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.