6 Tips on Encouraging Your Kids to Help Out

by Adina Soclofe

Make your kids feel appreciated and valued at home


It’s important for kids to help out at home. It is the simplest way to help them grow to be caring, considerate and responsible adults.

We’ve all experienced our kids resisting us when asked to do their chores. However, parents should help kids overcome their resistance. Human nature is such that we all need to feel needed, that we make contributions that help others. Deep down kids like to know that they are an integral part of keeping their home running smoothly. Children who are appreciated and valued at home for their help are less likely to turn to their peers for validation and that sense of belonging.

Here are six tips on how to encourage your kids to help out.

1.  Be Specific

If your children are having a hard time cooperating, you might want to try to give them jobs that are more concrete or have a finite time frame.

Instead of: “Clean the family room.”
Try: “Everyone needs to pick up 10 toys in the family room.”

Instead of: “Clean your closet”
Try: “It looks like you need to hang up about five shirts that are lying on the floor.”

Instead of: “Help me put the laundry away.”
Try: “I need your help for 10 minutes to take the laundry to everyone’s room. It is now 7:00 at 7:10 you will be free to play.”

2. Take time to train

Children really don’t know how to sweep a floor or wash dishes. It is essential to give a quick and fun tutorial when your child is taking on a new job at home.

“Okay, Eli its time to learn to sweep. Are you ready? This is what you do. First you move all the chairs away from the table so you can get to all the tough spots. Then you take the broom like this and sweep. We can’t forget the corners. Now you try…”

“Ben, washing dishes can be fun. First, you got to roll up your sleeves. Then you have to remember that a little soap goes a long way. Just a small squeeze on the sponge will do it. Here is how you wash a glass and this is how you do a plate. Now you try…”


3. Be encouraging

This is probably the most important tip. When your child is learning how to crack eggs for a cake and half of it falls to the floor, bite your tongue and be encouraging and understanding while they are navigating the learning curve. The mess is part of the process.

Instead of criticizing, let them know that mistakes are normal:

“The funny thing is about cooking is that you usually have to make a lot of mistakes until you learn how to do it right. “

Instead of grumbling about the mess, teach them to clean it up:

“Let’s get some rags and get this cleaned up.”

Let them get right back on the horse:

“Here I’ll give you a quick review on how to crack an egg….Also, sometimes it helps when you are learning how to crack eggs to do it in the sink.”

4. Sing

I learned this trick in a developmental preschool when I was first starting out as a Speech Pathologist. Anytime our students needed to help cleaning up, the teacher would put on a tape of the clean up song and sing it with the kids. The music kept everyone’s mood upbeat and it made the clean up job more like a fun game then a chore.

So it was only natural that I would do this at home with my young kids and it worked most of the time. Even older kids will sing along as a joke.

FYI, having kids sing while they clean is a great way to encourage language, attention, turn taking and coping with transitions. Not only that, music improves mood, decreases muscle tension and increases feelings of relaxation.

5. Show Appreciation

Most of us will agree that it feels good to be appreciated for our hard work. Kids feel the same way. We can say:

“I really appreciate that your jobs were done. When everyone pitches is in by doing their responsibilities, this house run smoothly.”

Not only does this build our kid’s self-esteem, it also models how to express gratitude, gratefulness and appreciation.


6. Don’t get sidetracked by complaints:

Children will often complain when asked to do their jobs. You might want to have some standard lines to help you stay focused on the goal of teaching your kids to help you out. When kids say:

Why do I always have to clean up? She never cleans up!

You can answer:

“In this family we help each other”

“Daddy and I try to give everyone in this family what they need.”

“Sometimes you do more, sometimes she does more. That is how it works”

“The jobs are divided as fairly as we can, according to your age and ability.”

Teaching your kids to help you will go a long way in helping them recognize their own value and their ability to contribute to something bigger then themselves, their family.

10 Signs of ADHD in Children

CRegal- Health Central


Though many children show some of the following behaviors, a child exhibiting many or all of these signs may have ADHD. Though this does not necessarily mean your child has ADHD, parents who have noticed many of these behaviors should discuss any concerns with their physician. –

1-Inability to sustain attention
Obviously children are not the most attentive people in the world.  However, it is fairly easy to tell if a child has extreme difficulty paying attention to anything – even enjoyable activities – for more than a few minutes.  If this is the case, you may want to talk to your doctor.

 2- Constant distraction


Also, children who are constantly distracted by sights and sounds may be exhibiting symptoms of ADHD.  Yes, children are often distracted by sights and sounds, but parents may want to monitor a child’s behavior if there are other symptoms present.  Children who seem completely unable to sustain attention beyond a sight or sound may need to be tested by a doctor for ADHD

3-Difficulty sustaining eye contact

This symptom is not exclusive to children, as difficulty maintaining eye contact during conversation is also an issue with people who suffer from ADHD through adulthood.  It seems to be a product of the inattention and hyperactivity, leading a person to constantly be in motion rather than sustaining eye contact.
Able to pay attention to high-interest things

4- Able to pay attention to high-interest things

The theory is that sufferers from ADHD can actually devote all of their interest into one activity at a time, so long as they are hyper-focused on the issue. In adolescents, parents may see this with a video game obsession. In children, it can present itself in different ways.  Children with ADHD may also be able to stay on task only in high-energy activities.  This, too, indicates tunnel vision so long as the child is appropriately engaged.
5- Excessively hyperactive / always in motion


One of the key symptoms of ADHD is the H – hyperactivity.  Certainly all kids seem to be hyper from time to time, but there is a breaking point for this behavior.  If a child never acts under control and is always in motion over the course of an entire day, it may be a sign of the symptom.  Children traditionally have waves of energy and rest, but if a child appears never to rest, it may be time to contact the pediatrician
7- Lack of interest in reading or cuddling

Affection is often exhibited by children, though an absence of this activity could be indicative of a social problem or, depending on what the child is opting to do instead, could be a sign of ADHD.  If a child is so wrapped up in an activity that there is disinterest in social activity, you may want to contact your doctor.

