17 March 2011

Thinking of Gilad

Information from an email sent by Sharon Mann to the EVS Mailing List. 
At 11:00 am on March 15th Ulpan students at Kehillat Emet VeShalom stop the traffic by 108 Weizman Street Nahariya to remember 5 years of Gilad Shalit's captivity. (pictures by Marcos Leon)

13 March 2011

Train Schedule --reprinted from Syl's Garbage post to NBN User Group

Haifa – Nahariya Line 

Rail service on the Haifa – Nahariya Line in both directions will be suspended starting from Thursday 24th March 2011 at 22:00 until Sunday night 27th March 2011 at 4:30, for engineering works.

Detailed information on the changed services will be posted on the train website in the coming few days.

16 February 2011

My afternoon with Yochi

Greetings readers. My name is Jonatan Zahav and I am a new Oleh. I just arrived on Dec 29th and moved to the north on Jan 5th. I live in a little place called Shlomi which is 12 km (7 miles for the uninitiated) north of Nahariya. Takes 15 minutes by bus and it is incredibly green, on the side of a steep hill. Great views out the window!!

Last week I had a wonderful meeting with a very interesting person at the Iriya of Nahariya. I met with Yochi Dobretzky the volunteer co ordinator and her assistant Ophra. Their offices are on the 7th floor of the Iriya and the phone number is 04-951-2327. They co ordinate various volunteer programs within the city of Nahariya, which I will outline here.

1 Six different educational assistance programs working with children, in various capacities, to alleviate unmet needs.
2 Help for depressed adults
3 Help for Educationally handicapped adults
4 Help for the blind
5 Work in the senior center
6 Presenting topics of interest to seniors by professionals
7 After school care program for kids
8 Work with Ethiopian Olim assisting their Klita (absorption) process
9 Work with South American Olim
10 Assist with Lone Soldiers
11 Meeting with seniors to spend some time with them
12 Meeting with individuals and families who have lost family members in wars
13 Helping provide Trampiada, or shelters for soldiers who are hitchhiking around the country
14 Yad Sarah, which provides free or low cost medical supplies for those in need
15 Municipal air wardens
16 Pretrial intervention with youth
17 Watching the bars and helping impaired people get safely home
18 “Night Birds” After school drop in center for youth providing educational and physical activities
19 Helping boys at risk
20 Helping girls at risk
21 Second chance program in conjunction with courts
22 Traffic awareness programs to help drivers become better
23 Helping people with budgeting and credit issues
24 Helping people who are long term residents in Kupat Holim
25 Volunteering to help with Holocaust Survivors groups
26 Helping students with their Bagrut prep
27 Helping a group to prevent violence in the home

With a load like that on her plate, you can imagine Yochi is very busy, and she is. Please, if you have any interest in the above, phone and make an appointment, do not just drop in. And when you speak with Yochi, mention to her that ESRA recommended her. We are trying to raise the awareness of the positive things English speakers do to contribute to our community life here in Israel.

Have a great day and hope to see you in the north.

09 February 2011

7 Tips on Dealing With Bituach Leumi

    by Channa Coggan 

    February 2011, from Jacob Richman's website

    1. Sign up for "Sherut Ishi" 
    The single best step you can take to guard your interests is to sign up for Bituach Leumi's "Sherut Ishi" (personal service). Registration is free at the local Bituach Leumi office. Once you've braved the long lines, received your code, and added a password you can enter your personal account. Even a quick exploration of the "sherut ishi" site will show you whether or not Bituach Leumi's information about you is accurate.
    "Accurate information" is the key term. Inaccurate information may lead to the deferment of benefits due to you, or to the unknown accumulation of debt, or both. A lot of seniors don't find out how much their debt is until they apply for retirement benefits.
    Your employment history is stored in the section entitled "esoukim" under the "netuni bituach" menu. Bituach Leumi uses information on this list to calculate benefits such as maternity leave, accident or injury compensation, and/or retirement. Important note: The onus is on the insured (i.e. you) to prove employment for missing time periods. A new mother I know didn't receive full maternity leave benefits because an employer she had worked for at the beginning of her pregnancy hadn't notified Bituach Leumi of her employment.
    While every Israeli citizen over the age of 18 is obligated to pay monthly Bituach Leumi insurance, irregardless of employment status, and that exceptions are given to IDF soldiers, National Service volunteers and students taking vocational courses, it is not generally known that the requirement kicks in without notification immediately upon one's release/completion of studies. Since notification aren't sent, debts start to build up, and Bituach Leumi profits nicely from accrued interest and linkage. The onus is, once again, on the insured young adult to arrange for automatic payments with Bituach Leumi. My daughter unknowingly dug herself into thousands of sheqels worth of debt in this manner.  to read the rest of the article, please go to http://www.jr.co.il/aliyah/bituach-leumi.htm

02 February 2011

Temporary Closure of the U.S. Embassy

The following information is courtesy of Tzippy at NBN

February 1, 2011
Dear American Citizens:

This email is to provide you with important information and alert you to changes occurring in the American Citizen Services Unit in February 2011.

