and the Building of Nahriyah

On Yom HaAtzmaot museums throughout Israel are free.  This year we went to the Lieberman House and learned all about the 5th Aliyah and the building of Nahariyah.

The Lieberman House Museum

The Lieberman House Museum

The 5th Aliyah primarily consisted of “free professionals” who were forbidden by Nazi law to work in their field of expertise.   These highly trained professionals left Germany in the early to mid 1930’s and began a new life as farmers in Nahariyah.   Their wooden shipping containers (lifts) were later used as housing.

Our Doscent

Our Docent and Life-Long Resident of Nahriyah

Our docent went above and beyond our expectations, telling more than we possibly could have expected, and going well past closing time.

Lieberman House

The Lieberman House was built in 1890

The Lieberman house was built in 1890 and was part of the original land purchase of Joseph Levi and partners.  It has been passed down to family and was finally donated to the city of Nahariyah, renovated, and used as a museum to tell the story of  Nahariyah.

Hearing the stories about the work and effort of these families is absolulty profound and it brings a greater appreciation as to how a city is developed.

For more information please visit this link >

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Shabbat Night Walk Home

Walking home on a Friday night is a wonderfully relaxing experience.   Now that spring and summer are here, and the sun sets later, I discovered a local beit knesset that starts earlier, and my walk home is… distinctly Israeli.

Today on my walk, I decided to document this walk home and  share my experience.

The walk home starts at the top of the Ma’alot hill near the “water tower” and winds through a cluster of pine trees, past the aging skateboard park and then across the street.  This is where I start taking pictures.

Path Home

A Fork in the Path

This fork in the path leads to two paths, both in the same direction – to the right.  The one to the right is on the up-hill side and the other is the down-hill side.

Up-Hill Path

The Up-Hill Path

For today, I took the up-hill path, both are equally pleasant.  The oleanders are coming into bloom!

Option 1

Option One

There are many options to go from one path to another.  Benches are available for relaxing.

The High Road

Just enough lighting to make it safe.

Option Thee

Option Three - another option to get home

Stop and breathe!  Smell the pines?  Smell the rosemary?  Smell the fresh clean air?


Almost home - what a view!

We pick up an access road right outside Eli Cohen, the beit knesset in front.  Eli Cohen (the beit knesset) was named after an Israeli spy who worked his way up the Syrian government.

Eli Cohen told Syria to plant trees near the boarder and hide their tanks there.  Eli Cohen told Israel to bomb clusters of trees near the boarder.  Needless to say, Syria took a bad beating in that war.  Unfortunately, Eli Cohen was executed for being a spy.

Access Road

Access Road

This access road leads to bottom of the hill and our street – Keren HaYesod.  At the bottom of the hill, make a right.

Keren HaYesod

Keren HaYesod

Keren HaYesod is one of the oldest streets in Ma’alot.  Our house is just past the peak on the right.

The Stairs

30 Steps Up to Our Door

That’s it.  After 30 steps and through our door, candles will be burning, the table is prepared and there are the sounds of happy family voices.

Shabbat Shalom!


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Yom HaZikaron

Today my oldest son and I went to the Nahariya Beit HaOlamin (cemetery) for the Yom HaZikaron ceremonies.  On the way there, the sirens went off and everybody stopped, got out of their cars and buses and stood.  Nobody moved.  Needless to say, it is an emotional experience.

Here are a few photos of our experience.

Honor Guard

IDF Honor Guard

After the ceremony we looked about at the different keverim.  Svetlana’s below captured my attention with the stone engraving of her giving a snappy salute with a happy smile.

Svetlana died at 20 years old

Below is the kever of Ehud Goldwasser.  He was captured with Eldad Regev by Hezbollah sparking the war in 2006.  Their bodies were returned in 2008.

The kever of kidnapped and killed Ehud Goldwasser

We were privileged to learn about Gedaliah Kuglar (w/ red flowers) from his sister.   He was involved in running a supply convoy from Nahariya to Yehiam, was held up fighting Arab forces in Yehiam for months, and then later was killed with his unit in Tarshiha.  We were left speechless.