8- Difficulty calming down
Yes, most children get excited. Calming children down after he or she is excited is never easy, but there’s behavior that goes beyond the norm. Though there is no definitive length of calm-down time that determines whether he or she has ADHD, it may be wise to monitor your child and discuss the findings with your pediatrician.

9-Highly impulsive
A key symptom of ADHD in other age groups is impulsivity.  ADHD patients often act without thinking, and children are no different.  Though your child may seem to be a risk-taker or may not have a fully developed sense of consequences, there should be some control over impulses.

 10- Accident prone

Children are bound to get injured at some point. However, if your child seems to have more accidents than “normal,” it may be indicative of difficulty with impulse control. If a child does not have a sense of thought-process before an activity – including those that result in accidents – it may be wise to bring this point up with a doctor.

11-Difficulty sleeping
As a child ages, sleep schedules should become more regular. Though not necessarily an adult sleep schedule, children who do not seem to require much sleep at all may be exhibiting symptoms of ADHD.  How much does your child actually sleep at night?  How is his or her energy level affected?  Monitor your child and bring the results to your pediatrician.

mh- New York Jewish Parenting Guide.com

Sephardic Jews Take Manhattan

The Syrian community, long based in Brooklyn, makes itself at home on the Upper East Side- By Allison Hoffman –  

The future site of the Moise Safra Community Center, and the architect’s rendering of the building project and Moise Safra Community Center)

The standard iconography of Jewish Manhattan has always been Ashkenazic: pastrami at Katz’s, smoked salmon at Russ & Daughters, tenements and Judaica stores on the Lower East Side, Hasidic diamond dealers in Midtown. Even with the growing popularity of Sephardic dishes on Upper West Side holiday tables, almost no one remembers that a Little Syria full of Ottoman Jews once thrived on Washington Street in Lower Manhattan—mainly because the entire community packed up and left for the Brooklyn neighborhood of Gravesend before the Second World War.

Now the Syrian Sephardic Jewish community is once again establishing itself in Manhattan. It’s been nearly a decade since Congregation Edmond J. Safra—whose namesake built a banking fortune in Brazil—opened just off Central Park on East 63rd Street, to serve people like him: Jews from Middle Eastern countries who grew wealthy, largely outside the United States, and settled on the Upper East Side along with other members of the moneyed global elite. (Safra was found dead in his Monaco home in 1999.) But the synagogue’s list has grown to 1,500 families, and much of its recent growth has been fueled by Brooklyn transplants. “It used to be only singles, and then it became newlyweds, but for only one or two years,” said Elie Abadie, the entrepreneurial Mexico City-raised rabbi of the Safra synagogue. “Now we have young families, and we have empty-nesters moving in, once their children have all married.”


In 2011, Abadie launched a preschool, the Sephardic Academy of Manhattan, in an effort to anchor young parents torn between remaining and returning to Brooklyn, where the dominant Syrian community has invested heavily in schools and social services. Next month, demolition is scheduled to begin on three adjoining townhouses along Manhattan’s East 82nd Street to make way for Abadie’s most ambitious project to date: a 12-story, $50 million community center on East 82nd Street at Lexington Avenue. When it opens in 2014, the glass-fronted building will feature a kosher café, a swimming pool, exercise and recreation rooms, a kitchen for cooking classes, and a two-level banquet hall with an outdoor terrace graced by skyline views and a “glamour pool.” The Moise Safra Community Center—named for Edmond’s brother, who underwrote the building—will also include a second Sephardic synagogue for families living in the East 80s and 90s, once a hub of German Jewish life in Manhattan.

“We’re trying to create a neighborhood within a neighborhood,” the center’s director, Rebecca Harary, told me. The facility will operate on a membership structure and be open to all the Jewish residents, organizations, and schools in the area, Harary explained, but the focus will be on providing a place where people who identify with the Sephardic community can gather. “We want to celebrate our own traditions in a place where it’s valued as important and doesn’t take a back seat to American life,” Harary said.

Harary is part of her own target market: a mother of six who moved in January from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side with her husband and their two youngest children, who continue to make a reverse commute to attend the heavily Syrian Yeshivah of Flatbush in Brooklyn. With her four older children out of the house, she and her husband, who both grew up in Florida, decided it was time to make the move into Manhattan. “It’s an exciting leap,” Harary, who was programming director at the Safra synagogue before she took on the community center project, told me when we met at her temporary office in the Safra family foundation’s headquarters in Midtown. “We’re very happy here. We’re not going back.”

