Israel has lost control of Covid-19 infections, according to news reports. And while the government is threatening to shut down the country for a second time, doctors are saying the new lockdown measures are political and have no epidemiology backing. So, how can we stay optimistic in this Covid-19 chaos? The social initiatives taking place around Israel are encouraging. Social hackathons are reassuring. Tech startups tackling Covid-19 challenges are fun to write about. Persp
Flipping through old photo albums, I came across dozens of photographs of nature and landmarks from past journeys and the memories I still have of them. My photo albums also include faces. Lots and lots of portraits of people. Photos of monks and holy people. Photos of guards and barbers. Photos of women and children. Photos of other travelers and passersby. And it made me think: Who are these people? Why did I take their photos? Do the people we meet cross our path for a rea
Covid-19 has been a catalyst to amazing innovation everywhere. After all, necessity and challenges are often the main ingredients of invention. There are amazing, jaw-dropping stories of entrepreneurs and idea-makers who are tweaking algorithms to quickly solve new problems arising during Covid-19. This ability to pivot is one of the Israeli innovation sector’s specialties. As a journalist, I get to interview the entrepreneurs making the world a better place and the investors
Why is Israeli innovation so prominent during the novel coronavirus epidemic? On the one hand, the tech sector here, as elsewhere, has been hit hard by this crisis. But this pandemic is also fueling a torrent of creativity. So, why is Israeli innovation so prominent now? Israeli innovation is always about finding solutions for the global community. There are many reasons, with the culture of who the Israeli people are leading the list. A people who choose to see challenges as
Art is therapeutic. During this Coronavirus isolation, my daughter spends hours drawing or painting. For today’s Coronavirus creativity, she taught us -her parents- how to blend watercolors. Her patience was questionable. But I’m pleased with my Seal At Sunset. Update: I told her I blogged about the art class. She was excited by this. I also thanked her again for the lesson. She was pleased that she had the chance to teach us. She agrees that her patience needs practice. But,
People are flushing all sorts of things down the toilet. And it is clogging up the world's sewage systems. Since the toilet paper drought -- or, rather, talk of a drought -- people have taken the liberty of flushing weird things down the toilets. Until Gili Elkin, Board Member and Chief Growth Officer at Kando, sent me a message via LinkedIn, the impact of COVID-19 on the world's sewage systems hadn't crossed my mind. And then, via Gili, I interviewed Ari Goldfarb, CEO and fo
Finding the afikoman is one of the most talked about parts of the seder. At least in my family. Where will Zayde hide it. Who will find it. Who found it last year. Why did Zayde hide it in the box under the pillow like the year before. Why didn’t Zayde hide it under the table. Or, why did he. The kids celebrate and revere the afikoman, the half piece of matza needed to finish the seder meal. And their Zayde’s (Grandpa’s) role in hiding it is no less sacred. So, with the coron
Before Covid-19, my kids attended scouts twice a week. Now, during social distancing and home isolation, they have semi-regular meetings via video conferencing. They can’t do the regular activities like capture the flag or outdoor cooking over a flame.
But they can do scavenger hunts at home. It has become an exciting feature of our daily routine. The counselor picks random objects that the kids must find around the apartment. The Hebrew Scout Movement in Israel is a co-ed s
Today, April 3, I had plans to be in Canada. For the Passover school vacation, which was supposed to begin two days ago.
To celebrate the Passover holiday with my family, dad, siblings, their spouses, nieces and nephews. A family reunion. This visit to Canada was to include the unveiling of my mom’s headstone at the cemetery. The end of the first year of mourning.
The first Yahrzeit. But I’m in Israel.
The Coronavirus pandemic changed everything. For me. For my family.
The coronavirus changed my work from home schedule to include three kids as my new WFH colleagues. Water-cooler talk is usually about them. No, it's always about them.
In the years before a deadly disease was lurking invisibly outside, the kids would set off to school in the morning and only return home after after-school activities. My work space at home was mine. On March 13, 2020, when Israel shuttered schools, my work space became shared work space. The good points: I
When the Education Ministry can’t decide if distance-learning is good for elementary school pupils or not, the parents step in to keep the morning Zoom talk going. Routine is important. And having a 10 am class chat during this coronavirus pandemic is a lifeline for my fourth grader. When the teacher is allowed to host the chat (in accordance with the ministry’s distance learning policy), he does. When the wishy-washy ministry alters education policy, we step in. Today, I too
Coronavirus jokes and memes are taking over the Internet. Many are internationally hilarious. The joke translates. But in Israel, there's also a local style of humor you can't find anywhere else. It's in your face and as un-PC as it comes. So, I wrote an article about Israeli coronavirus-themed humor. http://nocamels.com/2020/03/israeli-coronavirus-humor-unrestrained/ Enjoy! #coronavirus #covid19 #humor #israel #ישראל
Police tape at the playground. Slides, swings, seesaw, monkey bars. All cordoned off. You know the situation is serious when local playgrounds are vacant and look like crime scenes. And especially in Israel. One of the most child-friendly societies. This is the country teeming with family-oriented activities at every turn. The outdoor play areas here are amazingly fun. The tempting playgrounds supply adrenaline. Even during rocket attacks and wars, families bring their kids f
The Western Wall has been photographed millions of times. This site is holy and spiritual for billions of people. You’ve seen photos of this historical and religious landmark in coffee table books, with famous people, with politicians, during war, during celebrations, during prayer services. This newest photo of the Western Wall tells today’s story of the world in battle against the invisible but very evident novel coronavirus and Covid-19. Hundreds of worshipers came to the
This morning, less than 24 hours after Israel announced the shuttering of schools as part of the country’s measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, my fourth grader was already online in a Zoom class chat with his teacher. The regular school day would have started at 8 a.m. Today’s class began at 9 a.m. The first part of the class call was to ensure everyone knew how to connect. The rest of the chat focused on how digital learning works, what the teacher plans to do in
There is nothing funny about the coronavirus health crisis. Well, strictly speaking that is. If you put aside the seriousness of the virus, there are actually a ton of jokes, puns, quizzes and memes poking fun at the coronavirus pandemic. In Israel, humor is an important attribute for dealing with predicaments. Nervousness and lightheartedness go hand in hand. Humor has the power to relieve anxiety. And so, in Israel, the coronavirus is breeding humor. When rocket attacks are