These three and others in the area died in Tarshicha

In the kever below, Yisrael was killed at 16.

Yisrael, the young Teimani died at 16!

After seeing all the keverim, parents weeping profusely, and hearing the stories of sacrifice, I ask the question – “How can you not stand for one minute?”

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Apter – Barrier Art Center

Around Rosh HaShannah last year Ma’alot’s Apter-Barrier Art Center was completed.   It had gone from a simple, small building to a dynamic art center with spacious classrooms, rotating exhibitions and exciting plans for the future.

Here are some photos from our tour today:

The new Apter-Barrier Art Center's exhibition hall

The new and improved Apter-Barrier Art Center has probably quadrupled in size, and is enhanced with a spacious courtyard, beautifully suited for some special upcoming events!

Director and Art Teacher

The Director and Art Teacher

Tami, the director gave us the “grand tour” of the new facilities and introduced us to one of their teachers – and everybody spoke in English.

Exhibition Hall

Stone and metal sculptures on display in one part of the exhibition hall

For the opening night of the current exhibition, all of the featured artists attended and the event was broadcast live on the radio.

Children's Art Work

Children's art work on display

Classes for adults and children are available in intuitive drawing/painting, clay sculpting and spinning,  glass fusion and stained glass.  Classes in photography are coming in the future. They also have a two week summer camp for children.

Intuitive Painting Classroom

The Painting Classroom

This is the painting classroom.  There are two more classrooms about the same size – one for clay and the other for glass. There are so many good things to do in Ma’alot!

Here is the website:


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Tea with Tsachi

“How do you translate kum-kum into English?”  Tsachi asked, as he filled up his rapid-boiling electric kettle (kum-kum).

“We don’t really have them in America.”  I responded matter-of-factly.

Astonished, Tsachi probed further, “How do you make tea?”

“We don’t drink much tea in America.”  I replied, knowing that it was going to shock him.

“Whaaa?!”  Tsachi shreked as though I just …..   (Shocking statement worked.)

Tea in Israel is a delightful social experience.   It’s offered to guests within minutes of arrival, shared when doing business, and enjoyed in leisure settings throughout this wonderful land.

There is, however, a tea for each season, and everybody knows what they are (and now you will too).  Nana is for the summer and sheeba is for the winter.

Mint Tea Ready for Guests!

Mint Tea Ready for Guests! (no cup handles needed)

Nana is mint and is used for its cooling properties.   Tea is served very hot, sugar is almost mandatory and the cups, upon occasion, lack handles.   Nana tea makes a most enjoyable and refreshing drink.

The Makings of a Robust Winter Tea

The Makings of a Robust Winter Tea

Sheeba or wormwood, has a bold flavor, and it’s warming properties and are highly medicinal. It makes a very good tea!

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The Marvelous Cohen Family

Occasionally you find people that are more wonderful than you originally knew them to be.  The Cohen family are such people.

Boaz and Yehudit Cohen, long-time fixtures of Ma’alot, have done something above and beyond expectation, they have sponsored two festive events in honor of our recent wave of olim.

Food, Music and Fun!

Moshe and Shem Tov provide festive music with Boaz standing in the back

The Sukkot party was sponsored by Boaz and Yehudit Cohen and hosted by Avi Cohen and his family, more lovers of olim and was great fun!  There was great food, lively music,  friends and D’vrei Torah – what more could you ask for?

More recently, the Cohens sponsored a Tu B’Shavat Party at the Grass Civic Center.

Tu B' Shavat Party

Sim Zacks heads to the front to delivery a D'vrei Torah

Happy People on a Happy Day

Happy People on a Happy Day!

Once again, there was the food of the day – dried and fresh fruits in honor of Tu B’Shevat,  music, more friends,  and of course, D’vrei Torah given by long time oleh Sim Zacks.

Thank you Baoz and Yehudit Cohen for your heartfelt love of olim.  It is people like you who make the world a better place.


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