Harary remains in the minority among Syrian Jews, who remain concentrated in Brooklyn and are the most cohesive of New York’s Sephardic communities, which encompass those whose ancestors settled everywhere from Morocco to Central Asia on their way east from Spain after the expulsion of the Jews in 1492. According to a recent demographic study commissioned by the UJA-Federation of New York, there are 38,000 Syrian Jews in the New York City region, a group that includes Jews from neighboring countries like Lebanon and Egypt who trace their ancestry to the large Jewish communities that once existed in Damascus and Aleppo. Of those, half live in Brooklyn, where the community occupies an affluentpocket of Gravesend and Midwood thick with synagogues, community centers, and multimillion-dollar mansions—a place that can make the Upper East Side seem relatively affordable. Other Syrian Jewish communities have grown on Long Island’s North Shore and in Deal, N.J.

When the survey was last conducted a decade ago, the Syrian community in Manhattan wasn’t big enough to study. “Ten years ago we didn’t even have it as a variable,” said Pearl Beck, a demographer who worked on the study. Now, she said, some estimates put the Manhattan community as high as 17 percent of the overall Syrian population of New York.

But to some who remain in Brooklyn’s Syrian hub, the growth of a parallel community in Manhattan threatens the decades community leaders have spent investing in building a geographic and social infrastructure they see as crucial to holding the community together in the United States. “One person said to me, ‘These resources are being lost, because instead of spending resources in Brooklyn they’re spending them in Manhattan,’ ” said Galia Avidar, a doctoral student in Jewish studies who also worked on the UJA census. “But these kids are eventually going to spread their wings and get on the F train, and they need a place to go.”


Last summer, Congregation Magen David, a predominantly Syrian synagogue founded in 2001 to serve Syrian Jewish college students and young professionals living in the Union Square area, opened a 9,000-square-foot space on Sullivan Street, in Lower Manhattan, after a years-long effort to secure space in Chelsea. The center’s young rabbi, a 26-year-old named Sion Setton, was raised in Brooklyn but worked with Abadie at the Safra synagogue uptown while studying for his ordination at Yeshiva University. “We’re not only open to Syrians, even though services are in a Syrian dialect,” he told me. “But there are Moroccans, Iraqis, Lebanese, other Jews in the area who relate to this kind of service more than the Ashkenaz one.”

The new center, he said, will offer a menu of exercise classes like yoga and Zumba alongside religious services. Many of his congregants are students from nearby New York University and the New School, but his congregation includes adults who are buying, not renting. Setton singled out one retiree from Brooklyn who initially moved to the Upper East Side to be closer to his children and grandchildren in Manhattan and finally decided to move downtown, where they live. “He said it made him feel 20 years younger to be downtown,” Setton told me. “People are interested in staying for the long haul.”

Mh- New York Jewish Parenting Guide.com

Back to School with a Smile

9 tips from a mother of 12.  by Varda Meyers Epstein


Not too many women can say they have more children than they can count on their fingers. I can say that. I have 12 children.

In addition to my mom duties, I work for the nonprofit Kars for Kids, where I write about education. With summer about to end and school about to start, the subject of “back to school confronts me both at work and at home. It’s what I write about for my job, and it’s tinting the air of my household.

There’s some sadness in coming to terms with the end of summer vacation. Time has become luxurious as grains of sand on a beach; those loose and endless hours a child can use as he likes. It’s hard to give that up.

But there is also the thrum of a household on the verge of a beginning. There is the fresh, comforting smell of new pencils, books to cover, and new school clothes. There is the wondering anticipation: who will be my new teacher?

And I, as a mother of many, more than anything, look forward to organization and quiet. I am already imagining the pace of the school year with longing. For me, the routine of school is a blessing. I like the synchronization between home and school, teacher and parent, student and child. When it goes well, it’s a partnership in the fullest sense and all but ensures a child’s academic success.

Here are some of my favorite tips for making the successful transition from home to school and back again:


Goodbye rituals. Don’t ever be too busy to say goodbye to your child in the morning. Give your child a kiss (unless they’re at that age when kisses are yucky) and say, “Have a good day!” You can find your own words and expressions of caring, but make sure you note your child’s departure for the day in a cheerful, loving way.

Be a full partner to your child’s teacher. If your child comes home with a complaint about the teacher, you can be empathetic, yet try to show the teacher’s side of things, too. If you speak of your child’s teacher with respect, your child will adopt a respectful attitude, too. Don’t automatically take your child’s side when there is a conflict between teacher and student. Investigate the best you can and remain respectful of the teacher and your child as you try to develop a balanced view of what happened. Children need to have authority figures they can respect. They need to look up to their teachers. Parents can help make it so.

Craft a warm and welcoming afterschool homecoming. When my kids were little, they were sure to find, no matter what, nice cool drinks set up for them in their own colorful cups, lined up on the counter according to age when they came home from school. Seeing the familiar cup that belongs just to him already speaks to a child of home, comfort, and security. You might choose a different homecoming ritual, but your child should feel that home is a kind and loving place; that coming home is a good thing.

Eat and talk together. Have a snack or a meal ready for your child and eat with him. Bonds are formed over food. This is your child’s chance to tell you about his day and for you to listen and mirror. By repeating your child’s words to him, you let him know you’re really listening: that what he experiences and feels is important to you.

Use homework and review as a bridge for learning. Your child has had a nice homecoming and some downtime with you. Now it’s time to support his learning. You do that by asking your child what homework he has and making sure he does it the minute he’s finished with his afterschool meal or snack. In other words, no playtime or media until homework is done. This should be a hard and fast rule. If there is no homework, you might ask your child if there’s a test coming up and ask him to spend fifteen minutes to review the material.