Temporary Closure of the U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv American Citizens Services Unit
The American Citizen Services Unit (including the Federal Benefits Unit) will be closed for renovations from Friday, February 11 through Tuesday, February 22, 2011, and on Thursday, February 24, 2011. The American Citizens Services Unit will process a very limited number of emergency cases during its closure.  Pleasure travel and pre-purchased airline tickets do not qualify as emergencies.  To request an emergency appointment, email AMCTelAviv@state.gov.  Otherwise, schedule your appointment after our renovations at http://israel.usembassy.gov/consular/acs/appointments.html.  The U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem (https://evisaforms.state.gov/acs/default.asp?postcode=JRS&appcode=1) and the U.S. Consular Agency in Haifa (http://israel.usembassy.gov/haifa.html) will be open for business as usual. 

01 February 2011


I am pleased to announce the removal of one of our pages.  I am usually pleased to tell you about something we have added (not removed) so this is quite unusual.  

The "Anglo-Friendly Businesses" page is gone.  Simply put, it is no longer needed - not that people don't need to have access to that type of information, but rather because there is a better source.  

Jason Frank, of Karmiel, has created an English website exclusively dedicated to reviews (both good and bad) of Israeli businesses. There is absolutely no reason for Go-Coast to continue in this vein, when Jason's site, CHEESE LEWEEZE, does it so much better.   The site has a business category list on the right side of the page, which is one way to search for reviews.  Also, if you go to the sitemap you will find a list of tags.  The tags list includes names of some cities (Nahariya, for instance), so this is another way you can search for reviews. Please check it out; I think you will like it.  Also, please support the effort by remembering to post your reviews there in the future.  We have added a link to Cheese Leweeze, under our Misc. Links List, so you will always be able to get to the site from here.

 If you previously posted a review here, or you read one and wanted to review it for more details, don't worry; the reviews are still available online.  They can all now be found at Jason Frank's site: http://www.cheeseleweeze.com/

P.S. I have invited Jason to write an article for this blog, so hopefully you will see something from him here on Go-Coast in the not too distant future.

19 January 2011

Men's Shiur News

Go-Coast Men -

Well, if you weren't there, you missed a good one. And for everyone who came out in the rain "yeshakoyach".

We discussed at length the “manna” that we ate while traveling in the wilderness:
 In some prayer books the biblical verses that pertain to manna are recited every day. 
On Shabbat if you are in a place where you do not know which Torah portion should be read, you read those verses which deal with manna.
 On Shabbat the two loaves of Challah that are covered before you make the Kiddush represent the double portion of manna that was collected on that Friday. This is because the Challah would be insulted since the blessing is made over the wine (everyone knows that).  However if you do not have wine, you can make Kiddush over the Challah (everyone knows that also).  The question is, if you do not have wine, and you make the Kiddush over the Challah, do you still have to cover them.  Why cover them; they are not going to be insulted; there is no wine.
The answer is that you still cover them because in the wilderness the manna was covered by dew.  
All this is all part of our tradition, remembering where we came from, and that is central to the concept of manna.
This week's Torah portion shiur in English, Parshat Yithro, will take place on Sunday evening at 7PM.  
It will be held at the Chabad shul located at HaGil'ad and Chanah Senesh.
We will review Parshah Yithro.  Rabbi Butman will conduct the shiur.

See you there,


(Our apologies for the formatting glitches; that sometimes happens with a copy/paste post.)

10 January 2011

New Shiur in Nahariya

Nahariya Men's Weekly Torah Shiur in English  (By Mick Jaron)

On Sunday evening at 7 P.M. we kicked off a men's Torah shiur on the weekly parshah.  Rabbi Butman presented the shiur, and hands-down he was great.  The man knows his stuff; he was well-prepared, articulate and engaged the attendees, some of whom were beginners and some of whom were more advanced.  And there was one thoughtful soul who brought a six-pack of Goldstar, humming "A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down..."