About homework: I’m a big believer in homework. And it should be done at home and not during a free hour at school. If your child does his homework right after class, there’s no challenge, no digging to find the answers, no stretching of the brain to remember and reinforce the lesson. The gap of time between class and homework serves a purpose. Spanning the bridge between schoolwork and homework helps a child retain what he learns.

Free time and play should be built into the day. Once a child has done his homework, he should absolutely have time to play, do crafts, enjoy sports, or take part in a regularly scheduled extracurricular activity. Your child works hard at his studies and deserves a chance to just have fun. By making it clear you see this as a priority, you show your child your respect for his efforts at school.


Prepare for the day ahead. Talk to your child about what he would like to take for his school lunch or snack the next day. Offer him some choices. Make sure your child sets up the materials and books he needs for the next day, right after he does his homework.

Ensure your child gets enough sleep. During the summer, bedtime may not have been a specific time, but during the school year, a parent should make sure to enforce a regular bedtime. Reading is a good way to transition into sleep. Younger children may prefer to have you read to them. Older children can read in bed for half an hour before lights out.

Make sure kids come to school with smiles on their faces. A teacher once told me that she doesn’t care about a child’s academic achievements or his perfect behavior. The only thing she cares about is that the child comes to school with a smile on his face. This should be your main goal: that your child walks into school with a smile on his face. If you keep this uppermost in your mind, you and your child will be on the right track.

If you feel good about your child’s school environment, this carries forward to your child. If you are organized in the morning and your child leaves for school confident he has everything he needs for the day, he will be happy to come to school. If he likes his school and his teacher, he will arrive on time and organized, with a smile on his face. And you’ll be smiling, too.

MH –New York Jewish Parenting Guide.com

Cooking Class: Sweets for my sweet

By JP  –  No other food says “love” better than chocolate.


Chocolate Photo: Courtesy
This weekend, the Tahana Compound in Neveh Tzedek, Tel Aviv, will host a Chocolate Festival in time for Valentine’s Day. The event in the picturesque compound will offer many activities for chocolate lovers of all ages, such as a presentation of eight large chocolate statues created for the festival, workshops and master classes with top pastry chefs, a chocolate spa area and, of course, many chocolate stalls, as well as other food and drink stalls.

A number of the top chocolatiers will be present at the event, and a few have offered us recipes you can make at home.

For more information about the festival, go to www.chocolatefestival.co.il.


Moshe Iskerik of the Joya Chocolate Boutique offers this energy chocolate bar, which is very easy to make.

✔ 250 gr. oats
✔ 70 gr. walnuts, chopped
✔ 3 Tbsp. sesame seeds
✔ 3 Tbsp. coconut flakes
✔ 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
✔ 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
✔ 100 gr. butter, melted
✔ 300 gr. milk chocolate

Heat oven to 150°.

In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the chocolate.

Line a baking sheet and spread the mixture evenly on it. Bake for 30 minutes. Test to see if the oats are crisp enough. If not, return the mixture to the oven for a few more minutes.

Let cool and transfer back to the bowl.

Melt the chocolate and mix it in with the cooled oat mixture. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet. The layer should not be thicker than 1½ cm.

Refrigerate for 3 hours or let stand for 6 hours at room temperature.

When the chocolate hardens, cut into bars or squares.


Makes 4 Chocolatier Ronit Lev offers this easy chocolate dessert for vegans.

✔ ½ cup natural macadamia nuts
✔ 2 Tbsp. almond butter (or Shkedia)
✔ 120 gr. (1¼ cups) pitted dates
✔ 1 cup cocoa powder
✔ ¼ of a soft avocado
✔ ¾ cup water
✔ Pinch salt
✔ A little lemon juice
✔ Zest of 1 orange

Grind the nuts in a blender until it is paste-like. Add the rest of the ingredients and process for 5-10 minutes, until light.

If needed, add a little water. If not sweet enough to your taste, add a little silan, maple or agave syrup. The texture should not be too thick.

Pour mousse into serving cups and garnish with zest of lemon or orange, crushed pistachio or strawberries.


Makes about 60 Karina Zaplinsky of De Karina makes these light and sumptuous truffles with fresh orange juice.

✔ 100 ml. 38% cream
✔ 50 ml. freshly squeezed orange juice
✔ Zest of 3 oranges. Use the orange peel only – the white part is bitter
✔ 20 ml. orange liqueur
✔ 300 gr. white chocolate
✔ 100 gr. dark cocoa powder (24% high-quality dark cocoa

Chop white chocolate into small bits. Boil together the cream and the orange juice and zest. Strain and pour over the white chocolate.

Wait 2 minutes and mix vigorously until smooth. Let the mixture (ganache) cool and add the liqueur. Mix well. While mixing, try to burst the air bubbles in the cream, making it lighter. Place the ganache in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

Using a teaspoon, take small amounts of the ganache and roll with clean hands into small balls. Dip the balls in the cocoa powder until coated on all sides.

Variation: Dip the balls into dark-chocolate.

Makes 60 

Pastry chef Rosella Yona of the Biscotti Bakery likes baking large amounts. Bake these rich chocolate drops for a week of sweet love.

✔ 350 gr. bitter chocolate
✔ 50 gr. butter
✔ 3 eggs
✔ 100 gr. sugar
✔ Zest of 1 orange
✔ 50 gr. almond powder (ground almonds)
✔ 50 gr. flour
✔ 1 tsp. baking powder
✔ 100 gr. coconut flakes
✔ 200 gr. white sugar
✔ 200 gr. powdered sugar

Melt the chocolate and butter together over a double boiler. When mixed, set aside to cool. Meanwhile, beat together eggs and sugar until light. Add orange zest. Add the melted chocolate to the egg mixture.

Sift together flour and baking powder. Mix in the almond flour and coconut flakes. Add the dry mixture into the chocolate mixture gradually, mixing to avoid lumps.

Line a baking sheet.

When completely cooled, use a pastry bag or two teaspoons to create small 3-cm. balls from the batter. Arrange the balls on the baking sheet and freeze for 2 hours.

Heat oven to 190°.

Pour the white sugar into a deep soup plate and the powdered sugar into another.

Remove the balls from the freezer. Roll each ball in the white sugar and then in the powdered sugar until coated.

Arrange the balls on a lined baking sheet with 2-3 cm. between them. Bake for 5-6 minutes or until the cookies crack.

Let cool and store in an airtight container.

The Chocolate Festival, today until Saturday. NIS 15 for adults; free for children under 12. For tickets and more information, go to www.tixwise.co.il/he/chocolatefestival. 

Thursday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Israeli Newborn Baby Checklist

by Zev Stub

This is a guide to what to do after having a baby in Israel – get a bigger tax credit, Kupat Cholim card before naming your baby, and much more!

Baby on Board

Mazal tov!  Your little bundle of joy has arrived.  Now that your baby is born, you are asking yourself what you need to do.  ”Is it true I can get a bigger tax credit in my salary?” “How do I get a Kupat Cholim card without giving the baby a name?”  ”Do I really get paid for giving birth?” “How much child allowance should I be receiving anyway?”

Whether it is your first or you are already a veteran parent, there are many things you must do to begin your life with your new addition.  Below is a checklist and explanation of how to go about some of the important tasks you must undertake.

First Steps

#1 Baby boys only: Mohel
If you have a baby boy, your first step is to call a mohel.

#2 Health Fund Registration
One of the most important things to do is to get your child registered with a health fund (קופת חולים /kupat cholim) in case you need to take your child to the doctor after leaving the hospital.

  • What to bring: Parents’ Certificate (תלוש להורים / tlush l’horim), a Ministry of Interior document which you received at the hospital
  • What to request
    1.      Membership card – Assuming you are waiting to name your child until a brit or simchat bat/ Torah reading, you may request that the first name be temporarily filled in as זכר (zachar) or נקבה (ne’kay’va).
    2.      Supplemental health plan – If you have a supplemental health plan (e.g., Maccabi’s Magen Zahav or Meuchedet’s See) that you want extended to your newborn, then make sure that the baby is signed up for that as well.
    3.      Internet access – Request an internet access code for your child to allow you to login to your child’s health fund account online.  In addition, verify that the child’s account will be linked to both parents’ accounts, so that it can be accessed via the parents’ login as well.


#3 Baby boys only: Schedule a Check-Up with Your Pediatrician
If you have a boy, schedule an appointment with your pediatrician for the day before the brit.  It is nice to have the doctor’s okay.

#4 Plan an Event
If you’re planning a celebratory event, make sure you have a location and food arranged.

#5 Add Baby to Private Health Insurance
If you have private health insurance (besides your health fund membership and supplemental health plan through your health fund), then it makes sense to call your insurance agent and add your baby right away so there will be no issue of pre-existing health conditions.

#6 Foreign citizens only: Schedule an Appointment with the Foreign Embassy
If your child is eligible for a foreign citizenship and passport, consider taking care of the paperwork right away, especially if you are planning a trip with your newborn in the near future.  The first step (at least for Americans) is scheduling an appointment at the Embassy or Consulate.  Americans should also request a Social Security Number.

#7 Schedule a Well-Baby Clinic Visit
Your local well-baby clinic (טיפת חלב / tipat chalav) will have lots of things for you to do, from weighing and measuring your baby to starting vaccinations.

top 25_2

#8 Update the Water Company
The number of people in your household affects how your water bill is calculated.  (At least some) local water companies will not backdate your household status change, so you should report it to them at your earliest convenience.

Next Steps

After having taken care of the initial steps, you can move on to less time-sensitive issues.

#9 Update Income Tax Credits
If you and/or your spouse are salaried workers, give a copy of the Parents’ Certificate (תלוש להורים) to your employer(s).  Even fathers receive extra in their bank account post-tax every month (218 NIS as of 2014)!

#10 Register Baby’s Name, Update Parental IDs, Request Birth Certificates
At the Ministry of Interior, you have a number of tasks.

  • When to come: Two to three weeks after the child’s birth.  You can call your local branch of the Ministry of Interior to see if your child’s information has been updated in the system.
  • What to bring: Parents’ Certificate (תלוש הורים), both parents’ ID cards (תעודת זהות / teudat zehut)
  • What to request:
    1.      Register the baby’s name – Assuming that you did not register the baby’s name at the hospital, register it now.  The appropriate form (הודעה על מתן שם פרטי לנולד/ת) can be filled out in advance.
    2.      Update the addendum to parental IDs – Update the addendum (ספח / sefach) to your IDs to reflect your new child.  Though both parents’ IDs must be present, only one parent needs to be.
    3.      Request a birth certificate and an English-Hebrew birth certificate – If you have any need for use of your child’s birth certificate outside of Israel, the dual-language certificate will be invaluable.  Of course, verify that all details are correct.
    4.      Request a passport – If you have plans to travel in the near future, then you can request a passport if you bring appropriate pictures.  Otherwise, you can hang on to your money a little while longer.