The shiur centered around that portion of Parshah Bo where the Israelites leave Egypt with gold and silver given to them by their Egyptian neighbors.  Rabbi Butman began with a story about a man who was blessed with the choice of either being the richest man in town or the smartest man in town.  After some deliberation the man announced to the assembled townspeople that he chose to be the smartest man in town.  Everyone applauded.  The man then announced that now being the smartest man in town, he realized that he had made a mistake in his choice.

Rabbi Butman brought out that the declaration that the Jews would leave with great wealth occurs three times in the Torah:  way back, when G-d speaks to Abraham, again when G-d speaks to Moses at the burning bush, and a third time when G-d pleads with Moses to have the Jews ask their neighbors for gold and silver.  I was taken aback regarding G-d having to beseech Moses, but there it was in 11:2

ב  דַּבֶּר-נָא, בְּאָזְנֵי הָעָם; וְיִשְׁאֲלוּ אִישׁ מֵאֵת רֵעֵהוּ, וְאִשָּׁה מֵאֵת רְעוּתָהּ, כְּלֵי-כֶסֶף, וּכְלֵי זָהָב.

I won't attempt to summarize the shiur, but it came down to not how much money you have, but what you do with it.  I am looking forward to next Sunday when we discuss Parshat Beshallach.

09 January 2011

Assistance at Misrad haKlitah, Now Available in English

I only recently learned that the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption has an English-speaking social worker in the north.  Her name is Kseniya Kirilin-Suissa and she covers Ako to the border.  Since she covers a large area, it is a good idea to call her to arrange in advance for her services.

Kseniya can help you find the right place to go for the service you need, and can provide instruction about social topics.  She can also translate between olim and their MOIA Caseworker.  Another part of her job is supporting community work with immigrants at the municipal level, with a focus on children and youth at risk.  She told me, "I will be glad to meet everybody who is interested in my service. You can make an appointment with me to my cell phone 050.621.4631." 

Again, her info is: Kseniya Kirilin- Suissa,
Social Worker of Northern area

Living in Israel is Rewarding

By Mick Jaron, Nahariya

During the past few weeks my wife  I did a lot of touring: the Old City's tunnels, the Old City's walls,  the Moslem Quarter, Rachel's Tomb, Hevron and Kiryat Arba, and day trips to Tzefat, Rosh Hanikra and Kesariya.  In the Moslem Quarter we saw 3 yeshivas, one with 180 students, and we also saw a Young Israel synagogue.  This is the last place I expected to see anything Jewish and it was inspiring. 

The trip to Hevron was the most emotional.  Hevron has a population of 130,000 Arabs and about 500 Jews.  There is ongoing violence, but for the IDF there would be no Jews at all.  Without going into detail, it has been that way for quite a while. The most poignant stop in Hevron was a visit to the Shalhevet Pass synagogue.  Shalhevet Pass was a 10 month old toddler who was shot by a sniper while she was in her stroller.  That was enough to put tears in your eyes.  

But get this, immediately after visiting the synagogue I saw a bunch of little kids playing together.  I took their picture which is attached.  Their presence took away some of the sadness, and more importantly said something about the resiliency of our people.  This is not a religious thing; it is a people thing.  There is an Israeli writer; his name is A. B. Yehoshua who comments about the risks that are taken here – something to the effect that Israelis live on the brink of the abyss, and know how to do it.  I would agree.  It is good to be here; without getting over dramatic, living in Israel is rewarding; it is purposeful.

07 January 2011

Be A Part of Go-Coast

This blog is a volunteer project supported by ESRA (English Speaking Residents Association). The posts are written by English speakers who live in the Northern Coastal areas of Israel.

You might find information here to help you, and/or you might have information that could help someone else - especially a new or potential oleh.  Please consider writing an article for the blog.  If you are willing to do so, please contact me at north.coast.esra@gmail.com

06 January 2011

Minimum Wage Increase

Thanks to Sylvia for posting this info on the Karmiel Go North user group.  Sylvia also provided this link to the full story.   Full Story(Haaretz)

The minimum wage will increase 12 percent to NIS 4,300 a month, according to an agreement signed by the Histadrut labor federation and the Federation of Israeli Economic Organizations.

Under the agreement, the minimum wage will be increased gradually, in two phases. The first increase will take effect in July 2011, when the minimum wage goes up 250 NIS to 4,100 NIS a month; the second phase will take effect in October 2012, when the minimum wage goes up another 200 NIS.

The agreement applies to tens of thousands of workers employed by companies that belong to the Federation's Coordinating Office. If Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer decides to issue an expansion order, it will be extended to close to half a million other workers, particularly in sectors like food services, security and cleaning. Today, some 470,000 workers in Israel earn salaries that are equivalent to, or close to, the minimum wage.