#11 Health Fund Membership Card with Baby’s New Name
If you did not have a first name for your baby when you first registered at your health fund, you will need to return to inform them of the baby’s name and request a new card.  At the same time, you can ask for a second card for your spouse.

#12 Apply for Maternity (or Paternity) Leave
If you are eligible, apply for maternity (or paternity) leave.  Details regarding eligibility and how to calculate how much you are owed can be found on the National Insurance Institute’s Maternity Allowance page.

 Follow Up

You have run around and done all that work.  Now, the last thing to do is make sure you are receiving the government benefits to which you are entitled.

#13 Check Your National Insurance Institute Child Allowance
If this is your first child, you should start receiving a monthly child allowance from the National Insurance Institute (ביטוח לאומי / Bituach Leumi); and if your newborn isn’t your first, your monthly child allowance should be increased.  To find out how much you should be receiving, see Calculate your Bituach Leumi child allowance.

#14 Verify Receipt of Your Birth Allowance
Parents who have been working in Israel for six months prior to the birth of a child in a hospital in Israel are entitled to a Birth Grant (מענק לידה / ma’anak leyda).  The grant should be deposited in your bank account within one month of birth.  For details of eligibility and to find out how much you should receive, see the NII’s Birth Grant page.

If there are other things you make sure to do when a baby is born, leave your suggestion in the comments.  Mazal tov!


mh- New York  Jewish Parenting Guide.com

Jewish Film Quiz

How much do you know about Jewish films, actors, directors, and stories?MJL

Win TWO TICKETS for til DIVORCE DO US PART – The Musical 
Invite your 10 friends to LIKE US on Facebook ( email us their names at marketing@newyorkjewishparentingguide.com) and with the quiz answers – Winner will be notified–

Question 1. Which ground-breaking nine-hour documentary brought on a new wave of Holocaust-related films?
 Schindler’s List
 Judgment at Nuremberg
 The Great Dictator


Question 2. Where was the first Jewish film festival held?
 New York
 Los Angeles
 San Francisco


Question 3. Der Dibuk, the infamous Yiddish film, was produced in which country?


Question 4. Borat, the film based upon Sacha Baron Cohen sketches, brings to light….
 Anti-Semitism in the United States
 Cultural stereotyping
 The closed-mindedness of a certain type of American life
 All of the above


Question 5. What is the full name of the Borat film?
 Borat: Welcome to America
 Borat: Cultural Learnings of America to Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
 Borat: The Search for Pamela Anderson
 Borat: Oh Kazakhstan!


Question 6. Richard Dreyfuss, Anthony Hopkins, and Burt Lancaster all played Isareli leaders in the film…
 Victory at Entebbe
 Schindler’s List
 Silence of the Lambs


Question 7. Which of these films was inspired by the Bible?
 The Decalogue
 Evan Almighty
 The Ten
 B & C
 All of the above


Question 8. What is Mel Brooks’ real name?
 Morton Kelmanson
 Morris Cohen
 Melvin Kaminsky
 Moishe Mayer



Question 9. The first public TV broadcast in Israel was in what year?


Question 10. What is the name of Mel Brooks’ 1968 film, which later became a popular Broadway musical?
 History of the World, Part I
 Robin Hood: Men in Tights
 The Producers
 Blazing Saddles


mh- New York Jewish Parenting Guide.com

Sephardic Judaism Quiz

How much do you know about Sephardic Jewry? MJL

Win $60 Gift Certificate for RAFFAELO  Kosher Pizza- Amore Italiano –  in New York City –
pasta, soups, desserts in Midtown Manhattan. Invite your 10 friends to LIKE US on Facebook ( email us their names at marketing@newyorkjewishparentingguide.com) and with the quiz answers – – Winners will be notified–


Question 1. Which of the following great Jewish thinkers was Sephardic?
 Rabbi Moshe Isserles
 The Hofetz Hayim
 Rabbi Moshe Soloveitchik


Question 2. Which of these famous American Jewish poets was Sephardic?
 Emma Lazarus
 Samuel Menashe
 Phillip Levine
 Allen Ginsburg


Question 3. The word sepharad refers to which country?


Question 4. True/False: The first Jews in America were Sephardim.


Question 5. On Passover Sephardic halakhah allows one to eat which of the following foods?
 All of the above


Question 6. How many days do Sephardim say selichot before the High Holidays?


Question 7. Some sephardic communities have a special ceremony to celebrate
 When a girl reaches menses
 A pregnant woman
 When a baby learns to clap
 When a child first eats solid food


Question 8. What geographical region does the term “Ashkenazic” literally refer to?


Question 9. What is the name of the Moroccan feast held immediately after Passover?
 Mazel tov


Question 10. At what point in the service do Sephardic Jews display the Torah scroll to the congregation?
 Before the Torah service
 After the Torah service
 Between the second and third aliyot
 At the end of the musaf service



Wheelchairs of Hope, from Israel with love

Posted By Abigail Klein Leichman  


Virtually every household in Israel has a few Keter brand plastic chairs, so why not use a similar seat as a base for lightweight, inexpensive but sturdy kid-friendly wheelchairs?

After 30 years as a Keter executive, Pablo Kaplan decided to do just that. With his life partner and former coworker, Chava Rotshtein, in 2009 Kaplan founded the nonprofit Wheelchairs of Hope.

The couple aims to provide colorful, maintenance-free wheelchairs to the estimated five million children in the world who cannot attend school because of mobility handicaps. Central and South America, Africa, Asia and other Middle East countries are target markets.

“Our wheelchair is specifically designed for children, as we wish to empower education through mobility,” Kaplan and Rotshtein explain. “Mobility from early childhood is a gate to education. By giving access to education we create a new generation with better skills, confidence and hope.”

Last September, the Wheelchairs of Hope founders presented their idea at the opening day of the United Nations General Assembly and were selected to serve on UNICEF’s task force for assistive technologies.

“The task force’s goal is to identify novel technologies to recommend to all member countries,” Kaplan tells ISRAEL21c. “Our product was chosen as one of those innovations.”

A chair, not a medical device


The wheelchair, to be available in bright primary colors, weighs 10 kilograms (22 pounds) and is expected to cost about $50. By contrast, the basic metal wheelchairs currently donated to developing nations by various humanitarian organizations cost at least $150 apiece and weigh 15 to 17 kilos.

“The child sitting in it will weigh a maximum of 25 kilos, so the light weight will make a big difference,” predicts Kaplan.

The first prototype, made in June 2013 on a 3D printer, followed more than a year of fine-tuning in consultation with Naomi Geffen, deputy director general of clinical services at ALYN rehabilitation hospital for children in Jerusalem, and the hospital’s biomedical lab director, Ohad Ga’al-Dor.

“We went over every single part of the wheelchair,” Geffen tells ISRAEL21c. “We were very happy with the results. It looks like something fun and not like a medical device you wouldn’t want to use.”

The Ziv-Av Engineering Group, Nekuda Design Management and patent law firm Reinhold Cohn all donated their time and expertise to make the final product a reality.

Ziv-Av CEO Itzik Taff tells ISRAEL21c that the engineering challenge was to design a “cool-looking,” low-cost product robust enough for harsh conditions such as bumpy dirt roads, yet lightweight enough for a five- to eight-year-old to maneuver easily.

“We also wanted the ability to add on devices for kids with special needs, like to stabilize the neck,” says Taff. “So we had to try to get the maximum out of what plastic can do. We used the minimum amount of material to achieve maximum strength.”

Beit Issie Shapiro, a service and advocacy organization for Israelis with disabilities, also endorsed the project. “We are very impressed with the Wheelchair of Hope, its simplicity, durability and low cost, and we are proud to be a beta site for a project which will give children new opportunities to be independent in their communities,” says Executive Director Jean Judes.

Meanwhile, in the field of adult wheelchairs, Israeli entrepreneur Nimrod Elmish and automation expert Izhar Gafni of I.G. Cardboard Technologies are working toward commercializing a lightweight, maintenance-free product made of less than $10 worth of durable recycled cardboard, plastic bottles and recycled tires.

Pablo Kaplan hopes to make millions of the chairs.

For the sake of doing good

Encouraged by the positive feedback, Kaplan and Rotshtein are seeking seed money to build manufacturing molds and basic infrastructure. Wheelchairs of Hope has the active support of the World Health Organization, and aid agencies including the International Red Cross are interested in helping to get the chairs where they are needed.

We do a lot of work with children from Israel and abroad, and this definitely will be a low-cost solution for some of the populations we see,” says ALYN’s Geffen. “This chair is accessible to everyone and is made of durable plastic, which is important in third-world countries.”

Kaplan says he got very emotional watching the enthusiasm of a young ALYN patient who tried out the prototype bright green model and didn’t want to get out of it. He and Rotshtein hope to repeat this moving scenario many times over.

“Based on our ability to reach the minimum level of investment, we plan to start a pilot phase involving 2,500 children in four to five different countries by the end of 2014,” says Rotshtein.

The Kfar Saba residents are often asked if they came to this project out of personal experience.

“Chava and I have no relatives with disabilities,” Kaplan says. “Wheelchairs of Hope is just for the sake of doing something good using our knowledge of the plastics industry.”

For more information, see www.wheelchairsofhope.org.

Restaurant Openings and Updates & Food Events and more

Basil owner to open Brooklyn restaurant called “Meat” in Fall 2014 
We’ve kept it under wraps for a while but since construction is about to start, we can announce that a casual yet refined restaurant simply called “Meat” is set to to open after the summer. Owner Daniel Branover, who also owns
Basil Pizza & Wine Bar in Crown Heights has bought the building just 5 blocks away from the dairy restaurant at 115 Kingston Avenue (off Bergen Street) and will be bringing Southern comfort food style with him, including the hottest trend in the kosher market, smoked BBQ fare.
Sarit’s Grill in Brooklyn Changing it’s Name to Brooklyn Steak Co.Sarit's Grill changing its name
We ran a naming contest a few weeks ago for this restaurant on Avenue M and while none of the names submitted were picked, we would like to thank all the suggestions.  The restaurant went with the name Brooklyn Steak Co. and will re-open under that name starting this Sunday. New menu to follow.
New Catering Store Opens in Upper East Side of Manhattan
A new dairy, vegetarian and vegan kosher catering company, called
Olive Tree, has just opened at 2030 Second Avenue (off 104th Street) catering to home and office parties, corporate meetings and events including Bris, Bar & Bat Mitzvah and Weddings. In fact, their inaugural catering event was at the home of Israeli Consul, 
Ido Aharoni. Olive Tree Catering is under the supervision of
Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman and Chalav Israel. For more information, call 212-410-0200 or email  OliveTreeCaterer@gmail.com
Grand Re-Opening for Eighteen Restaurant in Manhattan 18 Restaurant
This Upper East Side establishment (busy time for this neighborhood) has undergone a face lift and they are now open.  We haven’t seen the place yet but the owner promises it is nothing like before and so we’ll be there tonight for dinner to check out the place.  Follow us on Facebook, as we will post the new digs online.
Sushi Fussion Opens in Manhattan West
As we were the first to report on Facebook last week, Sushi Fussion, a kosher sushi restaurant with 3 locations already in Queens and Great Neck, opened another Sushi Fussionlocation, this time in Midtown Manhattan on February 4th. The restaurant, located on the 2nd floor at 224 West 35th. St, between 7th and 8th Avenues offers an extensive selection of sushi under the Vaad of Queens. They are open from 10:30am to 8pm Sunday through Thursday, and until 2 hours prior to Shabbat on Fridays; delivery and takeout available.  Their phone number is:
646-476-5246. This opening together with the upcoming Pitopia location near B&H, is sure to bring more kosher traffic to the area, which has been deprived of kosher restaurants lately.
Six Thirteen Restaurant Opens in Former Space of Kosh in Stamford, CT613 Restaurant
Six Thirteen opened 2 weeks ago at 108 Prospect St. in Stamford, CT, the former location of Kosh. Their menu features such entrees as Braised Beef Short Ribs, Herb Grilled Salmon, and Bone-in Ribeye among other dishes under the OU supervision. The restaurant also offers alcoholic beverages bar, which includes draft beer, wines, hard liquor and a selection of cocktails. They’re currently only open for dinner.
Prime logo

YU Cake Wars Decorating Competition Tonight at Yeshiva UniversityYeshiva University Cake Wars Decorating Competition Tonight
Yeshiva University will be hosting its 3rd Annual Cake Wars competition on Sharsheret Pink Day this evening. Forty teams will compete to decorate cakes within 40 minutes and will judged by a panel of expert food judges, including yours truly and Mauro Castanofrom the hit TLC show Cake Boss.  In the past, the event has brought in over 400 students and has been called “one of the best events of the year” and “a co-ed event not to be missed.” After the winner is announced all participants and bystanders will be allowed to cut into the cakes. Cake Wars will be taking place on Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus located at 500 West 185th Street New York, NY 10033 in Furst Hall room 501. The event is scheduled to start at 8pm and end at 10:30pm. The event is being organized to help raise money and awareness for the organization Sharsheret, a non-profit organization which helps Jewish women with breast cancer. For more information, visit their website: www.sharsheret.org. Tickets are $10pp.
NY Kosher Food & Wine Experience – 188 tickets left!Kosher Food & Wine Experience
There are over two dozen restaurants/caterers participating in this year’s event and this is the ONLY place right now where you can see the exclusive list of who is participating:
Abeles & Heymann / Basil / Carlos & Gabby’s / Chagall Bistro
ETC / Gemstone Catering / Glatt A La Carte / Got Cholent?
Grow & Behold / JEWmaican / Le Marais / Pitopia / Pomegranate / 
Prime Hospitality Group 
Sabra Hummus / Silverleaf Caterers Sushi Tokyo / T fusion Steakhouse / Weiss Brothers Catering
Wolf & Lamb / Wandering Q / Cake & co. a division of Butterflake / Coffee Bean Tea Leaf
Finchi by Auny Rashi Desserts / Guilty Pleasures Chocolatier / Mr. Penguin Ice Cream
Susan Sez “Say it With Cake”
KFWE is the premier kosher food and wine show with events in NY, LA, London and most recently Miami. New this year is the addition of a luxury yacht which will be docked at Pier 60. The Hornblower Hybrid, one of New York’s most modern yachts features two floors and will dazzle with a Dessert Pavilion featuring the largest variety of delectable sweets KFWE has ever offered!
The yacht will remain docked at Pier 60 for duration of the show and guests are welcome to come and go between the two areas as they please throughout the evening. KFWE NY is set for February 24 at 6:30pm at Pier 60 – Chelsea Piers, NYC. Tickets are available online and will not be sold at the door. To buy tickets visit or to find out more information please visit www.kfwe2014.com
Jewish Cuisine Through The Ages Event in CT
Jewish Cuisine Through the Ages
The Jewish Women’s Circle, a non profit organization, will be hosting an upscale and educational event on March 23 at the Omni Hotel in New Haven, Connecticut, titled Jewish Cuisine Through the Ages. In a series of rotating culinary demonstrations, world class international chefs with roots in Italy, Morocco, Persia, France, Syria and Brazil will present the unique tastes and flavors of their home countries while guest will enjoy samples of these exquisite dishes. The evening will close with a presentation from the former White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier who served five Presidential families for over 25 years. For more information and to view the profiles of the featured chefs, please visit website: www.JewishCuisineThroughTheAges.com.


By Great Kosher Restaurant Magazine